SDG Week Canada

SDG Week Canada: Advancing the SDGs on university and college campuses. March 4-8, 2024

SDG Week Canada is a national collaboration from March 4 - 8, 2024 to increase awareness and engagement with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on university and college campuses. It is an annual collaborative initiative that invites all of Canada's universities and colleges to host events and programming on the SDGs. The overall organization of SDG Week Canada is brought to you by the Sustainability Hub at UBC, SDSN Canada hosted by the University of Waterloo, and Colleges and Institutes Canada.

Western's SDG Week includes a few events outside of the national week, and we are excited to invite all of campus community to participate in the following events!

SDG Week Events

February 29: How to Cope with Climate Anxiety

How to Cope with Climate Anxiety will take place Thursday, February 29 at 5:00-7:00pm in Conron Hall, University College (UC), or virtually on Zoom.

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities is honoured to host Britt Wray for the 2024 Robert and Patricia Duncanson Lecture, held on February 29, 2024. This hybrid event can be attended in person at Conron Hall or online via Zoom.

In “How to Cope with Climate Anxiety,” Britt demonstrates the emotional and existential effects of living in a warming world—and how we can get through them together. Although anxieties surrounding the climate crisis can cause us to burn out, give up, and question deeply personal decisions like whether to have children, working through these anxieties can unlock a deep capacity to care for and act on climate issues.

We need to look at the climate crisis as a whole—not just the political or technological issues, but the mental health consequences as well. These effects can be severe, even leading people affected by climate events to experience PTSD and a loss of identity. To combat this, Britt presents practical tips and strategies for healthily and productively dealing with our emotions, living with climate trauma, and strengthening our communities so we can combat climate change together.

Britt Wray has a PhD in Science Communication from the University of Copenhagen, and she is an advisor to the Good Energy Project for climate storytelling and the Climate Mental Health Network. She’s the Director of CIRCLE at Stanford Psychiatry, a research and action initiative focused on Community-minded Interventions for Resilience, Climate Leadership and Emotional wellbeing in the Stanford School of Medicine. Britt’s acclaimed book Generation Dread, about finding purpose during the climate crisis, was named a finalist for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Awards.  She is the recipient of the 2023 Canadian Eco-Hero Award and top award winner of the National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communications, given by The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Following Britt's lecture, a reception will be held in the rooms adjoining Conron Hall.

Feb. 29 - March 14: meromictic exhibition

Curated by MCS4605E
Exhibition: February 29 – March 14, 2024

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 29 from 5-7PM
artLAB Gallery

Kionywarihwaen, or Crawford Lake, is a small body of water that formed in a limestone cliff sinkhole near Milton, Ontario, just over 100km away from the Artlab Gallery. This exhibition responds to the 2023 selection of Crawford Lake by the International Commission on Stratigraphy as the "golden spike" that marks the start of a new proposed geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The lake is meromictic, meaning the layers of water within it do not mix, allowing for the preservation of sediment deposits in the lakebed. Because of this, layers of sediment lie untouched at the bottom of the lake, showing, among other things, evidence of human impact on the world in a layer of radioactive plutonium from nuclear weapons tests - the marker that has been decided represents the moment human impact becomes evident in the strata of the geologic record; that is, the Anthropocene. 

How can we understand the impact of this moment? This exhibition uses stratigraphy as an organizing principle, pulling back layers to try to understand the complicated relations involved in naming a geologic era and marking it through a lake in Ontario. Seven artists investigating water, earth, air, soil, wood, rocks, and minerals, are paired with specimens and samples loaned from collections across Southwestern Ontario. Each pairing brings an additional level of complexity to the exhibition and illustrates the ultimate challenge of trying to fully grasp an epoch in a layer of sediment. meromictic focuses on both the opportunity to learn from the siting of the golden spike, and on all that escapes from accepted forms of knowledge.

Featuring artworks by Janice Brant Kahehtoktha, Greg Curnoe, Simon Fuh, Stefan Herda, Lisa Hirmer, Tomonari Nishikawa, Nico Williams, Kelly Wood. 

With contributions from Biodiversity Gallery/Nina Zitani, Conservation Halton, Neal Ferris, Jessica Johnson/Smithsonian Institute, McCarthy Lab/Brock University, the Museum of Ontario Archeology, Patterson Lab/Carleton University, Corcoran Lab/UWO, the Richard W. Hutchison Geoscience Collaborative Suite/UWO, Aaron Shugar/Queen’s University, Amanda White/FOFA Gallery.

This project was made possible with support from The Strategic Priorities Fund (UWO), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Rodger Research and Development Fund, The Department of Visual Arts (UWO), and The Centre for Sustainable Curating.

March 1: Northern Tornadoes Project and Western Music

Northern Tornadoes Project and Western Music will take place Friday, March 1 at 7:00-9:00pm in the Music Building (MB).

Various locations throughout the Don Wright Faculty of Music will be transformed into a gallery that features music inspired by the data collected by the Northern Tornadoes Project (NTP) as well as other weather and nature inspired pieces.

Graduate composition students will be collaborating with engineers from NTP and faculty from Music Performance Studies. There will also be presentations in collaboration with marine biologist Paul Mensink.

The evening will culminate in a panel discussion Greg Kopp, ImpactWX Chair in Severe Storms Engineering and NTP lead researchers, seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones who is also the founder of Tempo: Music for Climate Action, and Kevin Mooney from Don Wright Faculty of Music.

March 5: Community SDG Connections

Community SDG Connections

Event time: Tuesday, March 5 at 1:30-3:30pm, Community Room (128), Weldon Library (WL). 

Community SDG Connections is hosted by Western Sustainability and Pillar Nonprofit Network. In this event we hope to build collaborations amongst on- and off-campus community members who are involved in advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

All are invited to attend this event! Join us for a fun community-building event where we can learn about work happening both on- and off-campus and discuss our successes and challenges in advancing sustainable development.

Event programme:

  • Networking BINGO & refreshments
  • Opening remarks
  • Short feature presentations
  • Facilitated table discussions
  • Closing remarks


March 6: W'AT ABOWT US: Film Screening & Q&A Panel Discussion

Wednesday, March 6 in the McKellar Room (UCC 290)
Film Screening @ 1:00 p.m.
Q&A Panel with Director Shelley Jarrett @ 3:00 p.m.

Since exploding onto the news in the fall of 2017, the #MeToo movement has built up impressive momentum. Thanks to Oprah Winfrey and her by now famous Golden Globes speech, it has spawned another hashtag, #TimesUp.

Up to now, victims have been primarily Caucasian women like Ashley Judd and Gwyneth Paltrow who have come almost exclusively from the arts & entertainment industry or the media profession. While the legitimacy of these women and their stories is not being questioned, other aspects in this new reality of the sexes need to be raised.

W’at Abowt Us is a factual documentary told from a diverse point of view. Women share their stories of vulnerability and shame which take place in diverse locations: from the home to the workplace; from the church to community settings. The incidents crossed the boundaries of abuse between sexual, physical, and emotional. The women also come from all the major cultural backgrounds, showing that this systematic harassment knows no barriers.

For more information on the film & cast visit their website.

Register for the event here

March 7: Rooted Resilience: Eco-distress & Messy Hope Discussion

Rooted Resilience: Eco-distress & Messy Hope Discussion

Event time: Thursday, March 7 at 1:00-2:00pm, Community Room (128), Weldon Library (WL)

Western Sustainability is pleased to host the Eco-distress & Messy Hope Discussion in collaboration with event moderator, Dr. Lesley Gittings. Through this event we hope to create space for dialogue and reflection around the variety of emotions people may be feeling in relation to climate change. 

In navigating through difficult emotions, we look towards the notion of messy hope. Messy hope recognizes the challenging feelings that exist around climate change and helps us to find opportunities to build hope and resilience. This event will explore eco-distress and other climate emotions through a panel discussion with a focus on resources, coping mechanisms, and ways to build hope. 

All are invited to attend this event! Event attendees are invited to participate in group discussion and/or self-reflect as we spend some time navigating our feelings around climate change. 

Event programme:

  • Refreshments
  • Opening remarks
  • Panel discussion
  • Reflection activity
  • Closing remarks
  • Optional: Join us for a 45-minute Wellness Walk around campus to explore nature


March 8: Increasing Awareness & Engagement of Sustainable Development Goals

Exploring Interdisciplinary Approaches to Local, National and Global Development through the United Nations SDGs: Increasing Awareness & Engagement of Sustainable Development Goals

Event time: Friday, March 8 at 1:30-4:00pm, DSB 1002 (or online through Zoom)

Please join The Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, at Western University as it hosts its 2nd annual SDG Week Canada seminar session. The session features seven 15-20-minute presentations with Q&A from faculty members including topics such as; Optimizing brain health, synthetic biology and CRISPR, the SDGs and vulnerable women, Planetary health, Sustainable biomedical technologies, Insights from the One Health approach with implications for sustainability and human rights, and higher education institutions and SDGs, as related to achieving the UN SDGs.
Speakers include Drs Lacefield (Electrical and computer engineering), Frisbee (Pathology and Laboratory Medicine), Lambert and Arku (Geography), Edgell (Biochemistry), Annan-Aggrey (Geography), Redvers (Epidemiology and Biostatics) and Whitehead ( Anatomy and Cell Biology).

Join us in person in DSB 1002 on March 8 at 1:30pm or online through Zoom.

Register online here

March 8: Life Below Water: A Virtual Dive Into Our Oceans

Life Below Water: A Virtual Dive Into Our Oceans

Event time: Friday, March 8 at 6:30-9:30pm, North Campus Building (NCB)

Join the Faculty of Science on an immersive journey beneath the waves at "Life Below Water: A Virtual Dive Into Our Oceans". This in-person event aims to celebrate and promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal dedicated to the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources. Experience the ocean's depths like never before through a blend of virtual and augmented reality that vividly brings the marine world to life. Dive with sharks, swim alongside orcas, and uncover the significant impacts of human activity on our oceans, from disturbing noise pollution to the widespread threat of plastic pollution. Come visit cutting-edge immersive reality facilities and test out VR headsets as you walk through through award-winning exhibits on a journey to explore and learn more about our oceans.

March 8: The Role of Empathy and Vulnerability in Leadership w/ Terri Givens

Date: March 8 2024

Time: 12:00 pm

Location: Zoom Virtual

Terri Givens is a Professor of Political Science at McGill University and formerly the CEO of the Center for Higher Education Leadership. As the author of the book “Radical Empathy: Finding a Path to Bridging Racial Divides,” she is a sought after consultant and speaker on issues related to leadership and inclusion. She has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, politics, international affairs, and nonprofits. She is an accomplished speaker and uses her platform to develop leaders with an understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion, while encouraging personal growth through empathy.

Register for this event