Trent alum Brianna Salmon ’10 has been named executive director of Green Communities Canada (GCC), bringing a lifelong commitment to environmental sustainability and climate change reversal to the national stage.
A graduate of the first Sustainability Studies M.A. cohort at Trent and recipient of the 2017 Trent University Alumni Association Young Alumni Leader award, they had previously been with Peterborough GreenUP for 12 years, the last five years serving as its executive director.
“It feels like a really nice transition,” says Brianna. “Working at GreenUP provided me with knowledge of the programming that GCC leads, and a sense of the role that the organization has, and can have, on the national front. It also gave me a nice perspective in terms of understanding what it takes to implement community-based programming on the ground.”
Founded in 1995, GCC is a national non-profit association of community-based environmental organizations working together for a vibrant, equitable and sustainable future. In her new role, Brianna aims to build upon the existing “collaborative and participatory decision-making culture” established by GCC.
The time for action to reverse the effects of climate change is now, they stress.
“We need everybody, at all levels of society, to be taking action. That means taking action on an individual level, and at a neighbourhood or community level,” Brianna explains. “It means municipal, provincial and federal governments, and international consortiums, working together. We don’t have the time for people to be shifting responsibility from one level of society to another. We all need to be taking this seriously and doing what we can.”
While at GreenUP, Brianna built on existing relationships with Trent faculty members in support of ongoing research and action collaborations.
“I feel very grateful to have had the opportunities that I’ve had, both to learn at Trent and also be a community leader with GreenUP. There have been a number of really wonderful outcomes, one of them being my personal awareness and education, and the sorts of ways I conceive issues and think about solutions from a community-based perspective. But there has also been the opportunity to foster and maintain strong relationships with the Trent community.”