Rooted & Rising

Young Lives Research | We examine and support youth wellbeing on a complex planet

Rooted & Rising

Rooted and Rising

STATUS: Ongoing


Rooted and Rising is a radical education program designed to meet the urgent environmental and social crises faced by today’s youth and their communities. Led by Ph.D Candidate, Roxy Cohen, with support from Dr. Kate Tilleczek, Dr. Steve Alsop and a dedicated and multidisciplinary steering committee, the Rooted and Rising program will empower youth to take control over their lives, and our collective ways of living. 


These are troubling times. Led by the demands of global youth, Canada and 24 other countries have declared a climate emergency. Youth have the passion and ideas to activate changes we need now; for ourselves, for future generations, and for the more-than-human world. Schools and our current methods of education have not equipped students to fully understand, cooperate or respond to this emergency as is needed.  Rooted and Rising was envisioned and is led by a bunch of people and community groups, diverse in age, ancestry, experience, and education. The team is a combination of Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, all passionate about empowering young leaders. Now certified by York University, this program  runs very differently than a typical university classroom and is open to all youth who are passionate about creating a better world for people and all living beings. Rooted and Rising is an action-based response to the global youth call to take this global Planetary Health crisis seriously.


Rooted and Rising is designed to inspire and empower youth climate leaders. The 12-week certified program is based in gratitude and connection to the land and students can expect to: • Meet allies and build community  • Learn how to cooperate with people across differences to co-create a culture of care • Step into your unique gifts, purpose, and leadership    • Skill-up: learn core skills to turn your passion into action  • Learn how to practice compassion and process the feelings that come up in this work in a non-judgemental environment   • Connect with mentors and elders working in different realms  • Practice having conversations with people in positions of power

COVID-19 Response

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, all York University programming has been moved to online formats. With this, the first Rooted and Rising program will be offered online from September 26-December 6, 2020. While connections with the land are critical for learning, the Rooted and Rising team must put the health and safety of students, team and community members first. We remain committed to finding safe, empowering and inclusive ways to engage and  connect during these challenging times.