Fionn Kidney of the non-profit social enterprise Common Knowledge shares information on an essential new project which creates space for LGBTQ+ people to bring climate action home to Irish communities.
Would you like to learn how to address climate change at home, learn practical skills to save energy and live more sustainably, and would you like to do all of that alongside LGBTQ+ people?
Facing odds that have been historically stacked against us, as LGBTQ+ people in Ireland we’ve become highly collaborative, creative, and resourceful in finding solutions to issues affecting our communities. Now facing a global climate emergency that will affect everyone on this planet, how might we use these strengths to take practical climate action at home and in our communities?
This month, we’re announcing Homeworks, a new collaborative project with the NXF that will see a group of 25 LGBTQ+ people join a fully funded residency at our non-profit social enterprise Common Knowledge. Over five days in June, those taking part in Homeworks will co-design a toolkit for communities to take practical climate action themselves and with each other, whilst learning practical skills related to housing, energy, food and waste. With the cost of living and housing also rising, Homeworks will also equip people to live more affordably and sustainably, regardless of their home setting.
With the most vulnerable and marginalised communities set to experience more extreme impacts of climate change due to increased likelihood of homelessness and other challenges, climate change is more than just an environmental issue - it’s a social justice issue. And whilst there is a real sense of urgency around climate action today, research undertaken by Trinity College Dublin in 2020 showed a lack of spaces or resources developed to support young, disadvantaged people in Ireland to engage with climate change.
During the Homeworks residency, we’ll uncover the collective challenges we face due to climate change as LGBTQ+ people, whilst celebrating and sharing the skills and knowledge that we can use and learn to take action, for example; improving the energy efficiency of our homes, finding affordable and creative ways to decrease our consumption and waste, or organising to create shared resources like community gardens. Like any activity at Common Knowledge, our aim will be to improve the confidence, capability and sense of community of anyone taking part.
Anyone who identifies as LGBTQ+ and is interested in taking climate action can apply to be part of Homeworks, with LGBTQ+ migrants, Travellers, and older people especially welcome to apply when our open call goes out in early 2023. But for now, as we get started, we’re seeking a Project Coordinator with lived experience of LGBTQ+ issues and a history of engaging with climate action to work with Common Knowledge to manage the project.
As well as the opportunity for LGBTQ+ people to lead in creating a valuable resource for Irish communities to deal with climate change, we’re especially looking forward to bringing together this group in a different type of context - reconnecting with nature in a rural setting, spending together time outdoors and working with our hands to create something that continues our LGBTQ+ heritage of creative community action.
If you’d be interested in taking part in Homeworks, or applying for the Project Coordinator role, you can find out more by visiting ourcommonknowledge.org/homeworks
The project has received funding from the Community Climate Action Programme, which is aimed at facilitating community climate action through education, capacity building and learning by doing. The programme is administered by Pobal and has been funded by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications.