Mo Phùng — Connections for Climate Justice
Mo Phùng (They/She/Ellui) was first supported by #RisingYouth for Oceans Week HFX (OWHFX) in 2019. OWHFX is a youth-led initiative that was designed to connect community members and ocean sectors partners, through ocean conservation and education. OWHFX was a project Mo had been working on since 2016, and each year it has grown and evolved.
Mo says that they have learnt a lot co-developing and co-leading OWHFX, and also built meaningful connections with many community members, employers and long-lasting friends. For instance, in the most recent OWHFX (2020), the OWHFX team hired Future Ancestors Services as their keynote speaker to discuss the intersections between our oceans, climate justice and equity (watch it here). Mo says this partnership helped further develop their relationships with the Future Ancestors team, something they were keen to do at the time to further explore climate justice and equity. Witnessing so many people interested in the topic, and deepening their relationship with Future Ancestors felt magical to Mo — they realized advancing climate justice and equity is what they wanted to be doing. Well… fast forward a few months to fall of 2020, and Mo actually started working with Future Ancestors Services and is now full-time as an Alchemist of Ancestral Services!
“A key lesson that I learned from Oceans Week HFX is that practicing patience and listening will help you become better at working in a team setting. Sometimes we can forget to stop and listen when we get caught in the work chaos. It’s so important as well to take time intentionally when building your team and the people you work with. Being transparent with your core values and perspectives with those you surround yourself with — will no doubt lead to something incredible and rewarding.”
When asked where they hope to be in 5 years, Mo says:
“I never tell myself that living is guaranteed. I believe that each day is a gift and to be grateful for each one we are given, to care for and think about those in your life TODAY.
I hope to continue growing as myself, in my multiple identities, to continue supporting the work of QTBIPOC folks in climate justice and equity, and to continue in my art of photography and storytelling.
All of this while being somewhere that is close to ocean and on the land.”
Want to follow Mo’s work and support their passion for climate justice and equity?
- Follow Mo on LinkedIn and their photography work
- Follow and support Future Ancestor Services: an Indigenous and Black-owned, youth-led professional services social enterprise that advances climate justice and equity.
- Check out Oceans Week Halifax
Written by Siobhan Takala, #RisingYouth Alumni Community Animator