Brock’s UNESCO Chair launches Sustainability Poetry Contest

MEDIA RELEASE: 31 January 2018 – R00020

What kind of future do you want?

That’s the question being asked this year as part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Poetry Day.

Brock University Professor and UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability Liette Vasseur, along with Brock’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, is putting out a call for submissions in this year’s 2018 Sustainability Poetry Contest. All Niagara residents are eligible to enter their original, unpublished poems with the theme of ‘The Future We Want’ for this year’s contest.

UNESCO has been celebrating World Poetry Day annually since 1999. The idea is to use poetry as a social tool to bring awareness to social issues, give a voice to the community, promote linguistic diversity and change the way people view their place in the world.

“The poetry contest is important because when we look at sustainability in communities, arts and culture are essential for human well-being,” said Vasseur. “We are aware that when we look at sustainable development, we do not only consider economic development but also social development. It is important to integrate activities that make people feel positive about their lives and help work toward our sustainable development goals.”

The Sustainability Poetry Contest, which is under the patronage of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, includes categories for elementary, high school and post-secondary students, as well as the general public. Both French and English poems are welcome.

This year’s topic is derived from a 2015 United Nations outcome document that spurred the development of the 2030 Agenda, citing 17 sustainable development goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved by 2030.

“The 2018 Sustainability Poetry Contest affords an opportunity for individuals to philosophically envision ‘the future we want’ and express it creatively,” said ESRC Director Ryan Plummer. “In making connections to the sustainable development goals, the poetry helps to bridge sustainability locally to a global agenda for transformative change.”

Poems can be submitted online until 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 by visiting the UNESCO Chair’s website. Prizes such as books and gift cards, will be awarded in each of the four categories.

Winners will be announced at the UNESCO World Poetry Day celebration on Friday, March 23 at Mahtay Café in downtown St. Catharines. The event is free, but registration on the Chair’s website is required as space is limited.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Media Relations Officer, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

Brock University Marketing and Communications has a full-service studio where we can provide high definition video and broadcast-quality audio.

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