Communities for Climate, Gender, Racial, and Income Equity: Seizing our Interrelated Opportunities


  • Danya Pastuszek Tamarack Institute
  • Natasha Beedie Senior Policy Advisor, Assembly of First Nations; Tamarack Institute Board Member
  • Laura Schnurr Tamarack Institute


climate equity, poverty, inclusion, gender, racial justice, reconciliation, community engagement, indigenous leadership, climate change, climate action, resilience, multisolving, Tamarack, tamarack institute


The devastating effects of climate change are being felt most profoundly by those who least contributed to the problem and who are already impacted by poverty, colonization, and racism. There’s a lot of talk about addressing poverty in a way that has positive environmental impacts. This article offers examples of how communities are taking holistic approaches to tackle interrelated challenges and supports, with the leadership of Indigenous Peoples and those committed to mitigating climate change's economic and human impacts.

This article supports communities - and the philanthropic, government, and other systems that support them - in taking a holistic approach to tackling these interrelated challenges.

Author Biographies

Danya Pastuszek, Tamarack Institute

Danya Patuszek (she/her) is Co-CEO at The Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement, which supports more than 400 communities across Canada to end poverty in ways that honor people, place and planet. She has lived and worked in both the US and Canada. Her early career was spent in New York City, working with resettling refugees and then with with people impacted by the US’s systems of criminal justice. In 2012, she moved to Salt Lake City and began a decade-long career at United Way of Salt Lake, supporting cross-sector partnerships designed to support economic mobility. In February 2022, she was appointed as Co-CEO at the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement. She supports communities across Canada in their work to end poverty, activate just climate transitions, and foster communities where everyone experiences belonging. She studied English, Psychology and Business and is a Utah Business Magazine CxO of the Year (2021), a participant in the inaugural cohort of Women in Power (2022), and a recipient of the Schwab Foundation’s inaugural Collective Social Innovation Award (2023). She’d love to connect with you at

Natasha Beedie, Senior Policy Advisor, Assembly of First Nations; Tamarack Institute Board Member

Natasha Beedie (she/her) is of mixed settler, Pottawatomi, and Ojibwe descent and a member from Beausoleil First Nation on Gchi’mnissing (Christian Island). Natasha has worked in research, policy analysis and advocacy for several Indigenous organizations including the Assembly of First Nations, National Indian Brotherhood, and the National Association of Friendship Centres. She has also worked with BGC Canada (formerly the Boys and Girls Club), as an Indigenous Engagement and Policy Advisor, focusing on increasing relationships between Clubs and Indigenous Peoples, including the development of their first ever Indigenous Advisory Circle. She is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at the Assembly of First Nations. Natasha has an interest in budget advocacy, helping to craft funding priorities for BGC Canada, the Assembly of First Nations and through collaboration on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Alternative Federal Budget. Her work interests including supporting the rebuilding of Indigenous economies and governance practices, reconciliation in arts and culture and poverty reduction. She is co-author of Towards Justice: Tackling Indigenous Child Poverty in Canada, a paper published with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, the Upstream Institute, and the Assembly of First Nations.

Laura Schnurr, Tamarack Institute

Laura Schnurr (she/her) leads Tamarack's Community Climate Transitions network. She is passionate about supporting cities and communities in their journeys towards ensuring a just, equitable and sustainable future for the next 7 generations and beyond. Through events, publications, communities of practice and other learning opportunities, Laura is helping advance the Sustainable Development Goals in Canada with a specific focus on the goals related to equity and climate change. 


Prior to joining the Tamarack team, Laura was Advisor to the President & CEO at the McConnell Foundation where she contributed to building the fields of social innovation and social finance in Canada. She was previously with several federal government departments, including Employment and Social Development Canada's Social Innovation Division where she supported reconciliation efforts. She studied business, social science and global studies, co-authored a book on UN reform and runs a social enterprise promoting women's economic empowerment in Uganda. 




How to Cite

Pastuszek, D., Beedie, N., & Schnurr, L. (2023). Communities for Climate, Gender, Racial, and Income Equity: Seizing our Interrelated Opportunities . Social Innovations Journal, 17. Retrieved from



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