Alecia Golding At the age of 15, Alecia started doing community activism with a group called ‘youth for global change’. With this group Alecia started organizing events and doing public speaking. In the summer of 2014, Alecia went to the People’s Social Forum and met the members of No One Is Illegal Toronto, learning about the detention centre in her neighbourhood, she has now spent the last 2 years dedicating her work towards ending immigration detention centres. Alecia continues to work with EIDN and has created a ‘Youth Action’ group to inspire young activist to get involved in their community.
Ali Abdi considers himself as a respectful, kind and loving person. He began organizing while detained as an immigration detainee at the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay ON and has stayed connected with this issue after his release. He wants to see families back together who are seperated by unjust immigration policies and will continue to work to end immigration detention.
Anan Xola Lololi is a Food Justice advocate, musician and a vegan. Anan is one of the founders of the Afri-Can FoodBasket (AFB) a non-profit Food Justice & Community Food Security organization that began in 1995 in Toronto. He has been the executive director (at present interim ED) of AFB for the last 20 years promoting CFS and Food Justice in Toronto, North America and the Caribbean. Anan has a master’s degree in environmental studies from York University with a focus on CFS and a diploma in Business Administration from Centennial College. His passion is working in low-income communities to help create food secure communities.
Dr. Alex Wilson is Swampy Cree from the Opaskwayak Cree Nation. She is an Associate Professor and the Academic Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre at the University of Saskatchewan. Her scholarship has greatly contributed to building and sharing knowledge about two-spirit identity, history, and teachings; Indigenous research methodologies; anti-oppressive education; and the prevention of violence in the lives of indigenous peoples. As a community activist and Idle No More organizer, her work also focuses on interventions that prevent the destruction of land, water and bodies.
Badee Dwaik is based in Al-Khalil (Hebron), Palestine, and is the co-founder of Human Rights Defenders, which documents IDF raids and human rights violations, and have been on the front line of media justice. Badee has worked with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), the Christian Peacemaker Team, and has been the one of the main contacts in Al-Khalil of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme In Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) since 2007
Camille Roberts is a former school teacher from Jamaica and ended up immigrating to Canada and working in farming. She works with migrant farm worker communities in the Simcoe Delhi region of Ontario and has brought her lived experience and her drive to support others. Her work focuses on a variety of issues including social inclusion and access to mental health and well being support for migrant farm workers in the region. she also works hard to challenge Ontario residents to recognize the contribution and humanity of migrant workers.
Chinwe Nwebube is a second year Nigerian-Canadian student majoring in Human Kinetics at the University of Guelph. She currently acts as the Communications and Promotions Officer on the CJ Munford Centre Collective, a center for racialized students on the University of Guelph campus. After witnessing the outburst of racism that took place after an on campus rally in the fall, she was motivated to further investigate institutionalized racism. This resulted in her writing this essay about anti-black racism within the education system and its contribution to the over representation of black people in the prison system.
Daniella Moss is a white settler who has been supporting the Grassy Narrows Women’s Drum Group for the last 9 years. She works as a community health nurse in Toronto.
Dave McLauchlin ‘In the community I’m know as punk Dave, I’ve struggled with homelessness, addictions, poverty and mental health for most of life life or at least as far back as I can remember. I have always spoken out against these things as well as other things for many years as well and have become well now in my community for speaking out. So I like to think of myself these days as a community speaker living as clean and sober a life as I can these days while letting my voice be heard.’
Elwood Jimmy is originally from the Thunderchild First Nation in northwestern Saskatchewan, Canada. Since 2004, he has played a leadership role in several art projects and organizations across the country. After moving to Ontario in 2012, he worked for a number of film festivals in the city of Toronto, including the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, the aluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival, the 8 Fest, the imagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, the Regent Park Film Festival, and the Images Festival. From 2014-15, he was the Administrative Director with Red Pepper Spectacle Arts, a community arts organization that works collaboratively on projects with Toronto’s Indigenous community. As well, he is a member of Bold as Love and Ombassin, multidisciplinary collectives that present works by Indigenous artists and artists of Colour throughout the Greater Toronto Area. He has curated and presented projects for Planet IndigenUS, the Power Plant, the Art Gallery of Ontario, A Space Gallery, Gallery 101, the Dunlop Art Gallery, and Paved Arts, among many others. He continues to work on a multidisciplinary art practice spanning moving image, photography, text, and community collaboration, and is currently the Program Coordinator for Musagetes, a Guelph-based foundation that works in Canada, Italy and Croatia.
Emmanuel Rutayisire is a libra who is a Rwandan, queer, educator and other things that interest him like baking, raising chickens, hanging out with babies, cooking, etc. .. “I’ll tell you what freedom means to me. No fear!” – Nina Simone. Everyday in my life I strive at making that powerful quote by Nina relatable to my life and the lives of those whose light is too bright and beautiful for the world to handle.
Gzhibaeassigaekwe (Jen) Meunier is learning the art of standing in between and all-is-not-as-it-seems: Algonquin, two spirited, mixed blood and proudly and beautifully autistic and disabled. This body has lived through a hell of a lot and been labelled here, there and everywhere. Now, she will learn to be herself, write herself, and give herself. She is proud to be part of the first-ever Autism and Race Anthology, writing by autistic people of color and indigenous autistics, being published by the Autism Women’s Network this year.
Jamie Holding Eagle is an enrolled member of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation in ND. She is completing a Master’s of Public Health, specializing in Native health. She works with ancestral foods and seeds as a means of improving health, and has taught seed keeping classes in tribal communities in the Upper Plains. She is the mother of two.
jes sachse is a Toronto-based writer, artist & curator obsessed with disability culture. Living across the blurred lines of whiteness, poverty, lifelong disability, genderfluidity and madness, they are currently working on their first illustrated novel, Gutter, which will portray these dilemmas through a multi-modal narrative form, reflecting at once on both a crip navigation of contemporary culture, and the permeation of traumas and spaces of invisible wars; the colonial legacy of incarceration imposed by the intersecting prison and medical industrial complexes.
Jocelyn Kelly is a community activist and part-time employee of the Wellington Water Watchers. Jocelyn has been interested in water and community since her childhood days of exploring the beautiful Saint John River and growing up in the Maritimes in an anglophone and Acadian community. Having moved to Guelph following an M.Sc. at the U of Saskatchewan, she worked 5 years as an aquatic biologist doing environmental consulting for the mining industry across Canada. She eventually switched to supporting the efforts of local nonprofits as a volunteer or staff member – a career move that reflects her desire to connect with others through community and love for nature. Currently, she is pleased and grateful to be working part-time with Wellington Water Watchers as project manager and knowledge mobilization and outreach coordinator.
Judith Da Silva is a a member of the Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishnabek (Grassy Narrows) community and mother of five. She is a grassroots mercury justice activist.
Kahsenniyo Williams is part of the Mohawk Nation, wolf clan from Six Nations territory. Her personal story is one of great struggle and triumph. She was a teenage mother of two at the age of 16, lived in community project housing, was on social assistance and trapped in an abusive relationship. She has lived and experienced almost every statistic and stereotype about First Nation People. Through the magic of poetry and hard work she has been working tirelessly to brake these cycles for herself and her community. As an artist these personal experiences have molded her. She began utilizing her poetry as a tool for social change and community engagement in 2008. Her work is focused around the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island (North America). It aims to educate non-indigenous people as well as create moments of healing and understanding for Indigenous People.
Kiley May is a Mohawk and Cayuga storyteller and artist from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory (aka “the rez”). Kiley is a two-spirit person, who can also be called trans, queer and genderqueer. Her pronouns are they/their/them and also she/her. They do creative work in film, photography, writing, fashion, dance and performance art. And transitioning, which is an art form; her greatest art work to date.
Iako’tsi:rareh Amanda Lickers is a queer & 2Spirit spoken word poet, filmmaker and curator for Reclaim Turtle Island (@defendourlands). She belongs to the Turtle Clan of the Onondowaga nation, part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Focusing on combating ecocide, hating the police, and harvesting medicines, Amanda hopes to work towards dismantling all systems of oppression, slashing at their social, cultural and material infrastructures. Amanda is a curator at Reclaim Turtle Island (@defendourlands). She spends her time fanning the flames of the Indigenous insurrection, supporting grassroots land defense and sovereignty struggles. Currently based in Tiotiah:ke (“Montreal”), occupied Kanien’keha:ka (“Mohawk”) territory, she organizes against land exploitation projects that threaten the health of her territories, like Line 9 and Energy East. Amanda recently released her first short film, co-produced with Submedia.tv titled Kahsatstenhsera, on Indigenous resistance to tar sands pipelines in NE Turtle Island. #stopthebeast. Amanda recently went on a delegation to Occupied Palestine.
Lalo nideaquinidealla has been working with migrant farm worker communities for the last twelve years. He has worked with communities across Ontario on a variety of issues and concerns identified by these communities. For the last 6 years he has focused on supporting farm workers on issues related to health and safety at work.
Leroi Newbold is an artist, community organizer and an educator at Canada’s first public Africentric school.
Lenore Keeshig (of the Wolf Clan) is a traditional storyteller, poet and an award-wining author from the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation on the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula. Currently, she works as a naturalist, leads guided-hikes and provides education programs about the natural and cultural history of the Saugeen/Bruce Peninsula and the Great Lakes.
Lindsay Gray is an Aniishinaabe, Potawatomi, and Delware from the Aamjiwnaang territory. A two-spirited land defender against Chemical Valley. Working grassroots with Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against pipelines.
Lynx Sainte-Marie is a disabled/chronically ill, non-binary/genderfluid, Afro+Goth Poet of the Jamaican diaspora with ancestral roots indigenous to Africa and the British Isles, living on stolen Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat land (Greater Toronto Area). A writer, multimedium artist, activist, educator, creator and community builder, Lynx’s work and art is informed by Black feminism(s), collective community love and social, disability and healing justice movements. As a person with various intersections and experiences, Lynx identifies with the struggles and politics of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), queer and trans people, femmes, bois, gender nonconforming communities, crips, spoonies and survivors of abuse and intergenerational trauma. http://lynxsaintemarie.wordpress.com
Maria Shallard is Penelakut First Nation and European ancestry and grew up on Lil’wat territory in Pemberton, British Columbia. Currently, she is the Coordinator, Aboriginal Programs, Office of Intercultural Affairs in the Student Life Department at the University of Guelph and resides on the traditional land of the Attawanderon people. Maria holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria with a double major in Environmental Studies and Canadian history with a minor in Indigenous Studies. Recently, she has finished a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Guelph where she completed a thesis that focused on ocean governance, human well-being and Indigenous sovereignty. In past experience she has worked in First Nations communities with youth driven by a passion to provide opportunities to navigate between divergent worldviews through experiential and out of class room opportunities. While at Guelph she supports Indigenous advocacy and awareness through various community events. Her main focus is to ensure that there are a range of programs offered for Aboriginal students to learn, grow and experience on their academic journey. Maria believes in “nuts’a’maat shqwaluwun” (working together as one) (with one heart/mind)
Megan Bertasson is a 2spirit Ininiw iskwew from Norway House Cree Nation. She is a family- and community-oriented scholar active in both Toronto and Norway House. She is a second year doctoral student at the University of Toronto. She returns home often for extended visits with her family, community, and the land. Megan is a Youth Leader for the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, a Community Council member for Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, and Student Co-Chair for the Indigenous Education Network at the University of Toronto.
Mia Val is dene two spirit, from up north. they are a third year adult development student and co-chair for the aboriginal student association on campus.
Mina Ramos is a migrant justice organizer based out of Guelph, ON. She began working alongside seasonal agricultural workers in Leamington in 2012 after working on an internship with the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) and joined the migrant justice group Fuerza Puwersa soon after. Since then, Mina has also been greatly involved with the End Immigration Detention Network, an organization that works alongside immigration detainees across Ontario to end immigration detention. Mina is also involved in community radio and enjoys combining her migrant justice organizing with creating independent media. She believes that the world would be much better off without prisons and borders and tries her best to play a role in making that a reality.
Naomi Sayers is an indigenous feminist, sex work activist and writes at kwetoday.com. She is in her second year of the English common law program at the University of Ottawa, and she graduated from Western University with an honours specialization in criminology and a minor in women’s studies. Naomi is the founder of South Western Ontario Sex Workers and she is a part of the Native Youth Sexual Network. Naomi enjoys community organizing and community building. She is also a strong believer in working collaboratively within and across communities, especially with other criminalized/over-policed communities, to help build support networks and to help build capacity. Naomi writes at www.kwetoday.com and has written for Ottawa Citizen, The Globe and Mail, and Now! Magazine.
Nicole Brooks is a Toronto-based filmmaker, director, performer, singer, playwright, composer, curator, teacher and ‘art-ivist’. She has developed the concept of “harmonized storytelling”; blending media and performing arts, Brooks has spent over 15 years envisioning narratives that illuminate the peoples of the African Diaspora. Through her company Asah Productions Inc., founded in 2005, Brooks has generated an impressive body of work for both stage and screen. To learn and follow Brooks’ latest work, please visit www.obeahopera.com; Twitter: @obeahopera; YouTube: obeahopera.
Pascale Diverlus is a Haitian-born 4th year Journalism Student. She is the previous Vice-President Equity of the Ryerson Students’ Union where she worked on introducing Ryerson’s first Women’s Only Gym Time hours and worked aggressively for the university to implement an inclusive and progressive sexual assault policy. Pascale is the current Vice-President of the United Black Students at Ryerson; a student group committed to challenging anti-black racism on campus. She is also one of the co-founders of Black Lives Matter-Toronto. Pascale is an organizer, writer and semi-professional twerker. She is a revolutionist and a firm believer that We Will Win
Rebecca Pacheco is an undergraduate student in Social Development Studies at Renison
Robert Case is an assistant professor in Social Development Studies at Renison University College, Waterloo, and a member of the Wellington Water Watchers.
Ruby Smith Díaz was born to Chilean and Jamaican parents in Amiskwaciwaskahikan-Edmonton, and graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in Education with distinction.Since graduating, she has found her passion working as a youth facilitator by using art and popular education as tools for activism, transformation, and community building.Outside of her facilitation work, Ruby has been part in collectives such as No One is Illegal, Nourish the Nation, and Brown, Black & Fierce. She is continuously inspired by the resilience of her community, and dedicates her artistic practice to afro-cuban dance.
Sâkihitowin Awâsis is an Otipemisiw / Anishinaabe Two-Spirit land defender and spoken word artist continually inspired by acts of decolonization, resurgence, and community healing. As a writer she has contributed to Briarpatch Magazine, ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ kimiwan ‘zine, and the book A Line In The Tar Sands. Her work at Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services draws connections between the health and well-being of Indigenous families and the Earth.
Sakura Saunders is an Environmental Justice and media activist, who works with communities directly impacted by Canada’s extractive industry. She is the editor of protestbarrick.net, and active with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network and the fight against Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline.
Savannah Clarke is a fourth year environmental governance student interested in conversations around food justice, food security and systems of oppression. Specifically, when discussing the intersectionalities of race, gender and class. Savannah hopes to pursue a career path that includes these topics and more broadly environmental racism in local communities. In the meantime, she continues to organize on campus on various social issues and work to learn various perspectives on crucial topics.
Shawn Johnston is a two-spirit Anishinaabe originally from Couchiching First Nation located on Treaty #3 territory. He is currently the Events Coordinator/Liaison for the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre at the University of Waterloo. In his free time, Shawn is public speaker sharing his personal story of growing up with racism, homophobia, and an addiction to drugs and alcohol. As an organizer for Idle No More, Shawn has worked with numerous groups over the years helping to address the issues impacting the people of Turtle Island.
Stephanie Latty is a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE. She holds a Masters degree in social work from Ryerson University and a Bachelors degree in social work from Laurentian University. Stephanie’s research interests are interdisciplinary in scope but are grounded in critical race theory, anti-racism, black feminisms, Indigenous feminisms and anti-colonial thought. Most recently, Stephanie’s work has focused on visual economies of anti-black racism.
Stephen Svenson. PhD, is a reformed redneck, academic and community organizer in Kitchener-Waterloo active on issues of climate change, urban agriculture, food sovereignty, and indigenous rights. He has worked variously as a farmer, builder, jackaroo, outdoor instructor, and park ranger. Currently, he teaches environmental sociology at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Terrylynn “Sera:sera” Brant, B.A.,B.Ed.,MSc., is Mohawk, Turtle Clan living on Six Nations. She is a life-long Haudenosaunee gardener, beekeeper and traditional Seedkeeper. She follows the Mohawk Longhouse and is a happy grandmother (Totah).
Tina Brophey is a longtime volunteer, social advocate and activist for poverty awareness. She has been negotiating poverty for many years, is an ODSP recipient and has been clean from her addiction to crack for 8 years. Tina recently completed a Community Development contract at Onward Willow, and she has been a member of the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination since 2010. She currently sits on the community board of Onward Willow, and is an active member of multiple Poverty Task Force working groups. She also supports her community by preparing taxes for low income clients at the Drop In and co-facilitates Advance Your Voice 2. Tina is also a proud recipient of the 2013 Mayor’s Award for her Poverty Awareness work. Tina hopes that one day people in poverty can live happy and sustainable lives. She hopes that her personal strength through tough times acts as a reminder of her true nature and potential, especially when it comes to helping those in need.
Truth Is… ,Over the years through poetry and effective communication Truth Is … has dedicated much of their time and all of themself to the betterment of community. Truth Is … is current co-artistic director of Not-For-Profit Arts Organization Guelph Spoken Word, a poet, a writer, a motivational speaker & an arts educator. In addition to Slam and a long list of feature performances across Canada and the U.S., they have headlined in several conferences focused on social equity, gender equality, youth motivation and labour. They have also been credited as an opening act for Canadian Hip-Hop idol K-OS & legendary activist Angela Davis.