Next Up Edmonton 2012-2013
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Meet the Next Up Edmonton group from Year 4 (2012-2013)!
The crew: Aliza Dadani, Dallas Dyson. Sarah Feldman, Christopher Fulmer, Evan Hammer, David Herbert, Noelle Jaipaul, Cala Jorgensen, Anna McRobbie, Rawane Nassif, Carmen Severight, Eric VanSpronsen, Kristin Ward Diaz
Aliza Dadani is a participant of Next Up 4, and super stoked to be part of such an awesome crew! Her background is in Political Science and Women’s Studies, and has a particular interest in non-profit social services that seek to support women. Currently, she works for the Center for Race and Culture and does research for a women’s emergency shelter. She is the youngest member of a political Alberta Women’s Caucus, and sits on the Social Welfare Board for the Edmonton Ismaili Community. She is a big advocate for ‘personalizing the political,’ where taking the time to facilitate heart-to-heart conversation can be one of the most powerful tools of change.
Originally from the east coast of the U.S., Sarah came to Edmonton via Montreal where she studied environment and development, and then completed a Masters in Urban Planning. In her current role as the Sustainability Coordinator for Strathcona County Infrastructure and Planning Services, Sarah works on a variety of initiatives to bring a balanced perspective to decisions on how the community grows and develops. Sarah is passionate about finding ways to mitigate climate change and create more resilient, adaptive communities through the built environment. Some of her previous experience includes working for the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal as a planning and transportation policy analyst, facilitating a summer science and ecology camp for youth in the Cree Nation of Wemindji and coordinating a national sustainable campuses conference for the Sierra Youth Coalition. She has also previously been involved in a various forms of cycling advocacy and sustainable campus initiatives. Sarah currently volunteers on the board of Temple Beth Ora, Edmonton’s reform Jewish congregation and is interested in the role reform Judaism can play in social justice work. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cycling, running with her dog in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley and playing nerdy board games with friends.
Chris is extremely excited to be a part of Next Up Edmonton. His work in the activist community has been mostly focused within the realm of party politics through various capacities. Chris has been the President of the U of A Campus NDP, where we tried to encourage political participation among the student body. One of the highlights was the establishment of a vote mobile which provided free rides to and from the polling stations for any students interested. Chris is also actively involved with the NDYA, serving on the executive and helping to organize with the youth wing. Chris was also the NDP candidate for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville during the 2012 Alberta provincial election. Chris is as well very passionate about urban issues, including the reduction of urban sprawl and the creation of sustainable cities. Chris is currently finishing a BA in Political Science at the U of A. In his spare time Chris enjoys listening to and finding new music, reading, and other things.
Evan is a social justice, environmental stewardship, and community engagement advocate. Evan’s curriculum vita is as diverse as his passions. He’s worked with the City of Edmonton promoting sustainability and naturalization, worked alongside vulnerable populations in the inner city, tackled homelessness head-on as a Housing First practitioner and advocate, and promoted car sharing and urban sustainability.
When he’s not trying to change the world, Evan likes to travel it (preferably by train!). He has been known to snorkel coral reefs alongside nurse sharks and sting rays, scale ancient ruins, swim into the inky blackness of Mayan sacrifice caves, or just relax on the shores of the Caribbean.
Evan recently quit his job to explore the world (that is, North America) in search of himself and his passions. Evan stayed at a Christian environmental education group in rural Manitoba, volunteered with a social justice advocacy group in Ottawa, explored Montreal via Bixi bikes, couchsurfed with awesome strangers in Chicago, and connected with community organizers in Baltimore. One amazing experience later, and Evan returned home ready for the next (up!) challenge.
Inspired by his journey, Evan is dedicated to making his home city of Edmonton a more walkable, livable, just community. Evan is working on ideas for car-sharing and bike-sharing, and hopes to focus on mixed use, urban density and transit oriented development in the near future.
Evan can also be found at his at his local gym weightlifting, swimming or practicing karate, exploring Alberta’s natural beauty, or taking in Shakespeare in the Park with good friends.
David just recently graduated last May from the University of Alberta. He currently holds a BA in Political Science and History. After graduating from university, David noticed that he unfortunately lacked the leadership skills that he desired and would need to have in order to make his imprint on the world. After reflecting for some time, David discovered that he had spent enough time analyzing and thinking, and it was time for him to act. Luckily, David became aware of Next-Up through the Parkland Institute and promptly applied. More luck came to David and now he is a Next-Up participant! By becoming a part of Next-Up, David hopes to gain certain experiences and to meet and connect with like-minded individuals who would also like to make a positive imprint on the world. Personally, David recently became interested in feminist critical theory and queer theory. As a consequence of these interests, David holds many social issues close to his heart (for example, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and rights for all disenfranchised groups in Canada). In addition, there is also the issue of the environment that is very close to his heart as well. With a bit of luck one day, David hopes to blend his work life with his activist life.
Noelle’s interest in social justice led her to the University of Alberta for a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Middle Eastern and African Studies. Throughout this schooling, she traveled abroad, living and working in Kenya and Tanzania in different health care settings. These experiences helped solidify to her the importance of finding local and sustainable solutions to community struggles, while being attentive to both the needs and strengths of individual communities. Back in Edmonton, Noelle returned back to school to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Keenly interested in HIV/AIDS and health promotion, Noelle is now working in public health to improve accessibility of health care services to vulnerable populations in the Edmonton area. Passionate about human rights in all of its facets, Noelle is completing an internship with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, and gaining key insights into the inner workings of non-profits. Noelle is very excited to be a part of Next Up Edmonton 4, and looks forward to building a network of activists to work with, learn from, and share adventures with.
Born and raised in the heart of Edmonton, I have been exposed to many of it’s issues at a young age. I have actively been involved with volunteering in the community for various events and fundraisers throughout my schooling career. After graduating I took time off to travel, and since then I have dabbled in various post secondary subjects such as Nursing, Nutrition and Environmental Studies though many of these issues led to my internal frustration with the way our current society conducts itself. Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Change for Children through a volunteer organization called Project HOPE, where we fundraised money to help promote equal access to education in the indigenous areas of Nicaragua. It was through this initiative that me and me teammates were awarded Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2012. These life events that have inspired me to per sue a career that will benefit society and really make a change. Recently I have had a opportunity to work with David Eggen on his 2012 campaign for NPD as well as continuing to work with Change for Children. Currently I have participated in hosting CFC’s Video Conference for Hope, an educational and cultural experience held throughout Canada, the United States and Nicaragua, as well as co-coordinating their Youth Council on Food Justice where I act as an advocate of my passions, sustainable living and food security, for adolescents. Other interests of mine include international/rural development, health, communal living, music festivals and world travel. I look forward to learning the tools to per sue my interests even further through the Next Up Program.
Anna McRobbie is a RN, community organizer, festival junkie, event promotor and dancer. Radicalized by working with Common Ground Relief in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, Anna believes in democracy, social justice, celebration and community. She is a founding member of ARK event productions, Mosaic Minds Unconferences and the creator of the youth voter initiative Voting Time is Sexy Time. Group process, organizational structure, environmentalism and health fascinate Anna. She combines these skills with a passion for empowerment and equity. We are the ones we have been waiting for, let’s create a better world!
Carmen, a mother of two children, Quest and Pride, divides her time between, home life, school and volunteer work. Currently, she is involved with Standing Up For Peruvian Children Society, Next Up (Edmonton) and is working toward her degree in Social Work. If there are to be changes in the world that are positive, it begins with looking at ones self and our own behavior, from there it makes life much easier to come together and work collectively to make huge changes in this world…. On a side note, material items are just that material, …come on are we going to be able to take them to the other side???
Eric grew up in Flamborough, Ontario, which is (was?) a sleepy rural area of cows and corn just outside of the Southwestern Ontario urban development complex. After completing his Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Waterloo, he travelled to Edmonton to complete his Master of Public Health degree. In Edmonton he met an amazing lady, they decided to get married, and now he calls Edmonton home. Eric is passionate about implementing community engagement strategies that allow communities themselves to define how systems internal and external to their community may provide facilitators or barriers to their current health situation. Throughout his education and early career Eric has been engaging communities in the process of defining, implementing and evaluating projects and interventions. Examples of initiative topics include: exposure of northern Aboriginal/Inuit communities to environmental contaminants; exposure of Albertan communities to physical/built environments that are related to physical activity and healthy eating behaviours; and a currently-developing process that will engage an Edmonton Community League in a process of dialogue that identifies community physical/human resources for advocating for a shift to eco-mobility transportation options. Aside from community engagement and social justice, Eric’s professional and personal interests include: sustainability; active living generally and active transportation specifically; citizenship; backyard and indoor gardening; urban farming; and food security.
Kristin Ward Diaz
Kristin moved to Edmonton in June 2012 after accepting a position with Alberta Culture. She also convocated in June with a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Saskatchewan. Her academic interests include social, comparative and regulatory policy, along with broad topic areas such as international development and federalism. Kristin has been involved in a variety of social justice initiatives having worked at the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan in a variety of roles, Crocus Cooperative (a drop in centre for people with mental health disabilities) as an Employment Facilitator, and as a volunteer with the World University Service of Canada assisting refugees through the settlement process in Canada. She was also a volunteer participant with Katimavik and Youth Challenge International.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Kristin grew up on a small mixed farm and actively participated in sports and small town community events. Kristin’s favorite things include visits to Guatemala, mountain biking at Jasper, yoga, cooking, going back to the farm that she grew up on and curling in the winter. She speaks Spanish, enjoys reading, following politics and has a particular fondness for vintage and antique items.