Alumni: Next Up BC 2009-2010

Meet the Next Up BC group from Year 3 (2009-2010)!

Charlotte Hannah // Vancouver, BC

Charlotte is heuristic and a generalist, a true believer that everything that you could be paying for, can be done yourself, with a little confidence and maybe a friend. She believes that skill shares and trades devoid of cash money fit into a larger plan for minimizing social and economic inequities. She is currently part of a consensus based collective of folk running two not for profit d.i.y. bike shops. Together they run a number of low barrier programs for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to find themselves a solid mode of transportation. She is also one of three people in Muscle Memory, a bi monthly fundraiser primarily for folks in the queer community who need financial help with medical and legal bills. Due to her arrest at an olympic protest last year, she is taking full advantage of subsidized schooling offered to her as a youth involved in the Downtown Community Court. She is currently enrolled in VCCs Addictions Counselling Program. You’re likely to find Charlotte preserving birds, shooting cans, stenciling the neighbourhood or riding her bike.

Claudia Li // Burnaby, BC

Claudia is currently working at Shark Truth to promote awareness about shark fin soup in the Chinese community. More than just animal rights and conservation, she feels that this is a gateway topic into sustainability dialogue in general for the Chinese community – and one that is urgently needed. She is looking to build a community of likeminded folks to dialogue, inspire and share. Her passed times include cycling, rock climbing and cooking for her friends and family.

Charlene Ponto// Vancouver, BC

Charlene Ponto is a facilitator, researcher, and program manager passionate about bridging the gap between environmental and social justice movements. As the Project Coordinator of the SFU Local Food Project at Simon Fraser University, she coordinates community engagement initiatives and local food distribution projects designed to reduce campus food miles while strengthening regional food networks. Charlene’s international experience includes working on sustainable waste management projects in a rural village in the Dominican Republic and partnering with a Burmese grassroots women’s organization to support nursery school education and women’s economic development projects in refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border. More locally, she has facilitated numerous public dialogues, including an interactive dialogue on climate change and food sustainability at the Canadian Conference for Dialogue and Deliberation. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of SFPIRG, SFU’s social and environmental justice resource centre, and has recently joined the Board of Check Your Head, a youth-driven organization aiming to get young people involved in global justice issues. Charlene holds a degree in Cultural Anthropology, a minor in Dialogue, and a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development.

Emily-Anne Paul // East Vancouver, BC

Emily-Anne Paul grew up on a hobby farm on Gabriola Island and currently lives in the heart of East Vancouver.   EA has a Masters in Political Science and has spent time living and working in China, working in research for the NDP caucus and as a legislative intern in Victoria, and is currently a project assistant at the Urban Health Research Initiative at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. Presently, she is working on the Stop the Violence BC campaign to legalize, tax and regulate cannabis as a tool for reducing violence stemming from the illegal marijuana trade in BC. In her free time EA can be found gardening, fixing her bike, and baking delicious gluten free goodies.

James McNish // Vancouver, BC

Born and raised in the small and beautiful Prince Rupert (of which he advocates for all to come and see). Adventure and school pulled James from his home towards Vancouver where he has put his energy towards learning and engaging with the global ecological and social crisis. James is currently studying political science and sustainable community development at Simon Fraser University. He is the co-founder and outgoing President of the non-profit Sustainable SFU which creates, supports and funds sustainability initiates at his university. A strong supporter of electoral reform, James campaigned for the BC-STV Yes side and still dies a little inside when he is reminded about this failed attempt to modernize BC political system. James’ passions range from politics, to boardgames and is curious to reactivate his long lost love of theatre.

Meriko Kubota // Vancouver, BC

Meriko is Manager of Partnerships and Special Projects in the Grants & Community Initiatives department at Vancouver Foundation. She has been there since March, 2008 and her portfolio includes the Vital Signs report, the Neighbourhood Small Grants Program, theDowntown Eastside Small Arts Grants Project and Arts and Culture granting. Before coming to Vancouver Foundation, Meriko has worked abroad as a Special Needs Program Coordinator and Art and Music Instructor in a Nahuatl village in Mexico, as well as the International Internship Coordinator for CIDA at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. Meriko is passionate about community development and is currently working on a project to make music lessons accessible for kids: Give Music.

Randy Galawan // Vancouver, BC

Randy Galawan grew up on a farm in Richmond BC, where he developed a strong connection to the land and an affinity for the strong community feeling that exists there. He is a passionate educator, both with Check Your Head – who he is also on the board of, and as a freelance community engagement educator in the Marshal Ganz method of engagement. Randy’s passions include hiking and backpacking in Canada’s beautiful forests. He currently brings his experience in education, policy research and event planning to his work as a market campaigner, engaging book publishers to green their paper supply to preserve the forests he enjoys hiking in so much.

Shelby Tay // Vancouver, BC

Shelby has collaborated with diverse organizations throughout Vancouver to launch programs and events that engage people on environmental and social justice issues. In 2005, she joined Post Carbon Institute and coordinated the Relocalization Network, an international network of citizen-driven initiatives working to address peak oil and climate change through building community resilience. She is currently a member of Village Vancouver and the Vancouver Food Policy Council, and coordinates projects for the US national hub of the Transition Towns Network. Shelby is a (stubborn) generalist, always looking to learn new skills and understand problems from a systems perspective. She is inspired by the use of storytelling, social media and social enterprise models that enable communities of all stripes to learn and experiment — and is probably happiest sharing meals with friends amidst clicking knitting needles.

Suzie Dunn // Vancouver, BC

Suzie Dunn is originally from Whitehorse, Yukon. She is a feminist activist who is presently the coordinator at the Nanaimo Women’s Resources Centre on Vancouver Island. She actively works to empower marginalized women including sex trade workers, low income and homeless women. She also works as a community based victim service worker at Haven Society where she works with victims of sexual and relational violence. As an active member in the feminist community, Suzie has worked with a variety of community members to create the Nanaimo Women’s Coalition for Advocacy. The goals of this coalition are to bring women’s issues to the forefront of politics and life.

In the future, Suzie intends on returning to the Yukon to work with youth by engaging them in paddling sports and the arts.

Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze // Vancouver, BC

Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze is a scientist and educator passionate about connecting mind and heart to help communities embrace times of rapid transformation.  Starting his career as a field glaciologist in the Yukon Territory and the Norwegian Arctic, he lived by and studied glaciers characterised by their complex and often abrupt response to gradual environmental change. As a researcher at the University of British Columbia, he joined forces with the Western Canadian Cryospheric Network to predict the future of thousands of glaciers in Western Canada, and their impact on water resources.  In the last couple years, Tom-Pierre focused on the interaction between natural and human systems, bridging his background in natural science and his experience as a teacher and community organiser to spark transformational conversations about collective change.  He currently works in community engagement, organisational learning, and democratic education.  Tom-Pierre holds a BSc in Physics from Laval University, a Masters in Geophysics from the University of British Columbia, and is a LEED Certified Professional.

Vivian Xudan Pan // Vancouver, BC

As a recent graduate from UBC in Sociology and Economics, Vivian is interested in alleviating social inequalities through fostering inclusive communities, cultural integration and youth engagement. She currently works as a Constituency Assistant to NDP MP Don Davies for Vancouver Kingsway, while on the Executive of COPE, Vancouver’s progressive municipal party. Vivian is a co-founder of Fresh Media, a non-profit that celebrates independent media innovation, hosting a monthly series titled ‘Remixology’. She is an author of ‘Growing Community Roots’ a blog series featured on which showcases food security programs and community gardens in Vancouver. In the past, Vivian has volunteered for NOW! Organization, Pivot Legal Society, Canadian Mental Health Association and Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. Vivian firmly believes that transition towards a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable community starts with a sense of belonging. When we feel connected to one another and the natural environment, the more empowered we are to make a difference in our community by taking care of what we belong to.

More bios coming soon!