This year’s participants have been working on an array of exciting projects. A Next Up contingent joined 25,000 others for the 100% Possible March for Climate Change in November to say that renewable energy and substantial climate justice are 100% possible.
From hosting movie nights, to leading “Apartheid 101” workshops, Charana Jayatilaka, Braydon Dunn, and Nazneen Khan have been showing solidarity with Palestine through Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA). In an effort to combat the increase in hate crimes directed at Muslim communities and individuals in Canada, Samiha Rayeda has been organizing and co-facilitating anti-Islamophobia workshops for Ottawa folks. The workshops help participants understand the root of Islamophobia, how it manifests, and how to prevent it.
In early December, they held a holiday fundraiser that packed the intentional-community Faith House space. Community members came out to mingle with past and present participants, enjoy local acts, and show their support for Next Up! Before and after the party, we got some fundraising training from Next Up alumni Benjamin Diaz and Erica Butler.
Next Up’s Tiffany Rose has been working on developing the Ottawa Network of Peers Advocating Harm Reduction (ONPAHR), a peer advocacy group made up of current and former drug users who’ve come together to advocate safer harm reduction, reach out to at-risk populations, and better the quality of life of the drug-using community. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After noticing a lack of safe spaces for people of colour in our diverse national capital city, Next Upper RJ Pate is producing a documentary that explores how to create such safe spaces, with help from an Apartment613 fellowship.
We’re excited to continue building connections, supporting one another, and giving back to our community in the New Year!