Gala was raised on South Vancouver Island in the rural town of Metchosin. Accordingly, her first job was picking berries on the neighbor’s farm – an experience which taught her the value of hard work at a young age. Since those summer mornings, Gala has taught English in northeast China, cycled from Amsterdam to Istanbul to raise money for microfinance through Vancouver non-profit Global Agents, and most recently, was the 2011 coordinator of Media Democracy Days Vancouver. She credits her mother, a councilor and bold environmentalist, and her father, a former public servant in provincial government, for her commitment to social and environmental change.
Gala has a BA in Communication from SFU, currently works in programming at the Museum of Vancouver and enjoys producing radio stories for CBC. She also has a strong appreciation for the chaos of city-livin’.
Born and raised in the shadows of the Pacific Coast Mountains, Eugene Kung strives to combine his legal education with a passion for social and environmental justice. Eugene has worked as a cook, a treeplanter and a postie, and is currently a staff lawyer with the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre, where he represents people and organizations who would not otherwise have access to courts or administrative tribunals. Eugene recently completed a CIDA internship with the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa, where he worked on domestic human rights issues such as access to education, housing, water and healthcare. He currently sits on the steering committee of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative’s Climate Justice Project, and is a Director of Pivot Legal Society and PovNet Society. In his spare time, Eugene is a mediocre musician, a so-so snowboarder and a horrible hockey player.
Emma is a researcher, writer, campaigner and all-around environmental justice warrior. With a strong background in communications and social media, she has worked as a communications and social media strategist for various organizations. She is currently the Director of Research for Leadnow.ca. An avid writer, she is a regular contributor at DeSmogBlog and Rabble.ca, with pieces focusing on Canadian climate issues including Alberta’s tar sands, ‘ethical oil’, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline and hydraulic fracturing. Emma holds a masters degree in Political Science. Between taking down climate change deniers and galvanizing Canadians to participate in their democracy, Emma can be found at farmer’s markets, tweeting and keeping her hands busy with crafts, cooking and gluten-free baking.
Anna was raised in the mountains of the Kootenays and has an affinity for small towns, which has informed much of her worldview. A believer in equity, justice, and inclusivity within social & environmental movements, Anna has spent three summers as an experiential educator at the Pearson Seminar on Youth Leadership, where she challenges young people to question their role as social changemakers. She is passionate about creating educational spaces where people can be pushed into their discomfort zone in order to truly unpack their relationship with complex issues and questions. Currently, Anna is a Project Coordinator with Leadnow.ca, where she is working on weaving together the narrative of Canada’s democratic crisis in order to create the conditions for implementing progressive policies and practices. Anna has facilitated theatre workshops, hosted a radio program on local and global activism, run workshops on power and privilege, and performed as a B:C:Clette and Boomtown Garter Girl. She has a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Latin American Studies from UVic, and an M.Ed in Theoretical, Cultural, and International Studies in Education from the UofA. In her free time, she loves playing in the mountains, riding her bicycle and hanging out with the incredibly inspiring folks that make up her community.
A compassionate, optimistic Canadian, Aliya Dossa, 17, is Next Up’s youngest participant. As a co-founder of Youth4Tap, a movement encouraging people to drink tap water instead of bottled water, Aliya’s leadership has helped install water-bottle-refill stations in all Burnaby high schools. As a TEDxKidsBC speaker and one of Canada’s Top 25 Under 25 environmentalists in 2011, she has also done work to raise awareness in her school community about alleviating hunger and food-waste issues.
Aliya is an active member of the Ismaili community, through which she began volunteering at the young age of seven. She loves singing, dancing, traveling, reading, taking photos and playing field hockey and the alto saxaphone. She is passionate about environmental sustainability, human rights and social justice. She feels fortunate and blessed to be able to partake in so many incredible opportunities like Next Up, and is grateful for everyone who has helped and inspired her along the way.
Malambo Moonga relocated to Edmonton in September of 2011 from Zambia, where he acquired training and work experience in policy, program development and training around matters of human rights, HIV/AIDS, gender equality and community empowerment, amongst many others. Being particularly passionate about participatory empowerment approaches, Malambo is a strong advocate for the need to mobilize communities into becoming the primary agents for progress and change within their communities; more specifically transforming institutions and societal structures. Committed to community involvement and development, Malambo was in search of ways in which he could continue to pursue his passion in his new city and in Canada. Thus Next-up has provided Malambo with the opportunity to interact with likeminded individuals and has exposed him to socially progressive organizations and activities in the area. Malambo often sees the connections between social justice issues in Edmonton and Zambia which in turn has ignited his interest in building relationships and connections with people and groups that are concerned with policy advocacy around the welfare of minority communities and fostering progressive North-South relations. Malambo is looking forward to enhancing his interest in international public policy through graduate studies next fall.
Eva grew up enjoying in wonderment the marvels of nature. Guided by her passion for the natural environment and the desire to understand her place in it, Eva pursued a BSc. in Environmental and Conservation Sciences. She chose to major in Human Dimensions in order to better understand what it is about the human species that causes them to live unsustainably on this finite planet. After a few years adventuring on organic ranches and volunteering oversees, Eva went on to complete a MSc. in Environmental Sociology where she worked on several projects related to food, food security, urban agriculture, and urban-rural interdependencies. Today, Eva has found her dream job working on food-related issues in the context of sustainable community economic development. Eva is continuing to cultivate her passions and explore her relationship with the planet and she hopes that her future will continue to be filled with interesting and meaningful work. In her spare time, she loves to dance, be outdoors, give abdominal massage (Chi Nei Tsang), read, promote human and environmental health, and enjoy a tasty and nutritious meal with family and friends.