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.
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.
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.
Austin Lui grew up in Oakville, Ontario and is an accomplished musician. He has been playing piano since he was five and violin since he was seven. His early passion for music led him to pursue a music degree at Western University in piano performance.
Austin has always been interested in big ideas and world issues. He first started combining his musical exploits and his passion for social justice by volunteering at Arts For All Kids, a music and arts school for underprivileged youth in London, and the Leading Note Foundation in Ottawa. Inspired by his volunteering and the transformative nature of music, Austin decided to once again focus his energy on school. He graduated from Carleton University with a degree in Music and Culture, a non-traditional interdisciplinary approach to musicology.
After attending Carleton, Austin participated in the Otesha bike tour entitled, “The Phenomenal Food Tour,” which focused on outreach through interactive workshops and theatre plays. Otesha incorporated all of Austin’s passions into one program – education, biking, community living, arts, and food. Austin now works for Otesha in Ottawa and plans to continue developing his skills as a community leader and educator, working to use his passions to help make the world a better place.
David Schecter is a lover of many Canadian cities. He is a proud Torontonian by birth, and he fell in love with the community and city of Montreal when he went there to study at McGill University.
He stayed in Montreal to continue his research and work with communities impacted by the Canadian extraction industry. He is currently finding some love for the city of Ottawa, where he recently moved in order to begin working as a legislative assistant for Jack Harris, the NDP Member of Parliament for St John’s East. Although, he loves many cities, David truly feels at home in the Canadian wilderness, preferably canoeing along the rivers of Northern Ontario and Quebec. One day, he hopes to be found building a community on a small piece of land somewhere.
Emily Beveridge is grateful to be part of the Next Up Ottawa 2013 cohort. From a very young age, she has been passionate about the environment and the human relationship to land. This passion has developed over time, and continues to guide her through her life. In May 2011, she graduated from Acadia University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, and after a year spent working with environmental NGOs operating both in Canada and abroad, she began studies in the fall of 2012 at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law. She is committed to living according to her values and using her privilege to make the world a better place. As a Next Up participant, she is excited to learn new skills that will allow her to be a better environmental citizen and active community member.
Born and raised in Alberta, she developed her activist roots in Lethbridge – a small city in the southern part of the province. She moved there from Calgary, “the heart of the new west,” to attend the University of Lethbridge. Throughout her time at the U of L, she found a love for independent media through campus-community radio and the campus newspaper. She developed a deep appreciation for public organizations through her time in student politics and the activist community.
Her passions are driven by community, by people, and by their passion and beliefs that there is a better way forward. While finding her place in communities surrounded by opposing views, her deeply-seated ideological purpose fostered her dedication to find and build new communities. The values that have been instilled in her – dedication, passion, respect and strength – have been her driving force to continue working for change.
Through her experiences exploring rivers, mountains, lakes and sewage treatment plants, Karen has found that water connects us all. It’s also a gateway to developing a more conscious relationship with the natural world. These experiences have contributed to Karen’s commitment to positive community building, and finding balance, joy, and playfulness in the everyday. Karen is currently an associate of the Natural Step Canada, where she designs and facilitates social learning processes with organizations, communities, and networks of leaders to enable transformational change toward sustainability.
Karen holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Science and an M.Sc. in Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability. Outside of her work, Karen is an active contributor to the Art of Hosting Community of Practice. She enjoys playing the guitar, writing songs, and outdoor adventures both large and small. You can find her music on CBC Radio 3.
Lauren was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.A. in Global Political Economy, an interdisciplinary program that allowed her to explore many of her interests. She is currently pursuing graduate studies at Carleton University, working towards a master’s in communication.
While Lauren attended the U of M, she interned with Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief, an organization partnering with vulnerable groups to overcome poverty and build healthy communities in Africa. Through this experience, she was able to travel to Malawi and worked with local staff to acquire accurate stories for Canadian donors. During this time, Lauren learned about the importance of food security, leading to a job in office administration and special projects with Food Matters Manitoba, a registered charity focused on healthy, sustainable and fair food for all.
Through these experiences, Lauren has seen firsthand the positive impact of communities coming together to build better livelihoods. She strongly believes in connecting people together to create meaningful discussions because being committed to one another is important. She looks forward to being a part of Next Up Ottawa, engaging with key issues and meeting like-minded people who are passionate about social change.
Maggie is thrilled to be part of the Next Up program. She views it as an opportunity to learn and engage with others who are actively working towards social change. Currently working for the labour movement, she hopes to be a part of community level change that has a national impact. Maggie thrives on active listening and encouraging people to ask questions, both personal and political, on what impact they want to have on the world around them. She loves the honesty of live music, exploring the outdoors, and people of her hometown, Sudbury, Ontario. Maggie now lives in Ottawa, where she can often be found skating on the canal and exploring the trails in and around the city.