Terry Noel is a Bachelor of Arts graduate, with a major in Political Science, and a minor in Economics. He loves creative work, and will spend much of his day making music, writing, or drawing things that keep him positive.
Once hesitant to become involved in activism, Terry found motivation following the Occupy movement in 2011 and its creation a permanent physical space downtown for people to come together and build networks with others that had similar ideas. Since then, he has developed a passion for horizontal decision making, spends his free time organizing, and can often be found at many grassroots events and protests throughout Edmonton, following his goal of removing barriers to activism through the encouragement of community participation.
Terry’s work includes being the co-chair of the World University Services of Canada at Grant MacEwan University, a delegate for National Model United Nations 2011, Vice Chair of Sierra Club Prairie Chapter, candidate for the Green Party in 2012, CEO of Edmonton East Green Party Association, and co-founder of the Seeds Feeds and Needs food co-operative.
Jill Hoselton is excited to be a participant of Next Up 5. Having a background in political science and social work, Jill has developed a passion for anti-oppressive practice and a commitment to social justice. Currently she is doing a placement at the Alberta College of Social Workers, working in advocacy.
Jill’s areas of interest are community development/revitalization, gender studies, food security, animal and nature therapy, and anything else that facilitates others to live full and peaceful lives! She believes through creativity, conversations and relationship building, Edmonton, along with Alberta will become more accessible, just and engaging places to live in.
Born and raised in Edmonton to parents who immigrated from El Salvador, Manuel’s values and beliefs in social justices and in the creation of a more equitable world are rooted in his childhood where had saw the barriers that his parents endured as low income minorities.
His interest in issues of social justice led him to the University of Calgary where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Latin American Studies and with a minor in Political Science. During university, Manuel’s academic research gave him an in-depth understanding in issues of the affecting the global south, development, governances, human rights, and democratization. Upon graduation in 2011, Manuel shifted his focus to local issues facing both Edmontonians and Canadians. But after so much academic analysis, however, Manuel decided the time to act was now. This led him to Next Up Edmonton.
Manuel is very excited to be part of Next Up 5 where he is excited to connect with people who share his passion of wanting to positively influence their community. More importantly, he looks forward to working and learning from them as he gains practical experience, rather than academic, in social justice work.
Arsheen Devjee was born and raised in the City of Champions. She has studied world religions, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations and has spent extensive time living in the Middle East. Arsheen currently works at the Centre for Race and Culture as a Project Coordinator for the Mosquers Film Competition.
She has an avid interest in understanding and theorizing human relations, power, privilege, gender and race; and how these identities play themselves out in Canada. Arsheen is a mother of a toddler and is eagerly expecting the birth of her second child in January. In her free time, she enjoys reading, getting together with friends and baking.
Blaire Christensen is a graduate of Dalhousie University with an Honours BA in International Development Studies and Political Science. During her degree, she participated in the Trent-in-Ecuador study abroad program and did her internship with an indigenous Kichwa community examining the impact of oil development on communities in the Amazon rainforest.
Although, Blaire has lived in both Halifax and Ecuador, Edmonton is her home and Alberta politics are her passion. She is particularly interested in the connections intertwining Alberta’s oil-based economy with democracy and community development. She is looking forward to developing her leadership skills and gaining a better understanding of issues in Alberta in order to strengthen her skill set for creating social change.
This past fall, she was involved in a Next Up alumni-initiated project called ActivatED, which sought to elect forward-thinking candidates to Edmonton’s municipal city council. She currently works for the City of Edmonton. In her spare time, Blaire loves llamas, eating sushi, doing yoga, hiking and skiing, and having passionate political discussions.
Jessie is a resident physician in Emergency Medicine at the University of Alberta. During medical school, she acted as the president of the Canadian chapter of the International Federation of Medical Students where she advocated for issues such a reducing pharmaceutical industry influence in medical education, protecting the rights of migrant health care workers, and expanding the debate on the ethics of international development work.
Her other areas of interest include sexual health and reproductive rights. She is the co-founder of a ConsentEd (www.consentEd.ca), an educational and awareness initiative striving to build a world without sexual violence.
More recently Jessie has become involved with refugee health issues here in Alberta. She co-founded a group called the Alberta Refugee Care Coalition to advocate for the restoration of health benefits to refugees and refugee claimants. Outside of work and extracurriculars, Jessie enjoys longboarding, astronomy, and eating lots of samosas.
Born and raised in Edmonton, Sean has learned to appreciate the values of cooperation, community, and compassion, values that he believes most Albertans hold. While completing his Bachelor of Education at the University of Alberta, he noticed a disconnect between his community’s values and the contemporary educational institution here in Alberta. Now, he seeks to combine his love for growing food and his passion for education to invoke social change. Sean has been fortunate enough to be involved with coordinating school nutrition programs, and supporting community initiatives that promote food security through sustainable design and the power of collaboration. When he isn’t at work or in the garden, Sean can be found running on the trails in the river valley or in the mountains.
Elauna Boutwell was born and raised in the city of Kenora, in Northwestern Ontario. After volunteering in Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda, backpacking through the Middle-East and a bit of time spent in Europe she found her way to Edmonton and the University of Alberta. Here, she immediately found a home within student group activities and became a social justice junkie. Elauna completed a B.A, with a major in Sociology and a minor in Political Science as well as certificates in American Sign Language, Peace and Post Conflict studies and Global Citizenship.
Elauna aims to continue supporting the pursuit of healthy, sustainable, thriving communities in her future endeavors, and is excited to be a part of a group where she can continue to unravel what ‘people and plant over profit’ looks like, and explore how best to live in mutual respect in this interconnected web we all live in.
Benjamin Diaz has one of those faces that you have probably seen before. It always brings warmth to a room, and leaves you wanting more. Ben was born and raised in Ottawa by a single mother with a younger brother. Ben’s interests involve youth engagement, queer/trans issues, feminism, and accessible education. A Carleton anthropology student by day and an improviser by night, Ben focuses on spreading cheer, joy and non-oppressive attitudes to the masses. Ben directs his scholastic eye towards hetero/homo-normativity within gay and trans men.
While finishing up his degree in anthropology, Ben has been involved in his student union and many other student organizations on campus. He currently sits on the board of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG-Carleton). Ben has volunteered at Pink Triangle Services in their Youth Educating Safer Spaces and Queer People of Colour discussion groups. In addition to his activism, Ben is a member on the Carleton Improv Association, and performs in shows all around Ottawa. He even participated in the Cracking Up the Capital Comedy festival with comedian Colin Mocherie. If he is not working, focusing on studies, doing OPIRG-related activism, practicing improv, dancing, or being a radical friend, Ben is probably asleep.
Caitlin hails from Gloucester, Ontario. Growing up as an elite rower and later a triathlete, Caitlin spent a lot of time enjoying the outdoors and being on the water. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Ottawa, and then embarked on a career as a communications professional. Her concern for the environment and the effects of climate change spurred her to get involved in various organizations around Ottawa. She volunteers with Ottawa’s homeless and marginally-housed population, and helps to improve the city’s local urban food system. She is also a volunteer at Ecology Ottawa, where she works on the anti-Energy East pipeline campaign. Caitlin’s mission is to help social change movements develop effective communication strategies in order to improve their ability to mobilize support. Through Next Up, she looks forward to building her skillset and exploring new career directions.