As an artist, an animal lover, and an all ‘round activist powerhouse, Kassandra Rea-Cam, (or Kas for short) knows how to walk the walk. Kas has lived in Saskatchewan all her life. Raised as an only child in a single parent household, Kas and her mom are the best of friends. Luckily, she’s good at bridging gaps and has also reconnected with her father in Bolivia. Kas is working towards a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, studying art and art history, and finds passion in many modalities. From acrylics, to sculpting, to drum circles, she’s rarely out of her element.
Kas effectively integrates her artsy side with her activist side. She’s a member of the art community both on campus through VASU (visual arts students union) as well as in the community at large through WAM (We Are Many), a youth run arts and environmental organization. Some of the projects she’s been involved in are coordinating hydration stations at events to cut down on disposable water bottle waste.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to Kas, and she keeps herself active and balanced physically and emotionally by regularly practicing yoga and eating a healthy vegan diet. She also works part time at Gail Adam’s school of art in Saskatoon but dreams of one day moving to Vancouver to curate an art gallery there.
Lisa Howse grew up on a littleorganic farm near Porcupine Plain, SK with her parents, her two older sisters, and a cat named Smokey. In her grade eight year, she moved to Saskatoon to attend high school at Bedford Road Collegiate. There, one of her most memorable classes was Global Citizenship 30, taught by local activist Sheelah McLean.
Upon graduating, Lisa began studying international development at the University of Saskatchewan in hopes of gaining a greater understanding of poverty and its systemic causes. While completing her degree, she volunteered extensively with the OXFAM campus club, and today continues to support the group through fundraising and public awareness initiatives.
She is an avid cook, cycler, PC gamer, writer and reader of fantasy fiction, painter, gardener and permaculture enthusiast.
Hailing from Martensville, Lisa May wasted no time in moving to Saskatoon following graduation; she spent her first three years in the city as a piercer with some great piercings and tattoos to show for it. Her adventures took her on a month long solo trip to Nicaragua in 2012 – she highly recommends renting a hammock at a tree fort hostel she visited in the jungle!
Following her passion for learning about alternative and preventative medicine, Lisa May is about to begin a year of training in Acupressure. Lisa loves to surround herself with critical thinkers and to be challenged in a positive way, making Next Up a great chance for her to learn more about her passions and find ways to focus her energy.
Lisa May has three younger sisters and a Yorkshire-Pincher pup “Tricky” Ricky (her #1 love)!
What could one say about Rissy? Well, she:
-is always learning – sometimes the hard way
-thinks relationships are what life is all about
-wants to work on making communities healthier, especially by supporting efforts to address systemic oppression
-enjoys teaching nursing students (and people who aren’t nursing students)
-loves swing dancing and traveling, both separately and together
-tries to give back to the Next Up community ever since being a participant in 2013-14
Leah was born and raised in Saskatoon, SK Treaty 6 Territory, and has also lived in Muskeg Lake Cree Nation, Rosthern, SK, and on the Coast Salish Traditional Territory, aka Victoria, BC.
In Leah’s journey, she has been drawn to stand up for the rights of children/youth, the environment, Indigenous peoples, and women. For the past several years Leah has been working on environmental and Indigenous issues through the Idle No More movement. In addition to her work with Idle No More, Leah is also a member of Kimiwan zine, a quarterly publication based in Saskatoon that showcases words and art from emerging and established First nations, Metis, and Inuit writers and artists.
Leah is in her final year of a degree in education at the U of S in ITEP (Indian Teachers Education Program) and is currently working at a high school for her practicum. Although Leah is unsure where exactly her path will take her, she hopes to continue working with youth and working in her community to effect change on the issues that are important to her.
Nick is currently finishing his graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Political Studies. Since finishing his time in NextUp he has been a active member of the Socialist Students’ Association/Revolutionary Student Movement, which has been at the forefront of student resistance and protest at the U of S; helped form the Saskatoon Coordinating Committee Against Police Violence; and for over two years has been on the Coordinating Committee of the Pan-Canadian Revolutionary Student Movement – the largest anti-capitalist student organization in Canada.
The petty things in life don’t seem to bother Rachel. To her, it comes down to what matters most: relationships. Friends, family, coworkers, and volunteer colleagues have brought inspiration and meaning to her life. Rachel was born and raised in Saskatoon to a family of 6. While completing a political science degree at the University of Saskatchewan, she developed a special interest in current events and social justice and latter, knowledge translation, universal child care, women’s issues, gay rights and poverty. Someday she hopes to continue her education through a master’s program.
Rachel recently gained employment with Upstream, an organisation focused on prevention of social problems. Her work involves public communication, organising meetings and events, and networking. She describes her work as optimistic, and thrives on the job’s high expectations and demands, as well as her great coworkers and the commitment of volunteers.
In her spare time, Rachel can be found playing soccer, guitar, or singing backup for a folk/rock band or worship group. She has also done vocals for local jazz and hip hop groups. Rachel owns and runs a small photography business with her partner shooting mostly portraiture, and occasionally volunteer work for non profit organisations.
Tanya was a participant in Next Up Saskatchewan in 2014–2015. She has studied political science and political sociology at the University of Ottawa, the University of Saskatchewan, and the London School of Economics, and she has a keen interest in feminist politics. Tanya is the Editor of Briarpatch Magazine.
Shireen is an activist, facilitator and eternal learner; she became active in migrant justice and anti-racism struggles in Montreal, Kanien’kehaka territories, where she lived for four years.
Shireen is currently based in Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish territories and is active with No One is Illegal and Sanctuary Health. She is constantly inspired by and learning from amazing people around her and seeks to connect social justice struggles, as well as people throughout communities. Shireen has also facilitated workshops and discussions on many different issues, including climate justice and displacement, anti-oppression, women’s safety in the Downtown Eastside, access to healthcare for migrants in Canada, consensus-building, and others.
She speaks English, Farsi, French and Turkish to varying degrees and shamelessly tries to practice as much as possible. She also enjoys capoeira, dancing, rock climbing, hiking and other outdoor activities… and making friends!
Ela is passionate and forceful advocate for social justice and human rights. She has designed and led various international, national and local programs to advocate for women’s, children’s, LGBT, and refugee rights and fight against discrimination and racism in every level of her life. Ela has worked with a variety of groups from marginalized people to high level governmental agencies for non-profits and international organizations. She worked as Projects Coordinator for Amnesty International Turkey and continued her advocacy efforts for social change as Country Coordinator for Follow The Women. She organized groups and cycled through Lebanon, Syria, Jordan into Palestine to support peace and to demand an end to violence in Middle East. Ela is dedicated for creating space and connecting with communities through various ways. She organized art events with groups like U2, Istancool, REM, Gevende, The Bambir and Bajar.
Born in Turkey, Ela studied International Relations and holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law as well as certificates in Public Relations from Simon Fraser University and in Global Advocacy from Minority Rights Group International. She furthermore took training on Global Advocacy: UN Bodies and Mechanisms at UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva and on Hate Crimes and The European Legislations from OSCE. She also attended Art Management Program at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. Ela has a fiery passion for ensuring equality and justice for all. Currently, she is working as Communications and Resource Development Manager for an anti-violence women’s organization Battered Women’s Support Services.