Julie King is a Metis woman who was born in Meadow Lake SK, but grew up in Saskatoon SK, which is where she lived until 2012, when she completed her Bachelor of Social Work degree. Julie currently resides in La Ronge SK and works for the Government of Saskatchewan serving youth in several northern communities throughout the province. Julie is passionate about youth justice issues. Julie’s proudest accomplishment is her nine year old son Sebastian.
Amber Bellegarde is a Cree/Nakota woman from the Little Black Bear First Nation located in Treaty 4 territory. She moved with her family to Saskatoon during her teen years and has lived there, give or take a year, ever since. After a couple years of post-secondary soul-searching, Amber graduated from SIAST’s Youth Care certificate program where her interests in program development and the justice system grew. She is returning to the University of Saskatchewan to complete a Native Studies degree and ultimately plans on continuing her education in law school. Education, justice, culture, and sports are four areas that she holds dear to her heart and hopes to incorporate in her future career. Amber wants to do her part, whatever that may be, in securing a safe, equitable, and prosperous way of life for future generations to come.
Passionate about feminism and queering spaces, Chelle has taken part in several projects related to queer and trans* rights, including campaigns that successfully pushed for changes to the SK Human Rights Code and the SK Vital Statistics Act. She has been involved in a variety of community organizations in Saskatchewan, including TransSask Support Services, OUTSaskatoon, Global Gathering Place, and EGADZ. Currently, Chelle is completing a Master of Social Work program at the University of British Columbia.
Ashley moved to Ottawa to start her undergraduate degree at the University of Ottawa, a big change from the small hamlet she grew up in! Eager to explore the world of social justice she dove into student politics, becoming Co-President of the Society for Women's Empowerment, Director of Communications for the Development Student Association, an OPIRG board member and an elected representative of the SFUO's Board of Administration. As a new graduate she is looking forward to dedicating more time to her job as a community organizer at ACORN - a grassroots community group of low and moderate income people fighting for economic and social justice issues such as affordable healthy homes, disability/welfare rights and a living wage. Outside of work you can find her playing volleyball, sketching in her notebook, dreaming of her next trip abroad, being a typical cancer (hit her up if you're a scorpio), eating nachos or hanging out with her cat Astro.
Kristen was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is a member of One Arrow First Nation. Kristen learned the value of hard work early on in her young life, and has always had a thirst for knowledge. Kristen has won several awards and one scholarship during her journey through academia. This journey continues Fall 2015, when Kristen returns to the University of Saskatchewan after an extended absence; she originally planned to study Biology, but has now shifted her focus to Sociology and Aboriginal Justice. Kristen was once the youngest of 5 siblings, but tragically lost 3 of her siblings, David, Kevin and Angie. Her surviving sister, Kathy, lives in One Arrow, as does her mother, Toni. Kristen searched for an outlet to express her grief, and found it through artistic ventures, such as songwriting, learning guitar and creating unique artwork.
Kirk was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, though he is currently living in and enjoying Brandon, Manitoba. Kirk has worked as a nurse’s aide for just about a decade. He is super active with his union, the MGEU. He is a part of the Young Members Committee and also a member of Mgeu’s area council. He also enjoys his rule as 2nd vice president with the Brandon District Labour Council and his work on the board of directors with the Brandon and District Worker Advocacy Centre. In his free time Kirk enjoys wine making(and drinking), Netflix, and anything to do with food
Kirk is very excited to be apart of the 2015 Next Up program and is looking forward to building his network, being challenged, learning, and hopefully making some friends in the process
Currently working in the field of research, Urmee has her M.A. in Economics from University of Manitoba. Growing up in Bangladesh, she has witnessed severe poverty, social injustice, and economic inequality. Later in her life she realized such discrimination and inequality are almost as severe in the developed part of the world as in where she comes from. She felt motivated to learn more about the ways she can be involved and take the lead to create positive and meaningful changes in society.
Through her academic and work experience, Urmee developed her analytical and research capabilities to contribute towards solutions regarding climate change, poverty, and social inequality. Her education and professional experience include formal employment and volunteering in organizations such as The Canadian CED Network, Urban and Inner City Studies: University of Winnipeg, Centre for Policy Dialogue, and Ocean Conservancy. She has conducted studies on different aspects of poverty, environment and public policy. Through Next Up, she hopes to gain further understanding of different social justice issues and transform her knowledge into meaningful action. She is eager to connect and work with people involved in initiating innovative social change. In her free time, Urmee enjoys reading, dancing, travelling, and hanging out with friends. Her mantra is: Gotta do more, gotta be More.
Mikaela Brooks is an enthusiastic activist for animal welfare rights, environmental issues, and social gender inequality. Her core interests include the role of philanthrocapitalism in the degradation of biodiversity, and the recent Save Movement on the need for legislative changes for farm animal welfare. Mikaela attained an undergraduate degree in Business from the University of Winnipeg and plans to pursue a graduate degree in sociology or international development. She is currently a policy and research professional in which the majority of her work has focused on developing recommendations and responses to increase the economic wellbeing of individuals who have faced social barriers. She has led key initiatives aimed at increasing women in non-traditional trades, and has fulfilled roles in project management capacities for both the Federal Government of Canada and the Government of Manitoba. With a never ending curiosity for culture, animals and travel, Mikaela finds joy in meeting and learning from others who live their passion, and is always looking for challenging opportunities to contribute her skills and experience.
Through Next Up, Mikaela is looking forward to extending her network to promote the Save Movement, while furthering her understanding of social justice issues and the need for corporate accountability towards the environment. She hopes to apply this invaluable learning experience to actively contribute to social issues as there is much more to be done!
Adriana Brydon is a strong Cree mother of three boys, who is from Regina, Saskatchewan but now calls Winnipeg, MB home. She has endured many experiences relating to poverty in the past such as addiction issues, getting involved in the justice system and gang affiliation. Throughout her experiences she has been able to skillfully triangulate her lived experience with her sharp eye for social justice and systems change and received her BSW in 2011.
Adriana is one of those people who is involved in everything going. Her community work includes volunteering with the local schools and agencies as well as sitting on various committees. She was class President of University of Manitoba’s Inner City Social Work Program for three years and the Aboriginal delegate at the Canadian Federation of Students AGM twice. She is committed to helping the community and people living in poverty by breaking down barriers she endured herself.
Chloe Donatelli was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. She became involved in social change while a teen through the peer support program at Klinic Community Health Centre. Following high school, she moved to Victoria, BC to pursue an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and women’s studies. During her time in Victoria, she became interested in understanding the impacts that food systems have on the holistic health of a community. Since graduation she has had the privilege of applying her passion for food to the work that she does at Food Matters Manitoba. In her role as the Northern and Indigenous Program Liaison she supports thirteen communities spread across Manitoba’s north with their implementation of local food projects. Looking to the future, her passion continues to grow around community economic development and the important linkages that can be made through this framework towards greater community health and resiliency.