Nazneen Khan is an ambitious, empathetic and, passionate first generation Indo-Canadian. She was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario but is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree at Carleton University in Public Affairs and Policy Management with a specialization in development studies.Complementing her academic interests, she has a variety of passions. On any given day, you can find her hanging out with the social justice community of Ottawa, trying to recreate some cool recipes, reading her favorite novel or practicing the beautiful art of henna.
She is extremely passionate and continues to advocate for feminism, gender equality, justice and decolonization of women of colour. Nazneen has a keen interest in intersecting gender with other issues such as social class, environment, immigration, social policy and issues of development.
Nazneen believes in lifelong learning, and is always ready to embrace new opportunities and challenges that will continue to shape her not only as a future leader but also as a person. Currently she is in the process of decolonizing herself, and uses her critical mind to evaluate social issues through an anti-racist, anti-capitalist, and a decolonizing perspective.
Finally, a few fun facts about Nazneen: She loves the color green and has always wanted to be a cat!
Hadia is a third culture kid that has roots in East Africa, Canada and Bahrain. She has recently completed her Bachelors at Carleton U, majoring in Human Rights with a minor in Law, and is hoping to pursue her masters in the next coming years in International Law and and Human Rights. Hadia's interest in social justice started in middle school when she was lucky enough to participate in Model UN and was a security person in the Human Rights council. She went on to participate in MUN for the next 6 years. Hadia challenges friends to become more aware of inequality and discrimination.
She has developed an interest in researching areas such as anti-racism, Canadian Immigration, law, labour rights, political repression, civil liberty issues, the impacts of colonialism, decolonization, indigenous solidarity, international relations, and islamophobia. As an OPIRG volunteer, Hadia has had the opportunity to engage with these topics in practical ways via campaign organizing. Through next up she hopes to gain further understanding of different social justice issues, building my leadership skills and expanding my network.
In her free time, Hadia enjoys traveling when possible, hanging out with family and friends and watching tv shows. She considers herself the reigning queen of tv shows lol. Also, her love for Ginger-ale is unreal.
Jenn Bergen is passionate about social change and community engagement, and sees her role as building the spaces and programming necessary for groups to take action on social and environmental justice issues. She has worked for the Regina Public Interest Research Group, the Sask Council for International Cooperation, and recently founded the Queen City Hub in Regina. During her time in Saskatchewan, she also co-founded an activist camp for youth, an annual music fundraiser for homelessness, and a community-university garden. She earned her BEd and MPA at the University of Regina, and is currently working towards her PhD at the University of Ottawa. She studies education for youth democratic engagement, and works with student-teachers to develop their civic identities. In her spare time, she runs half-marathons, creates visual art, bakes pies, and hangs with her dog, McCoy.
Charana is a first generation immigrant from Sri Lanka who is now studying at Carleton University for an undergrad in Political Science. He’s a member of various student-led campaigns. In his spare times he enjoys trying new sports and outdoor hobbies. Right now Charana is fighting to to end the corporatization of post-secondary educational institutions and is involved in a few grassroots activist groups.
Jesse grew up in Northern Ontario so he feels most at home when he’s surrounded by trees. He spent most of his childhood in Sudbury, but most recently spent 7 glorious months in Halifax - a city he hopes to return to very soon. Jesse has a Marketing diploma from Confederation College, and is currently in his third year of Carleton University’s Human Rights program.
Jesse has been politically active for some 7 years, much of which has been spent interrogating his own inner oppressor and learning how to act in genuine solidarity with marginalized communities. He is increasingly interested in the Social Determinants of Health and how they mediate the intersections of chronic illness and queer/trans+ bodies/identities. As someone with an invisible disability, he’d also like to contribute to ending the stigma against mental illness. Aside from specific issues, he’s very interested in discussions on how to combine art/music/theatre/design with activist initiatives in order to increase the accessibility of these spaces and ideas to non-activists.
Jesse has experience in organizing community actions and engaging in conversations with people from low/moderate income communities. In the past, he has helped to facilitate direct-democratic decision making processes, run workshops, and canvassed countless hours for NGOs. In his downtime Jesse enjoys cooking and baking, and he's a shameless gamer and science fiction nerd with a love for playing and listening to music.
Jesse is excited about being apart of Next Up, a progressive/radical social group where anti-O is the norm. He is excited to learn from the experiences of his fellow NxtUprz and to continue to work on building his capacity for genuine solidarity!
Sharnelle Jenkins-Thompson is a mixed-race (Welsh-Jewish immigrant mother and Metis-Cree-Irish father) white-passing woman who is passionate about addressing the impact of poverty in British Columbia, both in terms of small-scale, neighbour-to-neighbour interventions, as well as through addressing poverty on a larger, policy-wide scale. Sharnelle grew up in Nanaimo but moved to Vancouver to attend UBC for a degree in social work. Today, she divides her time between working as the Director of Child and Family programs at Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House and volunteering with the Poverty Reduction Coalition. Sharnelle is also on the Board for Check Your Head and is looking forward to continue to build community and explore purpose in meaningful ways.
Vicki Haynes is a burlesque performer and producer, social justice activist and bisexual Gitxsan women with over 2 decades of work in the education and non-profit sectors. Vicki is currently the Education Events Coordinator at Vantage Point where she supports a range of non-profit organizations serving a wide array of social movements. Vicki is passionate about the empowerment of female sexuality. Vicki has served on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Burlesque Festival and is currently on the Board of Women Transforming Cities. Vicki works to empower and champion a female sexuality that is free from entitlement and that actively undermines rape culture. With the goal to destigmatize sex work, Vicki has worked to provide burlesque as an employment opportunity for the local industry and emerging performers. Vicki’s passion for social justice started early. At the age of 6, upon learning that her father was responsible for the destruction of forest ecosystems (through his role at the Ministry of Forestry), Vicki embarked on a particularly forceful protest that resulted in her father changing jobs and her family moving towns.
He may not have known or understood it at the time, but when Darcy Vermeulen tackled an essay assignment on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment in high school, he also embarked on a journey of social change. A member of the queer community and the Sponsorship and Event Lead with Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association (DVBIA), Darcy has been engaged educating and empowering in the social change sector for the past decade. In his role with the DVBIA, Darcy enables access for arts and culture nonprofits by providing accessible spaces, facilitating community development, and administering grants. He has built on his ongoing engagement with the democratic process as a volunteer in the 2013 provincial and 2014 municipal elections. In 2015, Darcy co-founded the Turn Up Collective: a grassroots organization that activated young voters for the 2015 federal election. In his down time, Darcy unwinds outdoors skiing and indoors cuddling with his recently adopted rescue dog.
Jesse Hudson is part of the crow clan of Champagne and Aishihik First Nation, who speak Southern Tutchone and whose traditional territory is in the south-west corner of the Yukon. Her First Nation name is Nitsulla, which means “a woman walking around with her eyes closed” or a very trusting woman. Although she has lived in Whitehorse, Yukon and in Vancouver, BC, the Yukon is where she was born and has always felt like home. While on exchange in China she learned much about living where pollution and government censorship prevail, and is now glad to be back at UBC for her fourth year to study International Relations. Passionate about land claims, environment, aboriginal rights, and all else related to aboriginal social justice, Jesse believes strongly in the power of community and spreading change by starting it locally. Other passions include crafting (beading, sewing, knitting), reading, hiking and playing soccer.