Roua Aljied is a biomedical engineering student and spoken word poet who is passionate about writing, social justice, and people. Born in Sudan and raised in London, Ontario she is currently living in Ottawa, Ontario. Her poetry focuses on issues such as anti-blackness, human rights abuses, gender-based violence, and Islamophobia. In 2014 she was crowned the Ottawa youth slam champion as well as the women’s Versefest slam champion. She has coordinated with Women in International Security Canada and the 16 Days of Activism Campaign as well as performed for the 2016 International Women’s Day ceremony in Ottawa to speak about issues of domestic abuse. Her work has been taught in classrooms, featured on CBC, as well as screened across Canada, the US, Ukraine, Germany, Ireland and Serbia. The summer of 2016, Roua gave a TEDx talk about intersectionality and accessibility in activism and the subject continues to be her main focus as she believes activism without intersectionality and accessibility is not productive or progressive. She is the cofounder of the Carleton Students for Climate Justice and hopes to create safer spaces for BIPOC, and especially women/femme identifying individuals. As a Black, Arabized, Muslim, immigrant woman she never runs out of words to write, but when she’s not performing, coding, or where she’s supposed to be, Roua can almost always be found in a coffee shop. Through story telling she hopes to connect with people in order to collectively cope and heal.
Fatima is a passionate and enthusiastic second-generation Flipinx-Canadian woman. She was born in Toronto and moved to up and coming Brampton, Ontario at the age of 11. She studied in Ottawa at Carleton University, having recently earned an undergraduate degree in Public Affairs and Policy Management, specializing in social policy. Fatima spent her undergraduate years volunteering with different groups at Carleton, primarily with the Carleton chapter of Engineers Without Borders Canada. She largely spent her time working with other youth across Canada to advocate for effective, sustainable international development policies and practices in and out of Canada. Having switched interests from international development to local community organizing and municipal politics, Fatima started volunteering with City for All Women Initiative in 2015 and is fortunate to be working as their communications and administration coordinator.
Still unsure about she wants to do with her life, Fatima hopes that she can spend time working to create an equitable and just world. She aims to find and create spaces in which marginalized voices are represented, amplified, and heard. In particular, she is interested in the intersection of mainstream and marginalized communities and finding ways to challenge the status quo. She firmly believes that complacency is unsettling and boring.
In her spare time, Fatima spends her time understanding the various ways in which race, gender, class, and age intersect in her life. She is also attempting to decolonize and focus on indigenizing herself with the Filipinx culture. You can also find Fatima trying new recipes, playing board games, making terrible puns, fantasizing about her future cat, and opening 20+ tabs on her browser and never getting back to them.
Fa'Ttima was born on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa with a Libyan-Trinidadian heritage. She completed her undergraduate degree at Carleton University in the Law and Legal Studies program in 2014. Currently she is completing a masters in Women and Gender Studies researching disability and employment access through the AODA. Her research interests also surround accessibility, employment, criminal justice system responses to mental health, body politics, sexuality, and popular cultural representation of persons with disabilities. She has been actively involved in feminist projects at Carleton from broadening public education on sexual assault by confronting prevalent narratives to raising money for the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre. Promoting intersectional dialogues on marginalized identities experiences of gender based violence is her current work with the GSA. Previously, she worked as a research student for Planned Parenthood on building much needed sexuality and disability resources in the Ottawa area with the intention of developing peer based support.
Next Up provides the opportunity to engage with anti oppressive frameworks and learn best practices from community leaders engaged with social justice projects. Currently, Fa'Ttima is working with on-campus organizations to improve accessibility in mental health for marginalized students while promoting a policy for more inclusive event planning for service centres. Other social justice projects she engages with include: advocating for intersectional peer support programming; addressing Islamophobia; and providing more diverse narratives for mental health. In her spare time Fa'Ttima enjoys writing poems, reading, running, inline skating, art galleries, and exploring the local progressive arts scene.
Salaam, Bonjour, and Hello! Sahar is a first generation Muslim Canadian. Her parents are from Tanzania in East Africa, and her ancestry is South Asian (pre-partition). Sahar grew up in Treaty 7 territory, in the city of Calgary and now lives in Treaty 6 territory in Amiskwaciwaskahikan/Edmonton.
Sahar's background is in public health, specifically in areas of mental wellness and social trauma. Her current advocacy work focuses on issues of Islamophobia, anti-oppression, decolonization, and reconciliation. She is involved with The Green Room's Leadership team, anti-racism initiatives within the city, and a Youth Reconciliation Initiative leader with Canadian Roots Exchange.
Sahar enjoys practicing Kathak, dancing to her endless playlist of Bollywood music in front of her mirror, and using all of the snapchat filters!
Hilary Kirkpatrick is an inner city social worker with a passion for social justice, trauma-informed practice, harm-reduction practice and anti-oppressive practice. She loves to examine societal structures and think creatively about strategies to dismantle them. Hilary loves to learn and collaborate, and she finds great peace in communities of like-minded folks. Hilary loves reading and stretching her brain, being silly with friends and family, cuddling with her crazy dog Juno and crafting up a craft storm.
Evan hails from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and he has lived in Alberta since 2010. He is a third year Honours Political Science student at the University of Alberta. He primarily studies Indigenous-Canada relations, and a desire for a renewed treaty relationship drives his work. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Public Interest Research Group, organized for union representation of student staff at the U of A, and has volunteered for Alberta’s NDP since he was a high school student. He currently works for University of Alberta Residence Services. When he’s not submitting research papers at the last minute, Evan enjoys being a friend to all dogs, listening to podcasts on public transit, and constantly improving the lenses through which he sees the world. I am in Edmonton Cohort 8!
Gloria Song is a human rights lawyer and researcher with a focus on access to justice, gender-based violence, international development and circumpolar research. She has a Master of Laws at the University of Ottawa where her graduate research focused on governance and access to justice issues in Nunavut. She also holds a juris doctor law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in political science from the University of Ottawa.
Gloria practiced as the first full-time poverty lawyer to be based in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut for the Legal Services Board of Nunavut. She has also worked on human rights research projects on domestic violence laws in Guyana (through the International Development Research Centre's research award program) and Namibia (through the Canadian Bar Association’s Young Lawyers International Program). She currently serves as the co-chair of the Law Society of Nunavut’s Access to Justice Committee.
Gloria also volunteers for her community to empower marginalized populations, administering the Osgoode Hall Korean Law Students Association Alumni bursary fund, facilitating legal rights workshops, and teaching keyboards at Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls. In addition, she is the frontwoman for the Ottawa-based indie dream pop band Scary Bear Soundtrack.
Abeal Biruk graduated from Carleton University for Human Rights with a minor in Philosophy. Born and raised in Ottawa in an Ethiopian family, he maintains a strong relationship with the Ottawa-Ethiopian community. He is Co-President of the Ethiopian Orthodox youth group and enjoys ethical discussions on the current and future use of technology. He is a firm believer in pursuing multiple interests to develop a better sense of both internal and external perspectives. Abeal spent a significant portion of his life working within a family-run convenience store where he developed the ability to communicate and understand the needs of the different demographics of the community. He joined the Next Up Ottawa to learn how to work within a social justice framework and better understand the social issues faced in the province. Along side his passion for social justice, he is in the process of attaining his personal training certification to help individuals maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.