Aliza Dadani is a participant of Next Up 4, and super stoked to be part of such an awesome crew! Her background is in Political Science and Women’s Studies, and has a particular interest in non-profit social services that seek to support women. Currently, she works for the Center for Race and Culture and does research for a women’s emergency shelter. She is the youngest member of a political Alberta Women’s Caucus, and sits on the Social Welfare Board for the Edmonton Ismaili Community. She is a big advocate for ‘personalizing the political,’ where taking the time to facilitate heart-to-heart conversation can be one of the most powerful tools of change.
Born and raised in the heart of Edmonton, I have been exposed to many of it’s issues at a young age. I have actively been involved with volunteering in the community for various events and fundraisers throughout my schooling career. After graduating I took time off to travel, and since then I have dabbled in various post secondary subjects such as Nursing, Nutrition and Environmental Studies though many of these issues led to my internal frustration with the way our current society conducts itself. Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Change for Children through a volunteer organization called Project HOPE, where we fundraised money to help promote equal access to education in the indigenous areas of Nicaragua. It was through this initiative that me and me teammates were awarded Alberta Council for Global Cooperation’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2012. These life events that have inspired me to per sue a career that will benefit society and really make a change. Recently I have had a opportunity to work with David Eggen on his 2012 campaign for NPD as well as continuing to work with Change for Children. Currently I have participated in hosting CFC’s Video Conference for Hope, an educational and cultural experience held throughout Canada, the United States and Nicaragua, as well as co-coordinating their Youth Council on Food Justice where I act as an advocate of my passions, sustainable living and food security, for adolescents. Other interests of mine include international/rural development, health, communal living, music festivals and world travel. I look forward to learning the tools to per sue my interests even further through the Next Up Program.
Noelle is an alumna of Next Up Edmonton 4. She recently completed a Master’s in Public and International Affairs, focusing on immigration/refugee issues and health policy. Prior to that, Noelle completed a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Middle Eastern and African Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, both at the University of Alberta. Noelle is currently the Government Relations and Outreach Coordinator at the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation. She also teaches an interprofessional health course on working with vulnerable populations at the U of A, and is an Associate Consultant with the Centre for Race and Culture.
Noelle’s experience spans working on policy issues locally with a variety of non-governmental organizations, provincially with Alberta Health Services, and federally with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and at the Embassy of Canada in Vietnam. In addition to Vietnam, she has international development experience in rural areas of Kenya and Tanzania, primarily in community health. Noelle’s main area of community work right now is with refugee policy, and is currently working to address the exploitation of refugees through Canada’s refugee transportation loan program.
David just recently graduated last May from the University of Alberta. He currently holds a BA in Political Science and History. After graduating from university, David noticed that he unfortunately lacked the leadership skills that he desired and would need to have in order to make his imprint on the world. After reflecting for some time, David discovered that he had spent enough time analyzing and thinking, and it was time for him to act. Luckily, David became aware of Next-Up through the Parkland Institute and promptly applied. More luck came to David and now he is a Next-Up participant! By becoming a part of Next-Up, David hopes to gain certain experiences and to meet and connect with like-minded individuals who would also like to make a positive imprint on the world. Personally, David recently became interested in feminist critical theory and queer theory. As a consequence of these interests, David holds many social issues close to his heart (for example, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and rights for all disenfranchised groups in Canada). In addition, there is also the issue of the environment that is very close to his heart as well. With a bit of luck one day, David hopes to blend his work life with his activist life.
Evan is a social justice, environmental stewardship, and community engagement advocate. Evan’s curriculum vita is as diverse as his passions. He’s worked with the City of Edmonton promoting sustainability and naturalization, worked alongside vulnerable populations in the inner city, tackled homelessness head-on as a Housing First practitioner and advocate, and promoted car sharing and urban sustainability.
When he’s not trying to change the world, Evan likes to travel it (preferably by train!). He has been known to snorkel coral reefs alongside nurse sharks and sting rays, scale ancient ruins, swim into the inky blackness of Mayan sacrifice caves, or just relax on the shores of the Caribbean.
Evan recently quit his job to explore the world (that is, North America) in search of himself and his passions. Evan stayed at a Christian environmental education group in rural Manitoba, volunteered with a social justice advocacy group in Ottawa, explored Montreal via Bixi bikes, couchsurfed with awesome strangers in Chicago, and connected with community organizers in Baltimore. One amazing experience later, and Evan returned home ready for the next (up!) challenge.
Inspired by his journey, Evan is dedicated to making his home city of Edmonton a more walkable, livable, just community. Evan is working on ideas for car-sharing and bike-sharing, and hopes to focus on mixed use, urban density and transit oriented development in the near future.
Evan can also be found at his at his local gym weightlifting, swimming or practicing karate, exploring Alberta’s natural beauty, or taking in Shakespeare in the Park with good friends.
Chris is extremely excited to be a part of Next Up Edmonton. His work in the activist community has been mostly focused within the realm of party politics through various capacities. Chris has been the President of the U of A Campus NDP, where we tried to encourage political participation among the student body. One of the highlights was the establishment of a vote mobile which provided free rides to and from the polling stations for any students interested. Chris is also actively involved with the NDYA, serving on the executive and helping to organize with the youth wing. Chris was also the NDP candidate for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville during the 2012 Alberta provincial election. Chris is as well very passionate about urban issues, including the reduction of urban sprawl and the creation of sustainable cities. Chris is currently finishing a BA in Political Science at the U of A. In his spare time Chris enjoys listening to and finding new music, reading, and other things.
Originally from the east coast of the U.S., Sarah came to Edmonton via Montreal where she studied environment and development, and then completed a Masters in Urban Planning. In her current role as the Sustainability Coordinator for Strathcona County Infrastructure and Planning Services, Sarah works on a variety of initiatives to bring a balanced perspective to decisions on how the community grows and develops. Sarah is passionate about finding ways to mitigate climate change and create more resilient, adaptive communities through the built environment. Some of her previous experience includes working for the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal as a planning and transportation policy analyst, facilitating a summer science and ecology camp for youth in the Cree Nation of Wemindji and coordinating a national sustainable campuses conference for the Sierra Youth Coalition. She has also previously been involved in a various forms of cycling advocacy and sustainable campus initiatives. Sarah currently volunteers on the board of Temple Beth Ora, Edmonton’s reform Jewish congregation and is interested in the role reform Judaism can play in social justice work. In her free time, Sarah enjoys cycling, running with her dog in Edmonton’s beautiful river valley and playing nerdy board games with friends.
Kim loves both art and anthropology, so she is a creative mix of creativity and intellect herself. She loves art & design and seeing people commit their emotional and physical energy to creative expression. Anthropology introduced a way to examine society and the world, but it was her community experiences that got her hooked on developing her skills as an active social agent. She sees art and anthropology as always connected; two lenses shaping her worldview (like one left eye and one right eye). Two Community Service Learning courses had a significant impact on her. The first was a course on artistic representations of the energy economy in Alberta, where she worked in collaboration with an advocacy group called Friends of the Lubicon. Here she became committed to learning about how the energy economy affects First Nations. In the second course, she worked with the Office of Sustainability at the University of Alberta, where she developed a research project outlining why and how sustainability and design education go hand in hand. Kim has travelled extensively and her recent adventure was a student exchange in Brazil. She was attracted to Brazil’s thriving art culture which is strongly connected to social movements and community development. While Brazil is very different from Canada, there are parallels between resource development issues in Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest and Canada’s tar sands. Her experiences in Brazil confirmed that she wants to continue to engage with social movements and explore what making a better world looks like to her. She sees Next Up as a great opportunity to explore action projects and organizations to continue growing and developing her role as an active citizen.
Well-travelled, inquisitive and friendly, Chris is an eager contributor to the Next Up team. Since participating in a Canada World Youth program that led him to an eye-opening stay in China, Chris has been interested in social justice. He pursued a formal education in the field, first at York University and then at Trent University, where he graduated with a BA in International Development and Environmental Studies. Along the way, Chris stumbled into journalism. After writing an article for a local Edmonton magazine, Chris became involved with the Trent campus newspaper, where he eventually worked as associate editor before moving on to intern with CBC for 4 months in Toronto. Happily, Chris’s interest in journalism continues to thrive. Chris passionately believes that creating dialogue to allow individuals to feel empowered to be good citizens is important in moving towards environmental and social justice, and ultimately hopes to use journalism to obtain this goal. For now, Chris’s time is spent enthusiastically working for the U of A’s Global Education office and volunteering with campus radio.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Tim was raised in southern and northern Alberta. He has called Edmonton home since 2007, after teaching English abroad in China. He is a passionate individual who is constantly eager to learn as much as possible about social justice issues and always brings enthusiasm into his work.
While living in Calgary, Tim was an active union member with the Telecommunication Workers’ Union promoting the importance of workers rights. He has been active in political campaigns, willing to knock on doors and dedicate his time and energy to volunteer organizations working for much needed change.
He is always excited to talk about the ways that we can come together, assert our rights and stand united. His positive hope for the future is intoxicating and palpable. He is convinced that each person has the ability and skills within themselves to change the world.
He works at United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1118 helping workers to prevent abuse and exploitation and to improve their rights and quality of life in their workplace.