Joy Wall is a born and raised Calgarian with a passion for connection, education, and social justice. Joy has a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Lethbridge, where she was involved in various clubs, child development, and literacy programs.
Currently, Joy is working as a child development specialist, supporting children under 5 with disabilities. Previously she worked with an organization which supports families after the death of a loved one.
Joy has a strong passion for connecting with people and learning how people connect to one another. This passion comes together in opportunities to travel which Joy takes as every opportunity.
Joy feels strongly about storytelling being an important medium for discourse, and is involved in the storytelling and comedy communities. She has a strong interest in learning how to use comedy to connect individuals to social issues, ideas, and movements.
In the future Joy hopes to travel across the world, forming connections, and learning from everyone she meets.
Tara was born on Treaty 7 Land, in Calgary, Alberta,and has lived there ever since. After graduating they have decided to try their hardest to live a life lead by compassion and values. They are passionate about intersectional feminism, and environmental justice. Tara use's their free time doing art, or at least thinking about doing some art; or eating dark chocolate with a reasonably priced bottle of wine. In the future they hope to help make Calgary a safer, more sustainable, and generally cooler place to be.
Nina Karimi is a born and raised Vancouverite living the Calgarian dream, minus the cowboy hat. She graduated from UBC with a Political Science Degree last year, and during her time there she was the President of the UBC New Democrats and elected to the Residence Hall Association, Senate, and Board of Governors. She moved to Alberta after its most recent provincial election to work for an NDP MLA as their Constituency Assistant.
She has been passionate about politics since she was very young, attending rallies at the Vancouver Art Gallery with her parents and annoying her father with a million questions. Her parents immigrated to Canada as refugees, and it has always been clear to her how lucky she is to live in a free and democratic society.
She often feels pulled in multiple different directions when it comes to causes she supports, but her main area of focus is trying to address poverty in Canada at the systemic level, particularly with affordable housing.
In her spare time she enjoys playing board games, dancing to funky edm, and eating potatoes.
Nicole Edmond was born and raised in various rural Alberta communities, spending most of her childhood in Airdrie, Alberta. Most of her time was spent being curious about the ways of the world and biking around exploring the city. Moving to Calgary, Nicole attended art school and received a Bachelors of Fine Art degree in Print-Media from The Alberta College of Art and Design in 2014. Nicole’s curiosity continues to move her forward via her artwork, which explores the complex relationship between human beings and the natural world, specifically the relationship we have with microbes.
When Nicole isn’t focusing on her art practice she dedicates a portion of her free time as the Vice President on the board of directors at The Alberta Printmaker’s Society. Here she is often helping organize new events to spread the joys of art and printmaking with the Calgary community. Nicole is also passionate about feminism; specifically how intersectional feminism can help create a more fair and equal arts community. Nicole has pursued this passion by interviewing artists and being a part of the discourse on the feminist podcast Yeah, What She Said on CJSW.
Nicole’s dream is to one day open a non-profit gallery dedicated to showcasing artwork produced by female, non-binary and Trans artists.
Meghan is a quiet explorer and observer of the world, whose days are punctuated by emphatic hand talking. Meghan believes in practicing empathy, and that compassion has the power to be disruptive.
Currently Meghan works at Spark, Calgary's Science Centre, creating experiences that challenge visitors and build skills. They believe in the value of risky play, authentic challenges, and the ability of children to construct their own learning. Meghan believes Spark, and other cultural institutions, have a critical role to play in building empathetic and resilient communities. Meghan is grateful to work in a role that allows them to take creative risks, fail often and brilliantly, and facilitate learning opportunities for others. Sometimes Meghan teaches toddlers how to use knives and teens to use butane torches, and they think this is pretty great.
Meghan grew up in Calgary, and although leaving several times, they’ve always returned. Living and working in B.C, Washington, DC and Nunavut, allowed Meghan challenging and sometimes uncomfortable opportunities to grow. These days Meghan is thankful to be living and learning on Treaty 7 land, underneath the big sky and amongst the prairie grasses, which they have a lot of affection for.
As you read this, Meghan is slightly embarrassed by how earnest this bio is, but not embarrassed enough to actually change it.
Litia is an educator, a lover of birds, and ice cream enthusiast who desires more politically and socially like minded souls in her life. Born and raised in Vancouver, she moved to Calgary a year ago; though she has lived in many cities across Canada, this is her first time living in the Prairies and the geography amazes her on a daily basis. Litia loves to ride her bike and has recently started taking her dog, Maisy, along with her.
Litia completed an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Political Science at St. Thomas University, and a Bachelor’s of Education at UBC. She is interested in identity politics, critical pedagogy, intersectional feminism, and in creating social justice focused curriculum that is accessible to teachers and students of all experience levels. Her idols include bell hooks, Michael Jackson, and her mom – she knows this is an eclectic bunch and draws strength from it.
Lise was born in Calgary, but raised on the other side of the world (literally), on a sheep farm in New Zealand. Her early experiences helped to cultivate a relentless curiosity about the world. While traveling throughout the Global South in particular, Lise became interested in the systemic causes of injustice, and how she could contribute to change in her way. She feels that empathy, determination and self-reflection are the values that drive her to be part of the social and climate justice movements.
Lise is currently studying what she loves: Human Geography and Spanish at the University of Calgary. She is currently part of a collaborative research effort with the Parkland Institute and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives that is examining the role played by the oil and gas industry in shaping Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan. By communicating policy information in a way that is accessible to all citizens, the hope is to encourage more public engagement on climate policy issues. Lise believes conversation surrounding climate change and climate policy needs to be expanded to truly represent a diversity of voices.
In addition to be being a bonafide nerd, Lise cares deeply about helping to minimize the language barriers that can lead to isolation within Calgary’s immigrant community. Building on personal experiences of integrating into foreign cultures, Lise facilitates an English conversation group at the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. She feels lucky to be able to meet new people every week who share their lives and perspectives with her.
Lise replenishes her soul by breathing mountain air, singing, pulling weeds in her garden, bike rides, or cooking for loved ones while enjoying a giant glass of wine. Her next challenge is to learn Indonesian in preparation for field work in the Spring!
Krystal is a feminist, lover of wild spaces, and Oxford comma enthusiast.
In her current role as Community Development Coordinator at the Women’s Centre of Calgary, Krystal works to organize community-building opportunities, and create capacity-development programs for women at a local level. At the Women's Centre Krystal works to apply a gender lens to community issues, and she is excited to be a part of current projects exploring the intersections between gender, climate change, and sustainability.
Krystal studied communications and political science at Mount Royal University. During her time at Mount Royal, she worked as a contributor for the Calgary Journal, where she explored the ways in which access to transportation, affordable housing and opportunities for political participation impact the lives of women in Calgary. This and other work sparked Krystal’s interest in the ways public policy can be used as a tool to create vibrant communities, and she hopes to play a small role in making Calgary a more equitable place to live.
An avid hiker and amateur skier, Krystal spends as much time as she can outside. She has a long list of things that make her happy, but dark chocolate, strong coffee, off-beat humor, and mountain air are near the top. She recently returned to Calgary after time spent overseas – it was the magnetic pull of the Rockies that brought her back to Alberta, and she is looking forward to sticking around.
Khalil Alomar is a Lebanese Canadian who has lived in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, The United States and has a background in Early Childhood Development. He brings unique perspectives to community building, social equity, and intersectionality. He engages these passions in a number of community organizations. He is a mentor to Queer identified youth through Camp fYrefly, and is one of the founders of VOICES: a coalition of Queer and Straight People of Color. He aspires to create a community based non-profit dedicated to the education, facilitation, and promotion of LGBTQ and anti-racist initiatives. He is also a critically-acclaimed stained glass artist and a life long Beyonce fan.
Katie was born and raised in Calgary and, after adventures traveling around the world and brief, temporary residencies in other cities, she has chosen to invest in this city as her home. Katie is a graduate of the University of Calgary, holding a Bachelor of Arts with a major in International Relations. Fascinated by the social sciences, human interactions and community development, Katie was drawn to the non-profit sector at the start of her career. As she continued to learn more about social justice in the Calgary context and how she could best contribute her strengths, she was inspired to return to school in pursuit of a Bachelor of Education. As a teacher, Katie feels she will have the platform from which to inspire youth, foster community and take positive action for change. In her spare time, Katie enjoys wearing many hats. She is the co-founder of local food waste prevention initiative Alternate Root YYC, a volleyball coach, live music enthusiast and proud Next Up participant. To survive, Katie runs on yoga, good coffee, mountain air and lots of laughs.