Brittney lives by the credo, qui tacet consentire vidétur. Brittney is currently in the Masters of Public Policy program at Simon Fraser University and holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Brittney’s work experience is primarily in communications and outreach with the Liberal Party of Canada and Vancouver Foundation. Brittney is passionate about tax and health policy – particularly surrounding mental health, addiction, and children and families – and values economic perspectives that support social equality. Brittney is actively involved with the Liberal Party of Canada and on an international level with her sorority, Delta Gamma. She also believes that “the time is now” for a poverty reduction strategy in our province. In her spare time, Brittney can be found reading, tweeting, and cycling with her fiancé.
Brad is a migrant to Vancouver from the not-so-flatlands of Saskatchewan. The deep roots of the cooperative movement and progressive politics of the Prairies, as well as the blatant disparity of Aboriginal people, have led him to constantly question the power structures within society. Through this questioning, he was led to Social Work and Vancouver, where he obtained a Bachelors of Social Work degree in 2009 from UBC. He has consistently been involved in work towards social justice, in both his day job, and activism. This has included being involved in a Theatre of the Oppressed troupe though YouthCO, work with Aboriginal and HIV organizations, student politics at UBC, and his current work on housing issues in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. He has worked for Vancouver Coastal Health, Healing Our Spirit, the School of Social Work at UBC, and currently BC Housing. He is passionate about community health, urban development issues, and poverty.
Amanda is an environmentalist and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on the prairies and has since migrated west to the majestic mountains of BC. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a BSc in biology and a BA in anthropology she recognizes the complexity with which environmental and social issues are intertwined. Just as comfortable in a sleeping bag under the stars as in a bed under a roof (perhaps even more so), working in the field of wildlife and conservation ecology has allowed Amanda to live and work in a vast array of environments from the Great Bear Rainforest to Grasslands National Park, often alongside members of the local communities. She has strived to share these experiences and the appreciation she has gained from them with others. Her love of teaching has led her to organize Bioscan at the UofS, public education events with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan and deliver workshops with the Child Hunger and Education Program. Amanda has also worked on a number of environmental campaigns including Say No to Nuclear in SK and most recently for a tanker ban on the west coast. She currently works as a member of a research team at the Centre for Applied Conservation Research Sciences within the Faculty of Forestry at UBC and is an interpreter at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
As a recent graduate from UBC in Sociology and Economics, Vivian is interested in alleviating social inequalities through fostering inclusive communities, cultural integration and youth engagement. She currently works as a Constituency Assistant to NDP MP Don Davies for Vancouver Kingsway, while on the Executive of COPE, Vancouver’s progressive municipal party. Vivian is a co-founder of Fresh Media, a non-profit that celebrates independent media innovation, hosting a monthly series titled ‘Remixology’. She is an author of ‘Growing Community Roots’ a blog series featured on BeyondRobson.com which showcases food security programs and community gardens in Vancouver. In the past, Vivian has volunteered for NOW! Organization, Pivot Legal Society, Canadian Mental Health Association and Little Mountain Neighbourhood House. Vivian firmly believes that transition towards a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable community starts with a sense of belonging. When we feel connected to one another and the natural environment, the more empowered we are to make a difference in our community by taking care of what we belong to.
Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze is a scientist and educator passionate about connecting mind and heart to help communities embrace times of rapid transformation. Starting his career as a field glaciologist in the Yukon Territory and the Norwegian Arctic, he lived by and studied glaciers characterised by their complex and often abrupt response to gradual environmental change. As a researcher at the University of British Columbia, he joined forces with the Western Canadian Cryospheric Network to predict the future of thousands of glaciers in Western Canada, and their impact on water resources. In the last couple years, Tom-Pierre focused on the interaction between natural and human systems, bridging his background in natural science and his experience as a teacher and community organiser to spark transformational conversations about collective change. He currently works in community engagement, organisational learning, and democratic education. Tom-Pierre holds a BSc in Physics from Laval University, a Masters in Geophysics from the University of British Columbia, and is a LEED Certified Professional.
Suzie Dunn is originally from Whitehorse, Yukon. She is a feminist activist who is presently the coordinator at the Nanaimo Women’s Resources Centre on Vancouver Island. She actively works to empower marginalized women including sex trade workers, low income and homeless women. She also works as a community based victim service worker at Haven Society where she works with victims of sexual and relational violence. As an active member in the feminist community, Suzie has worked with a variety of community members to create the Nanaimo Women’s Coalition for Advocacy. The goals of this coalition are to bring women’s issues to the forefront of politics and life.
In the future, Suzie intends on returning to the Yukon to work with youth by engaging them in paddling sports and the arts.
Randy Galawan grew up on a farm in Richmond BC, where he developed a strong connection to the land and an affinity for the strong community feeling that exists there. He is a passionate educator, both with Check Your Head – who he is also on the board of, and as a freelance community engagement educator in the Marshal Ganz method of engagement. Randy’s passions include hiking and backpacking in Canada’s beautiful forests. He currently brings his experience in education, policy research and event planning to his work as a market campaigner, engaging book publishers to green their paper supply to preserve the forests he enjoys hiking in so much.
Meriko is Manager of Partnerships and Special Projects in the Grants & Community Initiatives department at Vancouver Foundation. She has been there since March, 2008 and her portfolio includes the Vital Signs report, the Neighbourhood Small Grants Program, theDowntown Eastside Small Arts Grants Project and Arts and Culture granting. Before coming to Vancouver Foundation, Meriko has worked abroad as a Special Needs Program Coordinator and Art and Music Instructor in a Nahuatl village in Mexico, as well as the International Internship Coordinator for CIDA at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC. Meriko is passionate about community development and is currently working on a project to make music lessons accessible for kids: Give Music.
Born and raised in the small and beautiful Prince Rupert (of which he advocates for all to come and see). Adventure and school pulled James from his home towards Vancouver where he has put his energy towards learning and engaging with the global ecological and social crisis. James is currently studying political science and sustainable community development at Simon Fraser University. He is the co-founder and outgoing President of the non-profit Sustainable SFU which creates, supports and funds sustainability initiates at his university. A strong supporter of electoral reform, James campaigned for the BC-STV Yes side and still dies a little inside when he is reminded about this failed attempt to modernize BC political system. James’ passions range from politics, to boardgames and is curious to reactivate his long lost love of theatre.
Charlene Ponto is a facilitator, researcher, and program manager passionate about bridging the gap between environmental and social justice movements. As the Project Coordinator of the SFU Local Food Project at Simon Fraser University, she coordinates community engagement initiatives and local food distribution projects designed to reduce campus food miles while strengthening regional food networks. Charlene’s international experience includes working on sustainable waste management projects in a rural village in the Dominican Republic and partnering with a Burmese grassroots women’s organization to support nursery school education and women’s economic development projects in refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border. More locally, she has facilitated numerous public dialogues, including an interactive dialogue on climate change and food sustainability at the Canadian Conference for Dialogue and Deliberation. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of SFPIRG, SFU’s social and environmental justice resource centre, and has recently joined the Board of Check Your Head, a youth-driven organization aiming to get young people involved in global justice issues. Charlene holds a degree in Cultural Anthropology, a minor in Dialogue, and a Certificate in Sustainable Community Development.