Elizabeth is a woman of many names: Liz, Eliz, Lizzy, Lizardbreathe, Elizabarf, Lambeth Camberwell…. And a woman of many roles: daughter, sister, crazy cat lady, dog lover, friend, student, researcher, health advocate, triathlete, skier, Ontarian, Albertan, human, goofball, secret bedroom dancer, cryptic-crossword enthusiast, pickle fanatic, caring person, active listener, critical thinker, and thought-provoker. But she is capable and willing to be so much more. Elizabeth is excited about being a part of Next Up Edmonton and hopes to learn more about how to be a leader and activist to make the world we live in a better place for all of its inhabitants. She is keeping an open mind and is receptive to learning more about how she can be involved and take the lead to create positive, meaningful changes in our society.
Nichole is a proud Edmontonian, and believes that now is a very special time for our city, as it grows and evolves Nichole sees an opportunity to shape our communities and define what is important to Edmontonians. One of Nichole's favourite days of the year is Canada Day, watching the fireworks at the High Level Bridge and especially that moment when someone starts singing O Canada and everyone joins in. As H.L. Mencken notes, a radical is one who likes their country possibly more than the rest, and is therefore more disturbed than the rest to see it debauched, they are a good citizen driven to despair.
Nichole is a RN, and is passionate about healthcare delivery and the labour movement. Nichole enjoys being active in her community. She is a board member of two constituency associations and has written 2 party policies. She is passionate about getting out the youth vote in upcoming federal and provincial elections. She is also a Council of Canadians activist, and volunteers with The Arthritis Society.
Nichole's mantra is “everyone is equal”
Sajid Alimohamed is excited to join such an amazing network of Next-Up-ers. Born and brought up in Canada as part of a minority community of Shia – Muslim migrants from Africa and originally from India, Sajid is no stranger to supporting the causes of oppressed groups through activism in the form of public protests, group consultations and private letter and petition organizing campaigns. His passion lies in working with individuals and families to overcome the difficulties in their lives through listening to their struggles, coming up with action items and using his networks and experience to assist them in moving forward in a positive direction. He loves to discuss politics, religion and purpose, especially when discussions lead to the discovery of actionable items, effort and eventually positive change.
Sajid is currently involved in two separate mentorship programs that are geared towards facilitating youth and young adults in the development of some of the soft skills required to be an effective leader and team player. Workshop topics facilitated include ‘Leadership and Self-Deception’, ‘Effective Communication’, ‘Understanding and Integration of Culture’, ‘Developing your Network’ and others. His interest in this area stemmed from identifying the lack of empathy and effective communication in executive boards he had served on, coupled with the lack of people skills observed in youth, typically caused by technological advances that limit the opportunity for real human moments.
When not engrossed in his primary passion of helping people, as an environmental engineer, Sajid manages soil and groundwater remediation and reclamation projects on spill sites and abandoned upstream oil and gas well-sites using natural, innovative technologies for a mid-size consulting and contracting company known as EnGlobe Corp.
Sajid is also married to Arsheen Devjee – Next Up alumni from cohort 5, and is a father to two wonderful children Aayah and Ibrahim who he and Arsheen are grooming to be future Next-Up-ers.
Edmonton native Ryan Williams is a musician and teacher. He holds a diploma in music composition from MacEwan University, and bachelor’s degree in sociology and from Simon Fraser University. He has lived in Edmonton for most of his life, with time spent in Metro Vancouver, and a short time in France.
With a background in performing arts and critical theory, Ryan works to challenge the underlying cultural assumptions that support damaging social structures. He regards the Canadian state as essentially colonial and capitalist, betraying it’s stated ideals of democracy and plurality to destroy nature and people in the relentless pursuit of corporate profit. Ryan believes that the only way to even begin a radical transformation in how we live together on earth is to encourage others with open arms to explore different ways of thinking and being.
A guiding theme for Ryan has been synthesis, be it of academic disciplines, artistic sensibilities, or cultural affectations. His interests lie in the intersections between capitalism, colonialism, sexuality, spirituality, art, addiction, and mental health.
Heather is a registered social worker who works in the area of child protection and high-risk youth. She is a strong advocate for ensuring the resources are available to ensure that all youth have access to supported education, and housing.
Heather is currently engaged with her union AUPE and Local 006 as the chapter 14 chair. Through this role she continues to ensure a safe and equitable workplace for all 850 members in her chapter.
She also enjoys the music and festivals around Edmonton and has been a coordinator at the Edmonton Folk Festival for the last 5 years and a volunteer for 10. Heather is looking forward to the upcoming year at Next Up and putting her learning into practice.
Dan Scratch is a social studies teacher at Inner-City High School in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a social justice advocate and believes that education can be used as a tool to empower youth to become critically engaged citizens who use their power to transform their lives and the world around them.
Dan’s teaching practice is grounded in critical and reality pedagogy, which basically means you’ll see him and his students using the elements of hip hop, social media, and democracy to create meaningful dialogue and learning.
Dan has a Masters of Education from Mount Saint Vincent University and an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Windsor. In his spare time, Dan writes volunteer research articles focusing on various social justice issues and then chills out with his awesome cats!
Alec Stratford is pumped to be apart of the Next Up community. He is originally from Halifax Nova Scotia and has lived in Edmonton for the past two years. Currently Alec is social worker with the City of Edmonton’s Neighbourhood Empowerment Team, teaches social work at Grant MacEwan University and is serving his first term as a council member on the Alberta College of Social Workers.
Alec has a passion and dedication for community development and believes that engaged informed communities can lead too the broader social, political and economic changes that are needed to create a more equal and just society.
He also has a passion for international development and has previously completed an internship with the Aga Khan Foundation in Tanzania where he worked with local community groups on community based participatory education policy research.
Terry Noel is a Bachelor of Arts graduate, with a major in Political Science, and a minor in Economics. He loves creative work, and will spend much of his day making music, writing, or drawing things that keep him positive.
Once hesitant to become involved in activism, Terry found motivation following the Occupy movement in 2011 and its creation a permanent physical space downtown for people to come together and build networks with others that had similar ideas. Since then, he has developed a passion for horizontal decision making, spends his free time organizing, and can often be found at many grassroots events and protests throughout Edmonton, following his goal of removing barriers to activism through the encouragement of community participation.
Terry’s work includes being the co-chair of the World University Services of Canada at Grant MacEwan University, a delegate for National Model United Nations 2011, Vice Chair of Sierra Club Prairie Chapter, candidate for the Green Party in 2012, CEO of Edmonton East Green Party Association, and co-founder of the Seeds Feeds and Needs food co-operative.
Jill Hoselton is excited to be a participant of Next Up 5. Having a background in political science and social work, Jill has developed a passion for anti-oppressive practice and a commitment to social justice. Currently she is doing a placement at the Alberta College of Social Workers, working in advocacy.
Jill’s areas of interest are community development/revitalization, gender studies, food security, animal and nature therapy, and anything else that facilitates others to live full and peaceful lives! She believes through creativity, conversations and relationship building, Edmonton, along with Alberta will become more accessible, just and engaging places to live in.