Elodie Mantha is an aspiring change-maker when it comes to sustainable food. Her activism is driven by the belief that a more sustainable and fair society is possible, and that it can be realized if we all work together to achieve it. At USC Canada, Elodie is a relationship builder and an advocate for ecological agriculture. In the past, she has worked with Equiterre and Just Food. She hails from Quebec City, and has a background in Environmental Science and Public Policy. She lives in Ottawa with her husband, young son and two fat cats. In her spare time, she loves food, camping, and being a mom. She dreams of a future filled with family, travel, the outdoors, and meaningful work that moves people to work for progressive change and a more equitable society.
Originally from Windsor ON, Holly Stanczak moved to Ottawa to study political science at Carleton University. She now works as the legislative assistant for the Deputy Leader of the Green Party and continues her passionate activism on a variety of issues including, climate change, economic inequality, international affairs, youth leadership and democratic reform.
Community service and consensus building are the cornerstones of Holly’s activist and leadership philosophies. At NextUp, she aims to develop her understanding of the interconnections between the social justice issues she’s currently engaged with and others, including food security and disability issues. Holly is working to develop her capacity to drive progress on a local and global scale and build networks with other activists.
She balances her professional and activist work out with outdoor activities, reading about psychology and politics, travel, and time with friends and family.
Born in El Salvador, Daniela Marin Platero moved to Canada 7 years ago, living first in BC and Northern Ontario. After graduating with a degree in International Development and Gender and Women Studies from Trent University in 2013, she moved to Ottawa to join World University Service of Canada (WUSC) where she first worked as their Ontario Liaison Officer, and later as a Program Assistant.
Daniela knows what it’s like to be a student in a new country – in addition to her experience in Canada, she also spent one year studying gender studies in Pune, India. Her experience there was made richer by her ability to look pretty darn sharp in salwar kameez, which allowed her to blend into the crowd and experience a side of Indian culture not usually accessible to foreigners.
As a passionate speaker with direct experience of marginalization, Daniela feels most drawn to issues of social and migrant justice and indigenous and women's rights. In her free time, Daniela enjoys poetry, dancing, reading, biking in nature, or hanging out with her two roommates.
Catherine Hacksel has a personal passion for social justice. Catherine moved from Toronto to Ottawa to attend Carleton University, where she attained a degree in Communication Studies and minored in Political Science. Catherine loves to travel and has visited various locations within and outside of Canada, but what really appeals to her at this point is the idea of working in smaller communities. Catherine currently works for Ottawa U’s HIV and Hepatitis C Prevention Research team, where she is a vocal advocate for harm reduction in health care, including the opening of a Supervised Injection Sites in our nation's capital.
A lover of art, politics, animals and science, Catherine also finds joy in working and engaging with other people. She is fascinated by live shows and debates, where passionate and expressive people are able to interact and learn from one another. Catherine constantly seeks to impact the people around her in a positive way, and enjoys making others feel appreciated, comfortable and empowered however she can. Through Next Up, Catherine plans to advance her organizational and advocacy skills, while furthering her understanding of social justice issues and expanding her professional network.
Aziz comes from Jenin, Palestine; he was born in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He is completing two degrees at Carleton University, a Bachelor in civil engineering and a Bachelor of Mathematics. Aziz is involved in Palestine solidarity work on campus, and would like to continue and broaden that work after he graduates. He believes that the choices we make as individuals and as a society can change the outcome of past actions; therefore it is important to gain knowledge of all we can concerning climate change and, in turn, link it to other issues. Aziz loves soccer; loves to travel wherever he can; and supports Palestinian human rights.
Raised in the picturesque small town of Bowmanville an hour outside of Toronto, Chloe Nielsen became drawn to the urban lifestyle in order to expand her knowledge of diverse cultural issues and viewpoints. Chloe took this desire to broaden personal exposure to the capital city of Ottawa. She now is in her third year at Carleton University, double majoring in Human Rights and Political Science. These programs have offered Chloe the academic support to unpack perspectives of historic struggle, in both a local and global context. She is particularly interested in the concept of Citizen and it's relationship with Colonialism, entrenched in modern political discourse. Through the Next Up program Chloe hopes to further her understanding of different social justice issues and learn how to apply this critical thinking into meaningful action.
Gabrielle was born in Stratford, Ontario and grew up on a nearby farm before moving to Ottawa in 2010. Gabrielle is currently finishing her fifth and final year of a degree in International Development and Globalization. She acts as the Sustainable Development Center Coordinator at the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa.
Gabby is passionate about food justice, and hopes to focus her future work around food sovereignty, farming and herbalism. She enjoys dancing, doing pilates and yoga, spending time outside, reading, writing, gardening, and hanging out with her dog.
Acil Riyad is a Palestinian-Canadian, born as a third generation Stateless refugee.
Her main interests are refugee rights, Indigenous solidarity, and anticolonialism. Bound to Acil's indigenous solidarity is her desire to achieve environmental justice, as Indigenous peoples have very small ecological footprints yet suffer the most from environmental degradation.
Acil is currently studying criminology with a concentration in law with the hopes of becoming a human rights lawyer, focusing on domestic and international human rights, indigenous rights, and rights to self-determination and decolonization. She wishes to harness domestic and international law in fighting for both rights for and reparations to indigenous populations everywhere, from Canada to Palestine
Currently working in the world of fundraising, Erica has her BA in Women's and Gender Studies along with an honours diploma in Public Relations. She's passionate about queer and trans youth issues, mental health, body positivity, and accessible education. Erica worked as the programming coordinator for Carleton University's Gender and Sexuality Resource Centre, and was a Director for the school's first Student Philanthropy Council. She's a development committee volunteer for the Ten Oaks Project and co-founder of YSB's Spectrum, an LGBTQ+ community youth group. Erica was recognized as Ottawa's inaugural youth Pride marshal in 2013. She loves spending time with her partner and their animals, cooking awesome meals to accommodate her friends' dietary restrictions, and dabbling in graphic design.
Crystal is a writer and editor; she was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Vancouver, and currently lives in Montreal. She thinks writers and artists help us understand one another and ourselves, that they encourage curiosity, compassion, and dissent by telling honest and entertaining stories. She hopes Next Up will teach her how to use her skills and the skills of other creative types for social change. Crystal is passionate about outreach and magnifying good ideas, and likes collaborating with cultural workers, policy-makers, and the business sector. Environmental justice has attracted Crystal since she was nine, when she wrote her very first essay as an argument against deforestation. So, the topic that started her whole writing life is ecology. And she continues to love sharing underrepresented or forgotten stories. Crystal volunteers in the arts and, most recently, for Santropol Roulant, which engages communities through food security programs. She’s also an advocate in PEN Canada’s Writers in Prison program, providing moral support for jailed Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega.