Gwen was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. For four years she lived in Vancouver, where she attended Simon Fraser University and studied Health Sciences. At SFU, she developed her interests in health and well-being, public health, epidemiology, the healthcare system, and research.
After some time traveling, she returned home to Winnipeg and started working at the George & Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation. She currently works in the field of knowledge translation, which is essential in bringing evidence and research into practice within the healthcare system.
Gwen is passionate about health, the environment, and social justice. She believes in equity in all aspects of health, from healthcare to the root causes of poor health, like poverty, and larger systemic oppressions. She believes that only in a more equitable society will there be more equity in health and social services.
Gwen also loves reading, baking, and music. She loves to be outdoors including: camping, hiking, swimming, rowing, and cycling.
Anne Pinnock is a first generation Filipino, wife and mother of two. Born and raised in rural Manitoba, she has a passion for youth advocacy and social justice. Combining her double Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International Development Studies along with her Post-Graduate Certificate in International Business, Anne has immersed herself in the non-profit world through her work with a local family resource centre as a Financial Administrator. Through her strong connection to the community, she participates in and supports the development of leadership and empowerment programming and holds advisory positions with Immigration Partnership Winnipeg and Saraswati Girls Initiative.
Matt graduated from McGill University (Montreal) in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree in International Development and Economics. While studying at McGill, he became a leader in initiatives to increase access to fresh, local food on campus. As a co-manager of McGill’s student-run farm, he developed opportunities for fellow students and community members to gain applied experience in sustainable farming. As a coordinator of the university farmers’ market he created physical space for public conversations around issues of food security, health, and sustainability, while encouraging the McGill community to reconnect with local producers.
Matt now lives in Winnipeg, where he coordinates a farmers’ market and works on a small, spray-free vegetable farm just outside the city.
Despite four years of living in Ontario, Lucy has always been a Winnipegger at heart. She spent most of her summers growing up out at Ponemah, learning from her wonderful grandparents, and the rest of her time in the city, learning from her kind and gentle mother, and passionate, hard-working sister. She is Métis and spends a great deal of her life advocating for change in policy and education for Indigenous youth. She works and teaches within the post-secondary realm, and uses what free time she has left as a member of the Red Rising Magazine Collective.
Melissa is an Arts student at the University of Manitoba, majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies and minoring in Native Studies. She is an intersectional feminist and thinks you should be one too! She is passionate about womyn’s rights, LGBT2QIA* rights, mental health, zero waste, and environmental conservation and sustainability. Melissa is an avid volunteer on and off campus and active in many student groups and services. She is the 2016-2017 Vice President Internal of the Justice for Women University of Manitoba Student Group and a Dedicated Member of the Womyn’s Centre. Some of her favourite pastimes are binge watching Netflix, spending time with friends, volunteering, going for long walks, and snuggling her pup. She isn’t sure what exactly she wants to do with her life yet, but she knows she wants to create positive change and growth in her community and, if she can, the world!
Tyra Cox is from Win-nipi (Winnipeg) Manito-wapâw (Manitoba), and joined Next Up in 2016. Tyra is Sahtu Dene’ Annishinabe, and Mahkwa Dodem ( Bear Clan.) Tyra has joined the Canadian Feed the Children Canada team as a Program Officer, Canada Programs. CFTC works on community-led food security programs and education as catalysts of change and capacity-building that ensure sustainability by working through local Indigenous community partners to help people achieve long-term change for children, families and communities. She is in love with helping the community as a coach with Empowering Indigenous Youth in Governance and Leadership, through Indigenous Leadership Development Institute, as well as KAIROSYouth Exchange, and Red Rising Collective. Tyra has a vast background in Indigenous topics of government, project management, consultation, and grassroots work within communities. Tyra is looking to leave a legacy that will positively impact the Next 7 Generations, and become a part of the generation that leveled up… which is why she advocates that Next Up is a natural fit for Indigenous youth now!
Heather has had a love of nature her whole life. Her passion for environmental sustainability and advocacy has always been an important part of her life, but was further inspired by the book The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. After reading this book, she vowed to do all she could in her community to promote green living. She attended the University of Manitoba and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Environmental Science. During University and after graduation, she has dedicated her time to environmental education. She has had the opportunity to volunteer and work with many local, environmental non-profits, taking part in many positive initiatives and programs. Heather is also passionate about working with children. With nature deficit disorder on the rise, she hopes to spread important messages amongst our youngest generations to create a greener and equitable future. Next Up has provided Heather with the tools to succeed as a young environmentalist and she has also gained a lot of knowledge on social issues and solutions, which are key pieces to incorporate into the environmental work she does.
Mo(rrissa) is a researcher and consultant based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Originally from a farm near Laurier, MB (270 km North West of Winnipeg), Mo moved to Winnipeg in 2009 to pursue post-secondary education. She obtained a BA hons in Geography from the University of Winnipeg in 2013 and a Master of Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba in 2016. Her research spans several topics including: environmental assessments, sustainability assessments, adult learning, public participation, corporate social responsibility, mining, and indigenous capacity for natural resources management. Mo is passionate about deliberative governance and public involvement. She is a community organizer with Leadnow Winnipeg and is passionate about proportional representation in government and electoral reform. In her spare time, Mo enjoys crafting. An avid knitter, occasional potter, and novice weaver; Mo is never far from a knitting project (most likely socks). And yes, she can knit with her eyes closed.
Allison was born and raised in Maple Ridge, BC, but moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba for school and now calls it home. Allison holds a BA (Hons) in Geography and a Masters in Natural Resource Management from the University of Manitoba. Her research focused on understanding how joint forest management systems work in Northern India with a strong focus on gender relations, decision making processes, and learning outcomes of participants involved. Allison is passionate about environmental conservation, gender equality and representation, and creating inclusive spaces within research, policy, and education. Since completing her education, Allison has worked at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba and supports Indigenous Health related research.
Gary McLeod is a husband, father of four and a proud Métis. Gary is also an Advanced Remedial Massage Therapist, CrossFit Coach, Agatsu Kettlebell Instructor, Personal Trainer, Lifestyle consultant and an employee of Manitoba Justice. Gary grew up on a farm 15 kilometres east of The Pas, a Northern Manitoba community. When Gary wasn’t hauling hay, cutting grass or feeding animals, he was playing sports or enjoying Mother Nature. Gary has seen the almost magical effects of living a healthy lifestyle in his own family and the many clients he has reached during his 10 years in the health and wellness industry. Gary has a passion for teaching his fellow humans how to improve their microcosm. Gary is convinced that this is the key to creating a positive cascade effect toward improving the macrocosms we all share.
“Listen to brother beaver, he will teach you.”