Celebrating 10 years of Next Up

Hi everyone,

It’s hard to believe that September 2016 will be our ten-year anniversary. We started Next Up in Vancouver in 2006 and nine years later our 534 alumni are making waves across the country.  I’m proud of what we’ve built together and I'm excited for what’s to come.

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Next Up Edmonton Grad was the biggest to date!

Thanks to a fabulous grad committee and volunteers (Julia Dalman, Diane Connors, Aleah Loney), we had an amazing celebratory evening on May 16. The event was held at The Almanac on Whyte Ave, a welcoming, new, cozy venue in Edmonton. Guests included friends and family of the graduating cohort, alumni, Advisory Committee members, funders and supporters, and Next Up presenters. We had 13 leaders graduate this year, presenting each other certificates of completion during a program MC’d by alumni Chris Chang-Yen Phillips. 

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BC Spring Intensive explores community-driven campaigns

Next Up BC's first ever Spring Intensive brought together people from across Nanaimo, Victoria, Surrey, Burnaby, and Vancouver for a dose of Next Up's leadership programming. We explored how social change happens and what individual forces drive us into action. 



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Next Up BC 9 wraps up

labourhistorywalkingtour.jpgAfter seven months of sharing, listening, learning and growing, Next Up Vancouver's ninth run has come to a close. Some of the year's highlights include taking a warm and sunny Labour History Walking Tour with Vancouver District Labour Council president Joey Hartman, exploring connections between hip hop and decolonization with Jerilynn Webster, and learning some self-care tools with the Self Care Project's Christine Boyle and Samantha Cheng.

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Next Up Ottawa Celebrates Graduation

As the Next Up Ottawa program comes to a close, we celebrated a fourth round of graduates in the city! 


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Next Up Ottawa Cohort Organizes Community Discussion on the Gendered Impacts of Colonialism

The fourth round of Next Up in Ottawa is coming to a close, and the 16 participants have teamed up to organize an upcoming community discussion. On Saturday, May 7th, the event titled "Solidarity Against Colonialism: Confronting Gendered Violence" features a conversation with Colleen Cardinal.

This comes on the heels of a successful book launch fundraiser in Ottawa.

Book Launch1.jpg

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Next Update (Spring 2016)

Springtime greetings, and welcome to the latest edition of Next Update! We have updates from the six (soon to be seven) cities that our seven-month programs are offered in and news about three new initiatives on offer in 2016. 


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Alberta Climate Leadership Program

Next Up just finished it’s second full weekend session of its’ new Alberta-based Climate Leadership Program. The program began in March and will run for another three full weekends, ending in June 2016. We have 26 participants from 7 communities, reaching from Pincher Creek in the south to Saddle Lake in the North. Thus far we’ve met in Kananaskis Country and the Edmonton Federal Building, and will continue to gather at three more locations in central Alberta. Our participants come from a wide cross section of Albertan society that includes folks from First Nations, labour, education, policy, municipalities, the energy industry and regulators.

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CBC nominates Nadia Kidwai as one of Manitoba's Future 40

We at Next Up know that Nadia Kidwai, coordinator for NU Winnipeg, is a force to be reckoned with (Star Wars reference noted) in the wider realm of MB's social justice networks; however, we are so pleased that CBC knows it too! They recently announced Nadia's nomination as one of Manitoba's Future 40 leaders, builders, and change-makers who are making a difference in Manitoba. Here is the text of the official nomination and you can also find it here, on CBC's own website.




 Profile :: Nadia Kidwai

Nadia was born and raised in Cardiff, Wales and graduated from Oxford University (M.A. in Politics & History).

Since arriving in Winnipeg in 2004, she has worked in various sectors with a passion for diversity, multiculturalism, and community empowerment through grassroots community development, journalism (CBC Manitoba, Winnipeg Free Press), and co-founding the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute.

Nadia is Chair of the Manitoba Women's Advisory Council, advising the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and a council member of the Immigration Partnership Winnipeg.

Nadia leads Next Up Winnipeg, a progressive leadership program for young people committed to social change and environmental sustainability. She also works for the Canadian CED Network.

Nadia is passionate about hosting "conversation cafes", believing that the way forward for our society is through creating a safe space where people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences can come together and create meaningful dialogue.

Most importantly, she is the mother of 2 young boys and therefore well versed in Star Wars, Minecraft and other equally important cultural phenomena.

Nominated by: Brendan Reimer 



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Learning About Reconciliation, Redress, Remembering & Resilience at Next Up SK Human Library

“We are here to learn from those with lived experience of systemic injustice, in the hope that we can create awareness and change for injustices that continue today.” said co-host and Next Up participant Caitlin Peiris as the Next Up Saskatchewan Human Library began on Monday, March 21. Under the title of Reconciliation, Redress, Remembering, and Resilience, the event brought together fifteen Saskatchewan residents as “human books” to share their stories of injustice and their responses to it with about 75 “readers”.

“Canadians are grappling with this concept in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” said current Next Up participant Justin Fisher. “This Human Library is a way to engage the community in discussions of the different forms of systemic injustices people face here, how they’re responding to it, and how we can all contribute positively to addressing those injustices.”


photo by Juliana Pelinsom Marques


Stories at the Human Library ranged from recent incidents of racial profiling and police brutality, to the legacies of the 60s scoop and Japanese-Canadian internment, and the discrimination faced by sex industry workers, among others. Readers participated in six rounds of “borrowing” at the human library, meaning they got to hear six of the fifteen stories. In the anonymous feedback they left on flip charts at the end of the night (see photo), one participant said the event gave them "a more meaningful definition for reconciliation." 

written by Tracey Mitchell and Justin Fisher

photo by Juliana Pelinsom Marques

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