Zaya Kuyena

Zaya is a first generation Congolese-Canadian settler. He and his family have migrated across 3 continents, making roots in Toronto and Montreal respectively. Zaya recently relocated in Ottawa where he’s currently a research associate in investigative journalism with a focus on corruption and organized crime. Prior, he was a parliamentarian staff with the Senate of Canada. Throughout the course of his life, he has focused his advocacy on marginalized youth, anti-poverty initiatives and more recently the intersection between mental health and community-development. A long distance runner, Zaya once joined a team that ran from coast-to-coast across Canada to raise awareness and fundraise on behalf of child poverty. Being the political type, he’s been involved at multiple levels of government with roles in communication and community outreach. His political scars show that he’s experienced both losing and winning sides of electoral outcomes.  Zaya is also a member of the first historically black fraternity in Canada, Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., which dedicates its efforts to mentorship initiatives and coalition-based community development projects across North America. Zaya credits his family and Toronto’s eclectic and always vibrant black community for cultivating his progressive politics.  Zaya can be found perusing record stores and used bookstores, he maintains that he is a wine snob and will find any excuse to dance.