Meet Our Alumni
Get to know the first cohort of the 1834 Fellowship.
Get to know the first cohort of the 1834 Fellowship.
Adrianna Hislop is a recent graduate of Carleton’s Public Affairs and Policy Management (PAPM) program and has since dedicated her time to create and facilitate a space of empowerment for young black women. Upon graduating, she continues to build a network within the Ottawa area, volunteering and planning events to bring awareness to social issues such as the lack of representation of black women in federal Canadian politics and access to social resources. Moving forward, it is one of her many goals to launch a registered not-for-profit organization that will continue to engage, educate and embolden black women to pursue careers in federal politics or the civil service at large.
Amin Ali is a student at the University of Toronto majoring in public policy and city studies with political and education-sector experience. He is currently Racial Justice and Equity Director with Canada’s Young New Democrats and a past staffer with the Official Opposition at Queen’s Park.
From 2017-2019, Amin was a Student Trustee on the Toronto District School Board, representing the 245,000 students in Toronto’s public schools. At the TDSB he advocated for low-income students, as in January 2019 the TDSB passed his motion and wrote to the Ministers of Education and Training, Colleges and Universities advocating for an immediate reversal of cuts to OSAP and its impacts disadvantaged high school students, becoming the first school board in Ontario to do so.
From 2018-19, Amin served as Policy Officer with the Ontario Student Trustees Association, which represents 2 million students across Ontario’s Public and Catholic English schools. He worked with Student Trustees from across Ontario to craft the association’s first pre-budget submission, “Investing in Student Achievement”, which advocated for $2.2 billion in new and continued investments in school repairs, student equity programming, and rural school supports. We also released “The Student’s Visions for Education”, a long-term policy plan with 35 recommendations in areas like enhancing equity, supporting student well-being, and education finance reform.
After graduation, Amin hopes to go onto graduate training in either public policy, education policy, or law school to achieve progressive policy reforms and fight for marginalized communities.
Anisa Abdulle is a recent University of Ontario Institute graduate with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Human Rights Law. Presently residing in Markham, the majority of her involvement in politics and community engagement is in Toronto. She currently serves as a human rights advocate with Amnesty International and an executive with Muslim Youth Fellowship, a non-profit organization aimed to diversify municipal political spaces. She is also a strong human rights, social justice and community education advocate within her community. Upon fulfilling her academic goals as an aspiring Human Rights/Civil Rights Lawyer and a political activist, she hopes to intersect these two areas of study while supporting marginalized communities. Through this experience and education she hopes to better advocate for improved protection and support for marginalized black communities in terms of policy.
While her formal title may be that of a university student, Apefa Adjivon wears several hats, all of which contribute to her passions for youth advocacy and capacity – building.
Drawing from her experiences as a young Black woman, she has assisted in creating two mentorship programs in the City of Toronto, supporting over 200 Black youth. As a speaker, Apefa has seen her message reach over 25,000 people worldwide. She has shared her insight with various international organizations and bodies, including serving as a youth advisor to the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and a Youth Delegate to the United Nations. For her leadership and advocacy, she has been named one of Canada’s top 30 under 30 in Sustainability, A Youth of UNESCO, and one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women. The primary focus of her work is to support youth and women of colour, and her aim is to bring an equitable, intersectional approach to every initiative she contributes to.
Diana Idibe is a recent graduate of the Public Affairs and Policy Management program at Carleton university. She is passionate about youth leadership, community engagement, and equitable access to education. During her time at Carleton, she served as an executive of the Carleton University Students’ Association, using her term to advocate for students’ rights, championing a new peer support program, and supporting racialized students. During the last federal election, she worked on a national communications strategy for an advocacy organization promoting increased youth voter turnout.
After completing her degree, she transitioned into a Masters’ of Education focusing on educational policy and leadership at the University of Ottawa. Diana is interested in human rights and equity issues, racial justice, and empowering youth to take on leadership roles. Diana is a compassionate leader whose strength lies in bringing people together.
Dominique DeGrasse is a Wilfrid Laurier University student. She is studying her Bachelor’s of Social work with a minor in Law and Society. She was born in Jamaica and was raised in Brampton, Ontario. Dominique has been involved in the empowerment of Black people since High school. Taking part in the Black Heritage Club whom was featured for the first time in the schools yearbook in 2016-2017 since opening in 1969. Dominique actively seeks to be involved in the Black community in her city. At University she is the Co-Vice President of the Black Student Collective, where she heads social media management, weekly meeting facilitation and more. Dominique has also had opportunities to work with the Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion of the University. Here she was able to have first hand experience on working towards a more equitable campus, even being keen in the development of new policies surrounding race and anti-black racism on campus.
Dominique is now seeking to finish her Bachelors degree and pursue graduate studies. Where after she will seek a career within the board of education within her region. To her, having more Black people within these positions can help the elimination of excluding black students form the class rooms, disproportionate suspension rates and lack of presence of Black Canadian history in curriculum. In turn she will hopefully get implement more social workers in schools creating connections to resources needed from financial support, all the way to, free after school programming to produce higher academic success for Black youth.
Kayla Webber, is a Ph.D. student in the Social Justice Education Department at the Ontario Institute Studies for Education. Webber, identifies as an Black-Indigenous woman, whose bloodlines and ancestors comes from various lands. Webber, has a devoted passion and interest in relationship-building across Black, Black-Indigenous and Indigenous communities.Webber’s research also incorporates relationship building solely discussing the topics of: Black-Indigenous Identity, Indigenous Education, Ending Violence Against Indigenous, Black-Indigenous and Black women also Black and Indigenous Relationships in Turtle Island (Canada) and beyond. They believe through forging and deepening these relationships that we begin the processes of establishing racial equality, decolonization, and social justice. It is their sincere belief that their ancestors and descendants celebrate their decision to work in these areas.
Kissiah Griffiths is a Bachelor of Commerce candidate studying at Ryerson University. She is currently specializing in Business Management with a minor in politics at the Ted Rogers School of Management. Kissiah is passionate about diversifying institutions and creating social innovation on campus.
Throughout her academic career, she has been extremely dedicated to advancing equity and inclusion. The founder of the Diversity Council at her highschool in Halton, Kissiah created a space for students and teachers to learn about the contributions of diverse Canadians excluded from their curriculum.
Since then, Kissiah has taken her skills, research and experiences to improve the campus life of students at Ryerson. She has served as Marketing Director for the United Black Students at Ryerson and most recently, as Communications Assistant for the Democratic Engagement Exchange, with the Faculty of Arts. With her work for both of these organizations, Kissiah has supported the growth of civic engagement, while also promoting education and social empowerment on campus.
As a creative strategist Kissiah seeks to find solutions to social problems using entrepreneurship. Her involvement as an intern through the Social Venture Zone, has further strengthened her ability to make positive changes in her community.
Kissiah is thrilled to be selected as a fellow for the 1834 cohort and she hopes to learn about the development and implementation of policies specific to education in Canada.
Ladan Egeh is a community organizer, activist and social entrepreneur in the City of Toronto. She is passionate about community building, parity in access to education, and criminal justice reform. She is driven by her lived experiences, undergraduate work as a student policy researcher, and the current work as with the grassroots organization, Sistercode. As Co-Founder and Program Coordinator, Ladan supports young women’s pursuit of post-secondary education, participation in STEM fields of study, and their overall digital literacy. Ladan is delighted to join the first cohort of the 1834 Fellowship Project to deepen her understanding of the Canadian policy process. She looks forward to meeting and collaborating with other Black youth that shares the same vision of change and community development.
Onome Oyiborhoro is currently a student at Carleton University studying Political Science. Throughout her two years at Carleton, she has been involved with events hosted by the Student Association (CUSA), the Black Student Alliance, and the Carleton Political Science Society. This past year she was Vice President Communications of the Carleton Political Science Society. She aims to become a leader in her local community and uplift the voices of fellow black youth in her community.
Onome has also been active in politics by participating in Model Parliament her senior year of high school and volunteering at an MP’s office her first year in university. She was able to interview current MPs and be interviewed by a former MP during her time at Carleton.
Onome’s post graduate goals include getting her masters in health policy and researching black women mortality rate in Canada and other Western countries.
Princess Owusu is a University of Toronto graduate with a Bachelor of Art in Health Policy, dedicated to advocating for equity and inclusion in the distribution of health care services. Throughout her time at the University of Toronto, Princess has participated as an ambassador in student associations such as Student of Color Spaces (SOCS), that campaign for mental health services catered to racialized persons, accessible to students on campus. Princess has not only gained theoretical expertise in the realms of policy and sociology, but she has also committed to pairing her theoretical understandings with practical experience.
Princess has made it a mission to contribute in frontline forms, in order to provide unique and rich policy recommendations. As a Community Support Worker partnered with shelters throughout Toronto, Princess has had first-hand exposure to the discrepancies and gaps that exist within the scope of community care and public health. Moreover, her work with the Toronto Public Health as a public health researcher has solidified her knowledge of policy development and ignited a great passion for policy processes. Just as policy shapes services, programs and resources within the nation, Princess believes racialized and vulnerable voices must be audible in the pursuance of equitable social and health policy. Princess aims to make this a reality.
Princess is devoted to causing change within her community, as an inclusive solutionist. She looks forward to diving into social policy development and analysis.
Risann Wright is an honours political science student at Mcgill University with a passion for advocacy and civic engagement. She has experience in both of these capacities, as well as in policy, at the provincial and federal level through serving with the Ontario Student Trustee Association and on her Federal Member of Parliament’s Youth Constituency Council. Risann is interested in furthering the representation of historically marginalized groups in various levels of government and building healthy and diverse communities. She hopes to contribute to informed Canadian policy by conducting political and legal research. To this end, her current project is on sources of anti-immigrant sentiment.
Romaine is a youth advocate, talk show host, and a student at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Currently pursing his undergraduate degree in Economics and Political Science, Romaine aspires to become an Economist, Civil Litigator and Policy Analyst/Politician.
Romaine is a strong believer in the empowerment of youth, community building, and prides himself on being a part of the upward mobility of his community.
Quite the multifaceted individual, Romaine grounds himself in his philosophy, “my limit exists beyond the unlimitedness of the sky”, always encouraging others to come along for the ride.
With over ten years of experience, his work has seen him ascend to many roles such as former Executive Director of The St. Thomas Advocates for Positive Change and Development, the Brampton North Youth Council, REST Youth Advisory Council, and currently the host of “The Yout Turnt Up Show” on GBKM FM/TV.
“Keep reaching, keep achieving, keep changing the world.”
– Romaine Redman
Sagal is a passionate community builder who spends her time examining issues emerging in Scarborough. Sagal is focused on including her neighbourhood in the dialogue of Toronto’s shifting future. She has served as a stakeholder officer for RISE Edutainment and recently worked in Toronto Community Housing focusing on collaborating with tenants to increase engagement within their respective homes. Sagal’s current role at Future Skills Centre consists of coordinating pan-canadian activities to address priority issues about the future of skills. Sagal is thrilled to be selected as a member of the 1834 cohort and hopes to learn more about policy and its intersection with being Black in Canada
Semilore Ajayi is a 4th year Political Science and African Studies student passionate about inequality debates surrounding the development myth and urbanization in Africa, specifically in Nigeria, her home country. Her research interests include issues of inequality, infrastructure, urbanization and policy affecting youth in African and global contexts. She focuses on how international policy, international law, governance, development and civic engagement intersect to influence the tangible needs of the everyday youth. Furthermore, she looks to explore the importance of social entrepreneurship and the non-profit sector in their abilities to advocate for disadvantaged communities.
Her experiences range from professional settings to community organization and advocacy, which combine to provide her with unique insights and perspectives when problem solving. She has extensive experience as a youth leader, having managed budgets of over $70,000, written grant applications and proposals, managed projects and planned large events centering black and indigenous youth. Semilore believes in constant learning, growth, introspection, and self awareness as the beginnings of effective innovation and hopes to advocate for and instill the above in youth across the country and the world, prioritizing racialized communities.
I, Shemar Barnett am currently a York University Law & Society and French student with goals of teaching at intermediate panels of education. I aspire to deposit a positive, hands on impact unto the minds of forthcoming generations, guiding our youth on paths which fulfill their true potential. Relative to being born and raised in Jane Finch and overcoming the various obstacles undeserved communities have to offer, I identified the societal perspectives projected on individuals from similar communities as myself were merely misconceptions. Thus, I developed a substantial desire to help disrupt historical narratives through empowering and promoting the excellence of those who dwell in undeserved communities. This burning desire resulted in me becoming part of monumental organizations in the city of Toronto all of which assume the social responsibility of aiding historically oppressed youth in reaching new heights of success while alleviating mental stress in the process.
Thador Tekhli was born in Sudan and immigrated to Canada in 2010. He is a second-year student studying Accounting at St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario. Aspiring to become an Accountant and wishing a career in Investment Banking. Throughout Thador’s high school career, he had the honor to participate in various clubs and sports teams. Currently, at St. Clair College, Thador is involved in the Enactus club, The Accounting Finance Club and also a member of the Cross-Country Varsity Team in which he helped deliver their first National Cross Country Championship. Thador is part of the MH100 program that helps black youth at risk through fitness and education.
For the past two years, Thador has attended Model parliament Ontario at Queen’s Park where he got the opportunity to meet members of the NDP Black Caucus participated and learned about creating bills and policies. He serves his community through volunteering at soup kitchens, Rely for Life , and the MH100 program.
This past summer Thador had an opportunity through Global Vision and the Canadian government to represent the city Chatham-Kent on a trade mission to Southeast Asia as a Junior Canadian Ambassador in where he worked with the Canadian Embassy in Singapore and Malaysia. There he met with Senior governments, business, education, and community leaders. During the mission Thador focused on promoting foreign direct investment and identifying commercial opportunities for Canadian Companies and different economic organizations. Thador is hoping one day to build a black chartered school and encourage more black representation in education.
Tim is an alumni of the University of Toronto having completed a Political Science Undergraduate program with experience in the subjects of Sociology, Psychology and Economics. Along with pursuing his studies, he also competed as a Varsity athlete and was a captain on the Varsity Blues Track and Field team. He also worked on an initiative during his undergrad to help Canadian athletes raise funds towards to the Rio 2016 Olympics, enabling multiple athletes to gain funding and receive corporate sponsorships.
Tim was born and raised in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria and having spent time living in England before moving to Canada, he experienced growing up in 3 diverse countries each with its own unique culture informing who he is today. This influenced him to better understand people and increase his awareness of the disparities that exist in the world; in particular the wealth inequalities both between and within countries that are based on race.
He is currently working in Marketing, with a vision to help athletes develop as well rounded competitors. However, the passion for considering long term development of African countries and the African diaspora within Western countries continues to hold pre-eminence in his mind. He hopes to play a role in contributing to well thought out policies that make a sustainable impact in our communities.