Toronto Star Journalist
Omar Mosleh is an Edmonton-based journalist for the Toronto Star who reports as part of the national news team. He started his career in 2011 in Toronto with the Town Crier, a chain of community newspapers and magazines. In this role, he won first place in the best news story category at the 2012 OCNA Better Newspapers Competition for a story that examined the disparity in Toronto’s housing market, in particular the crisis of affordable housing in contrast to the construction of luxury multi-million-dollar homes. From there he moved to northern Saskatchewan, where he reported on alleged police brutality against a local Indigenous man and the impact of gaps in funding for First Nations peoples who live on-reserve versus those who do not. His work in the prairies has received attention for exploring the rise of hate groups and their links to more mainstream movements such as Yellow Vests and Wexit, as well as how the residential school system, colonialism and systemic racism continue to have a direct impact on the lives of Indigenous peoples today. Omar was born in Toronto and is of Palestinian ancestry.
Jody Anderson (@meshisland) is a Scarborough based freelance writer and zine lover. She's a former staff writer for Sophomore magazine with work published in HelloGiggles, Flare and An Injustice. She's interested in pop culture, media criticism and anything that gives auntie vibes.
Renee Ashley (@reneeashallen) is a Jamaican writer who loudly and proudly calls Scarborough home. Her work focuses on all things lifestyle and pop culture criticism. Her writing appears in Thought Catalog, Zora and This Magazine (Forthcoming). She's currently a Masters of Teaching candidate at the University of Toronto, with a book collection that keeps outgrowing her bookcase.
Alicia (pronouns: they/she) is a community organizer and media transformation doula working at the intersections of afrofuturist imagination, journalism, land, food, and all the spaces in between. At Free Press, Alicia dreams, strategizes, and organizes to win media reparations and to create a media ecosystem where everyone can thrive, ideally much earlier than the year 2070. They’ve arrived where they are via a path that includes electoral organizing in North Carolina, parent, student and youth organizing in New York, and housing, health and police-accountability organizing in Oakland. Alicia is also a parent, member of a local gardening collective, and a lover of big bodies of nature.
Writer and filmmaker
Writer and filmmaker Omar Mouallem has worked for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, CBC, and WIRED. Over the course of his 15-year media career, he’s edited magazines, ghostwritten two bestselling memoirs, hosted several podcasts, and co-created a documentary about mental health in the oil patch. He recently founded Pandemic University, a virtual school in support of writers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and will publish a travelogue titled Praying to the West: How Islam Shaped the Americas with Simon & Schuster in fall 2021.
Natasha Grzincic (GUR-zin-sitch), or Tash, as most people call her, is the deputy editor at VICE Canada and the global climate editor for VICE World News. She is the force behind Tipping Point, VICE’s series on environmental justice. Before that, she put the mother in Motherboard (she was senior editor) and introduced Cheese Day at the Toronto Star (she was digital news lead). Tash is also a co-founder of Canadian Journalists of Colour. Despite being at VICE for nearly three years, she has no tats—yet.
Krystal Kavita Jagoo
Social Worker, Artist and Educator
Krystal Kavita Jagoo is a social worker, artist, and educator who prioritizes equity in all her work. Her writing has been featured in Huffington Post, Healthline, Prism, and Canadaland. She has facilitated Sustainable Resistance for BIPOC Folx writing workshops for Scarborough Arts and will be teaching a Writing for Social Change course for youth for the Loft Literary Center.
Carole Sandy is a multi-faceted clinical therapist working with individuals, couples, and families. Through her various counseling services, she assists people in breaking generational hurts, creating new career possibilities and helping people discover their strengths. Carole supports her clients in establishing meaningful connections that build supportive conversations, through self-evaluation while processing difficult emotions through efficient and careful execution.
Jeanie Tran is the founder of How Goes The Nation, an opinion platform, currently in development, about race and racism in Canada.
Tamara Baluja is an award-winning Canadian journalist with a passion for storytelling and audience engagement. Tamara currently works at CBC British Columbia as the producer of the social media team, which creates original social and video content to reach and engage with younger and diverse audiences. She also is the opinions editor for CBC BC and works with often novice writers on crafting compelling personal essays and strong arguments with the goal of amplifying diverse voices.
Editor-in-Chief, ByBlacks magazine
Freelance Investigative and Data Journalist
Francesca Fionda is a freelance investigative and data journalist. Her past stories have uncovered fake Indigenous art in the tourism industry, exposed government failures in protecting sensitive health information and revealed new, in-depth data on Canada’s mobile workforce. She’s worked with major investigative teams across the country and numerous independent outlets. Her work has earned nominations and awards from the Jack Webster Foundation, Online News Association, Canadian Association of Journalists, Canadian Online Publishing Awards, Canadian Screen Awards, Radio Television Digital News Association and the New York Festivals Worlds. She’s excited to be part of shaping the future of journalism and is teaching at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, the University of British Columbia and Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Francesca is a first-generation settler of Filipino and Italian ancestry. She lives, reports and teaches on the the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and Stó:lō Nations.
Dwaine is a strategist, facilitator, and fundraiser based in Ottawa, Ontario (unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinabe Algonquin Nation). As a strategist, he specializes in helping organizations integrate social justice, anti-oppression, and community engagement into policies, programs, services, and operations. He is currently leading equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives for the student affairs division at Carleton University. Experiential learning is Dwaine's passion; he has facilitated leadership and design-thinking workshops for over 1000 people in five countries. His passion for learning and commitment to social justice has enabled him to fundraise over $1M for charities, locally and globally - both as a professional fundraiser and in volunteer capacities. Dwaine is a two-time graduate of Carleton University with a Master's degree in Non-profit Leadership and a Bachelor's in Law and Sociology.”