Founders

  • Gracia Dyer Jalea
    Gracia Dyer Jalea

    Born and raised in Toronto, Gracia is an educator, fundraiser and arts and culture professional. Most recently, she was the Programming Director for Friends of the Pan Am Path, working on Toronto’s largest Host City Showcase project for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. Prior to the Games, she worked for the Montreal Life Stories Project, and co-authored  Mapping Memories: Participatory Media, Placed-Based Stories and Refugee Youth. In 2012 she produced the Montreal Life Stories Rencontres, a series of 48 events that took place throughout the city to disseminate the life stories of newcomers and refugees to Quebec. The Rencontres included a year long exhibit at the Centre d’histoire in Montreal.

    She holds a BA in Cultural Studies and World Religions from McGill University and a MA in Media Studies from Concordia University.

    Her parents and grandparents immigrated to Canada from the Philippines in the 1970s by way of London, Italy, France, New York and Los Angeles.

  • Sarah Hamdi
    Sarah Hamdi

    Sarah is a digital communications geek in the non-profit sector. She currently works at the Homeless Hub, and previously managed CitizenshipCounts.ca, a website and mobile app that helps immigrants study for the citizenship test.

    Sarah holds a BA in International Development Studies from McGill University and a MA in Development Studies from York University.

    She moved to Canada from Egypt when she was 11, and now calls Toronto home.

  • Neal Santamaria
    Neal Santamaria

    Neal Santamaria a été directeur adjoint du Centre d’histoire orale et de récits numérisés (CHORN) de l’Université Concordia. Il a une solide expérience dans le travail avec les nouveaux arrivants, que cela soit au Québec ou en République Dominicaine. Il a également développé de nombreux outils éducatifs traitant de l’expérience et du parcours des réfugiés.

    Neal détient une maitrise en Anthropologie et a été doctorant de l’Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales de Paris, France.

    Fils d’un père dominicain et d’une mère française (avec des racines belges). Il a grandi en France avant d’immigrer au Canada en 2008.

  • Ellen Tang
    Ellen Tang

    Ellen Tang is a media artist and social worker in training. Her net art project It’s Chinese To Me was selected for the First Person Digital program, produced by the National Film Board of Canada and Studio XX. Her short films medicine and Girl Any More have screened at festivals across Canada and internationally. While she experiments using different tools, a preoccupation with issues of culture and identity is a constant theme in her work. As well, Ellen has experience working with newcomer and refugee youth in art and storytelling, leadership development, and advocacy. Currently, she is a graduate student in Social Work at the University of Toronto.

    Ellen was born in Hong Kong, and immigrated to Toronto at the age 10.

  • Ceyda Turan
    Ceyda Turan

    Ceyda is a lawyer, activist and writer currently practising Aboriginal law in Toronto. Prior to her legal studies, she worked as a researcher and policy analyst at the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy. In 2008, she established the Alternatives International Journal in Montreal and served as its editor-in-chief.

    Ceyda holds a BA in Political Science and International Development Studies from McGill University, a MSc in Development Studies from University of London SOAS and a BCL/LLB from McGill University.

    Born and raised in Istanbul by Turkish and Israeli parents, Ceyda moved to Canada in 2002 to pursue her studies. She is proud of her Muslim, Sephardic and Eskenazi heritage and their migration histories and excited about the Ward Museum bringing Toronto’s migration stories to light.

  • Simon Vickers
    Simon Vickers

    Simon’s research interests include oral history, urban history, history of the left and the history of social movements. He has previously written about social housing and co-operative movements in urban Canada, and is currently studying neighborhood activist movements in twentieth century urban Canada.

    Simon is a PhD candidate in History at the University of Toronto.

    He was born in rural Newfoundland and moved with his family to San Diego California when he was 14.  After 6 years in the United States he acquired American citizenship at a naturalization ceremony in San Francisco.  After three more years in the U.S., Simon returned to Canada to begin graduate school.

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