2017 Voices

These are some of the experts, leaders, facilitators, and storytellers coming together to help shape the conversations and skill building sessions that is the SCI agenda.

 

Arianna Trujillo Wesler

Principal, Movement Technology at Wellstone Action

Arianna Trujillo Wesler is Principal of Movement Technology at Wellstone Action, where she leads on data and analytics trainings, including Data and Analytics Camp. She has over a decade of experience in community, labor and electoral organizing on and offline. Before coming to Wellstone, Arianna served as Deputy National Data Director for Bernie 2016, where she crafted the tech infrastructure behind the national distributed volunteer program, including the dialer engine which powered 75 million remote phone calls. An alumna of the 2008 Obama Campaign, the 2010 South Bay Labor Council and NationBuilder, her organizing philosophy is grounded in a firm belief that communities bound by empathy and driven by hope are unstoppable.

Arianna Trujillo Wesler

Melanie Mark

Member of the Legislative Assembly, Vancouver Mount-Pleasant

Melanie Mark is the first Indigenous woman to serve in the B.C. Legislature. Elected in a by-election in February 2016, with the New Democrat Official Opposition, she first served as the Deputy Spokesperson for Housing and is now the Official Opposition Spokesperson for Children and Family Development. Melanie is passionate about building communities that thrive on quality social services, prosperous economies, and environmental sustainability. Raised in East Vancouver, with a single mom, she has spent much of her life standing up for the Vancouver-Mount Pleasant community in a variety of leadership capacities. She is the former president of the Urban Native Youth Association and co-founder of the Vancouver Aboriginal Community Policing Centre.

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Jennifer Sturm

Director of Digital Engagement, American Civil Liberties Union

Jenn is the Director of Online Engagement at the ACLU where she heads up digital campaigning and communications strategies, mobilizing the ACLU’s 5.5M supporters to fight to get the U.S on a better track.  Prior to working at the ACLU, Jenn led digital strategy and engagement at the Astraea Foundation, Center for American Progress’s Enough Project, and the Human Rights Campaign. Jenn’s improbable career has included stints as a UNIX sysadmin, cab driver, and baker. Her proudest educational achievement was completing Computer-Circus camp as a teen, where she learned to eat fire, walk a tightrope, juggle, and code video games in Pascal and C – all life experiences that come in handy as a digital strategist for social change.

Jenn Sturm

Khari Wendell McClelland

Artist, Musician & Facilitator

Khari Wendell McClelland is a diversely talented and ever-evolving musician. Originally from Detroit, Khari has become a darling on the Vancouver music scene with reviewers lauding his performances as a clever mix of soul and gospel.  Khari’s songwriting crosses genres and generations, joyfully invoking the spirit of his ancestors who straddled the United States-Canada border in efforts to escape slavery and discrimination.  His music draws from this rich history, integrating the rhythms and folklore of early African-Americans with contemporary sounds and stories of struggle. Recently, Khari received critical acclaim for his Freedom Singer project, recreating the music fugitive slaves carried on their journey north into Canada. Whether on stage or in the studio, Khari’s passion for community, equality and justice is palpable, as is his belief in the redemptive power of music.

Khari McClelland

Katrina Pacey

Executive Director, Pivot Legal Society

A month into law school, Katrina was looking for new ways to ground her education (which includes an MA in women’s studies) and contribute to real social change in Vancouver’s downtown eastside. She connected with John Richardson, established Pivot’s sex work and human rights campaign and has been with Pivot ever since. As Pivot’s executive director, Katrina brings legal strategy to Pivot’s campaigns and connects Pivot with the broader legal community. Outside the office, Katrina spends her time hanging out with her partner and kids. She also stays active by jogging regularly and dancing as often as possible.

Katrina Pacey

Josh Bizjak

Director of Development, Broadbent Institute

As the founding Director of Development to the Broadbent Institute Josh offers years of business and political experience to the leadership team. He has managed fundraising programs for campaigns at every level of politics and seen his candidates elected and debt free. Josh prides himself on his outreach a wide array of stakeholders to assist in the advancement of a progressive agenda. Outside of politics Josh is well-regarded fundraising consultant in the NGO sector specializing in capacity building, systems integration, and revenue diversification.

Joshua Bizjak

Steve Katz

Publisher, Mother Jones

Steven Katz is Publisher for Mother Jones and its non-profit publisher, the Foundation for National Progress. He joined MoJo in 2003 after several years as Vice President of Development for Earthjustice, the nation’s leading non-profit environmental law firm. While at Mother Jones, Steve helped found and was the first Project Director for The Media Consortium, a network of more than 70 independent, progressive media organizations around the United States.

Steve Katz

Ajay Puri

Facilitator & Organizer

Ajay is a movement builder and social artist. He has 15 years experience in empowering communities and creating social change in the non-profit, academic, government and social innovation sectors. A featured TEDx speaker and one of Canada’s top five volunteers in CBC’s Champions of Change contest. He has spoken to over 150 audiences nationally and internationally on topics dealing with social movements, social innovation, leadership, digital engagement, and healthcare transformation. He has co-founded many movements including: LeadNow, #EastVanLove, BeeVancity, RangiChangi Roots and most recently Changemakers Vancouver. He currently sits on the Leadership Council of the David Suzuki Foundation and the Advisory Boards of Kwi Awt Stelmexw, Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Show, and Social Change Institute at the Hollyhock Leadership Institute. He teaches social movement thinking at SFU RADIUS Ventures, Groundswell Social Ventures, Pearson and Bodwell Colleges.

Ajay Puri

Past Voices

Alida Kinnie Starr

Social Activist, Writer, Musician

Alida Kinnie Starr is a critically acclaimed Aboriginal Canadian hip hop, music and spoken word artist working on the forefront of some of Canada’s most pressing social change issues. Her music and spoken word reach multi-generational and multicultural audiences across Canada and beyond.
Alida Kinnie Starr

Gwaai Edenshaw

Artist, Storyteller

Gwaai is a Haida artist known primarily for his metalwork. He also works with a variety of media including bone, slate, and wood. Alongside being an illustrator, Gwaai also has a passion for story and language. As a founding member of the K’aalts’idaa K’ah Storytelling Society, he has had a role in numerous productions, including the Haidawood stop-motion animation suite, the Haida staging of Sounding Gambling Sticks, and as a consultant in Bruce Ruddell’s Beyond Eden. Along with a life of learning from his father, Guujaaw, Gwaai was also trained by Bill Reid. He continues to learn through the generosity of senior artists and collaborators.
Speakers