Cities of Inequality, Urban Solidarity, and Community Activism

Brittany Livingston, (UTSG) Undergrad Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Human Geography
Project: Targeted Climate Destruction in New Orleans: The Racialized Socio-Spatial Impacts of Hurricane Katrina

Apart from pursuing her undergraduate degree, Brittany is currently engaged as a research intern at the City of Toronto’s Automated Vehicles Team. Brittany has had the pleasure of extending her studies abroad, participating in both a semester at University College London and a New York City field course. Passionate about improving the lived experience of cities through sustainable place-making, she plans to pursue an MSc. in Urban Planning with a focus on urban design to help construct resilient and equitable built environments. 

Chiyi Tam, (UTSG) Graduate – Masters of Science in Planning
Project : Urban Planning for Transformative Justice in Practice

Chiyi Tam is an urbanist and a second generation Canadian-Chinese settler from Vancouver. She is currently a communication strategy consultant, specializing in helping organizations conduct meaningful engagement by increasing group capacity for healthy conflict. Ms. Tam has been a community organizer, mobilizing research from the UBC Farm and Oxford University’s Department of International Development in sustainable food systems, technology and international development. She has also been active in social innovation and start-up ventures, first with the installation of Vancouver's umbrella share system - Umbracity and progressive food marketing startup - Social Nature. During her time at UBC, Ms. Tam received the Walter G. Hardwick Scholarship in Urban Studies for her writings on the racial implications of Vancouver’s evolving mythology of Chinese real estate investors. Ms Tam is also a proud alumnus of Vancouver's RADIUS Fellowship, CityStudio Vancouver and Inner City Farm’s cohorts. 

Daniel Dongjoo Lee, (UTSG) Graduate – Doctorate of Medicine and Maters of Science in Systems Leadership and Innovation
Project : Lived Experience Forum to Build Empathy for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness Among Health Profession Students

Daniel Dongjoo Lee is a second year medical student, who is concurrently earning a Master of Science degree in Systems Leadership and Innovation at the Institute of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation. While pursuing his Bachelor of Medical Science degree at Western University, Daniel engaged extensively with the Canadian Medical Health Association. He holds leadership and clinical roles at IMAGINE Clinic, a student-run non-profit clinic serving homeless, refugee, and other disadvantaged patients in downtown Toronto. He is interested in Health Services Delivery and is conducting research in improving hospital resource allocation at the Toronto General Hospital.

Janelle Brady

Janelle Brady*, (UTSG) Graduate - PhD in Education, OISE
Project : Action Research Through Black Mothering Perspectives: A Community Activist Project for Change-making

Janelle is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in the University of Toronto. Her work looks at Black mothering experiences in the schooling and education system. At OISE, Janelle is currently a coordinator of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies and co-coordinated the Decolonizing Conference in 2016 and 2018. She is faculty at George Brown College and the University of Guelph Humber and recently taught at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Janelle is involved in activism and political organizing such as the Women’s March Toronto and the NDP’s Ethno-Racial Equity Committee. Janelle is currently the Vice President of the Ontario NDP and serves on other boards of directors including Community Forward, Progress Toronto and Regenesis. Janelle was recently recognized by the University of Toronto with the International Day for the End of Racial Discrimination Award.


Lubna Alli, (UTSC) Undergrad - Bachelor of Arts in City Studies and Public Policy
Project : Race for Space: The Dichotomy of the City and the Image

Lubna is in her final year of Bachelors and has lived and studied in Siena, Italy; Brno, Czech Republic; and, Seville, Spain, and was recently selected to go to Tokyo, Japan for a competitive urban design seminar with Masters of Planning students from Germany, China and Japan, at the University of Tsukuba. Lubna was also selected to be a Daughter of the Vote and join 337 other womxn in Ottawa for a historic seating in the Parliament of Canada, representing the riding of Ajax for The Honourable Mark Holland. Prior to this, she placed 1st in the UTSC: 50 Years Later Case Competition for her redesign of the proposed University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Master Plan. Fulfilling her duties as a Parks Planning Intern with The Town of Whitby, and as a Research Fellow with the School of Cities, Lubna believes it the responsibility of each city-builder to be hyper-aware of the anti-oppressive framework as their primary guiding pillar.

Muhammad Ali Sajid, (UTSG) Undergrad - Bachelor of Science in Economics, double minor in Mathematics and Statistics
Project : The Impact of the Green Belt and Inefficient Land Use on Affordable Housing in the Golden Horseshoe

Muhammad is an international, first-generation college student from Pakistan. His interests lie in financial markets, development economics, and computational neuroscience.

Nick Vo, (UTSG) Graduate – Masters of Science in Planning
Project : Build a Better Bloor Dufferin

Being exposed to the urban issues and chronic stresses in Toronto, Nick is seeking to explore how to make cities more livable, inclusive and accessible. He wants to enhance his experience and understanding of how to create neighbourhoods in cities that are alive, accessible, and inclusive. As an aspiring "city builder", Nick is always seeking opportunities to learn and gain more experience. 

Ntombi Nkiwan*, (UTSG) Graduate - Master of Public Health in Health Promotion
Sophia Zekiros*, (UTSG) Graduate - Master of Public Health in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences 

Project : Rethinking Public Health

Ntombi Nkiwane is a second year Master of Public Health student in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences stream. She completed her undergraduate degree in Management and Political Science, at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She is interested in the political economy of health in Africa and its diaspora. In her work, she seeks to interrogate the sources of persistent inequities. She recently co-edited an epidemiological research paper on the association between race and mortality in Canada, and is presently working on a research paper about the political economy of health inequities research. Throughout her schooling, she has been involved in various leadership, extracurricular, and community activities relating to: obstetric fistula, reproductive health, incarceration, and housing. She is presently Co-Lead of the Black Public Health Students’ Collective.

Sophia Zekiros is a 2nd year Master of Public Health student in the Social and Behavioural Health Sciences stream, specializing in Global Health. She is interested in the ways Public Health responds to unhealthy conditions produced by social, economic, and political systems, and the particular implications for Black life here and abroad. As a Queen Elizabeth Scholar this past summer, she conducted an evaluation of a breast cancer genetics educational tool in Nairobi, Kenya. This broadened her understanding of the sociopolitical forces that shape Black lives globally, solidifying her commitment to centering the ‘contexts of context’. She looks forward to continuing this work with the School of Cities. She is presently Co-Lead of the Black Public Health Students’ Collective.

Sara Wasim, (UTSG) Undergrad - Bachelor of Arts in Equity Studies and Human Geography, Focus in Urban Geography and Planning
Project : Creating Cities for Everyone: Learning from the Ground-Up

Sara is a 4th year undergraduate urban enthusiast at Victoria College. She is passionate about community engagement and the creation of equitable cities through urban planning and human-centered design. 

Semilore Ajayi*, (UTSG) Undergrad - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and African Studies
Project : Missing Links: Youth Unemployment and Homelessness in Nigeria

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.

Sydney Narciso Wilson

Sydney Narciso Wilson*, (UTSG) Undergrad – Bachelor of Arts in History, Human Geography & Peace, Conflict and Justice
Project : Catcalling is Not a Micro-Aggression: Exploring Women's Experience of Space in Toronto

Sydney is an undergraduate student double majoring in History and Peace, Conflict & Justice and minoring in Human Geography. A lifelong Torontonian she has divided her time between research, activism and community development work. She is particularly interested in gender analysis and intersectional feminism. As part of the Trinity College Research Program she is in the final stages of a major research project assessing government policies effect on the health of Indigenous sex workers, who are overrepresented in the sex industry at a rate of up to ten times their percentage of the general population. Previously, she spent three months in New Zealand as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar conducting research on colonial educations impact on gender roles in Maori communities.

Tania Kengatharan, (UTSG) Undergrad - Bachelor of Arts in Equity Studies, English, and Sociology
Project : Project Title: Art Circle Workshop Series

Tania is a fourth-year undergraduate student with a passion for examining the relationship between politics, resistance and art. Through her educational journey and lived experience, Tania aspires to create safe spaces for healing, solidarity and empowerment of marginalized communities. Her work explores the use of art as a space to process trauma, which often exists at the intersections of identity. 

Thomas standing against a colorful wall

Thomas Siddall, (UTSG) Undergrad - Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Contemporary Asian Studies
Project : New Ground: Technologies of Queer Respacialization Against Gentrification

Thomas Siddall (they/them) is a third-year undergraduate studying International Relations and Contemporary Asian Studies. They have served as the Victoria College Director on the University of Toronto Students' Union and as a member of the Victoria University Senate -  a reflection of their dedication towards community activism and equity seeking work. In the summer of 2018, Thomas worked with the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration (now Ministry of Children, Community and Social Service) where they focused on northern and rural immigration issues. During that time, they produced part of the policy framework that was developed into the federal Northern and Rural Immigration pilot program. In 2019, they worked with the Beijing LGBT Center as part of a research project on gentrification of the Dashanzi area; this work is set to be published by In:cite Journal in late spring 2020.

Victoria McCutcheon

Victoria McCutcheon, (UTSG) Undergrad - Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
Project : Meet the Neighbours

Victoria is a 2nd Year undergraduate student studying Sociology and Urban Studies. Throughout high school she was involved with the Mayor’s Youth Action Committee of Halton Hills, helping to advocate for change and advise community leaders on youth engagement initiatives. In the winter of 2013, she began an initiative with her mother known as “Elves on a Mission,” working to provide warm coats and blankets to Toronto’s homeless during the Christmas season. Currently, Victoria contributes to the U of T’s community through her involvement with ‘StrengthIN,’ an on-campus group that works to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health and better prepare high school students for the stress of university through a variety of interactive workshops. With her MHFA and SafeTALK certification, Victoria hopes to bring both her background in mental health and her small-town perspective to her work within the School of Cities.