Urban Indigeneity / Indigenous and Racialized Communities

Evelyn Ascencio

Evelyn Ascencio, (UTSG) Graduate – Master of Public Health, Social and Behavioural Health Sciences (Health Promotion)
Project: Not Your Average History Lesson: A Photo History of Racialized Communities in Toronto’s Inner Suburbs

Growing up as the daughter of Salvadoran refugees in a predominately low-income and immigrant neighbourhood in Toronto, Evelyn Ascencio witnessed the daily effects of health inequities on her family and friends. These lived experiences motivated her to work directly with the community to educate them about societal factors that lead to health disparities. This has led her to work as a Youth Health Action Network member with Toronto Public Health. She has also facilitated peer support groups and supported community advocacy efforts for Fred Victor Centre. At Planned Parenthood Toronto, she has analyzed teen pregnancy and STI rates to identify high risk neighborhoods in Toronto. Evelyn ultimately aims to raise awareness of the experiences that marginalized communities face in Toronto in her work as a researcher and educator. Most recently, to contribute her skills to the Covid-19 pandemic response initiatives Evelyn worked with ReConnect, an interactive web-based tool that allows users to locate available services and supports in their respective communities. Watch her interview on CTV's "Your Morning" as she puts job-searching as a new grad during a pandemic, into perpective. 

Read more about Evelyn's thoughts and journey in her Students in the Spotlight feature"Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Student Academy and Urban Leadership Fellowship program.

Conroy Gomes

Conroy Gomes*, (UTSG) Undergrad – Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, Biology and Physiology
Project: Art in Oppression and the City

Conroy is a passionate, experienced, and knowledgeable student leader within the academic community at U of T. Growing up in traditionally underprivileged areas, an early understanding of the role of urbanization and infrastructure mismanagement in social and health inequalities has driven Conroy to use his passions in public health policy, research, and law toward the demonopolization of resources for traditionally marginalized peoples. Although only a fourth year student, he has engaged in advocacy, outreach, and leadership on the ground through community-service development, policy, research, and student initiatives. These activities encompass work at institutions such as the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Kensington Health, the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, the Hospital for Sick Children, and U of T’s International Health Program. 

Read more about Conroy's thoughts and journey in his Students in the Spotlight feature. "Students in the Spotlight" is a conversation series with members of the SofC Student Academy and Urban Leadership Fellowship program.