OMAR LUJAN

Omar is working with Gabriella Kalapos, Outreach Director, at the Clean Air Partnership in Toronto.

Originally from Peru, Omar has been living in Toronto for the past 13 years. He’s always had an interest in learning more about environmental issues but never had the opportunity to work directly on an environmental project – until now! His extensive experience coordinating outreach programs will help CAP to diversify its audience and expand its reach.

Omar holds a B.A Honours from the University of Toronto, a B.Ed from the University of Ottawa and a M.A from Queen’s University.

RHODA DEJONGE

Rhoda is working with Jim Hudson, Executive Director, at the Bay Area Restoration Council in Hamilton.

After studying biology in university, she spent six years in Michigan working as a biologist in a non-profit organization. While in Michigan, she also volunteered as a teacher at a local church’s English as a Second Language Program.

For the last two years, Rhoda taught English in Seoul, South Korea with her husband. While there she learned what it truly feels like to be from a different background from nearly everyone else around you. This experience has given her that much more insight into how I she can help Bay Area Restoration Council engage under-represented groups in her home country.

DEEPA HAZRATI

Deepa is working with Dan McDermott, Chapter Director, at Sierra Club Ontario in Toronto.

Deepa moved to Canada one short year ago. She brings an interdisciplinary educational background, with an undergraduate degree in science and a Masters in Environment Management and M.Phil degree in Science Policy Center for Studies in Science Policy. Her Masters dissertation explored the inter linkages between population, water resource and quality of life of women in rural India while her M.Phil research sought to uncover the technological ‘script’ of the World Bank in order to reveal its preferences in making choices to fund certain irrigation technologies.

While working at the Human Rights Law Network for the tribunal on the World Bank, she became acutely aware of the challenges of under-represented communities whose issues go unnoticed; she has volunteered at Bharat Soka Gakkai – an Organization dedicated to Peace, Culture and Education where she organized and worked with diverse youth.

KASIM TIRMIZEY

Kasim is working with Nicole Thouard, Development Director, at Wildlands League in Toronto.

Kasim recently completed his Master in Environmental Studies at York University where he was researching how to approach environmental education within diverse communities. In his research he developed a framework for a community-based environmental education program working with Muslim youth using the Islamic storytelling tradition. However, more broadly his research prepared him for working on engaging diverse communities in environmental initiatives using their cultural ways of knowing.

Kasim previously worked with an environmental NGO in Ecuador where he combined the use of storytelling, experiential environmental education, and popular education to create a program where youth became environmentally conscientious and motivated to participate in their conservation campaigns. He has strong inter-cultural communication skills that enable him to work with diverse communities. As a teenager he lived in Pakistan for four years and grew up in the South Asian community in Canada. He has worked with indigenous (such as Anishnaabe/Ojibwe) elders in Ontario. He speaks English, Spanish, French, and Urdu/Hindi.

RASHMI CHAWLA

Rashmi is working with Ranjana Mitra, Executive Director, at Community Environment Alliance in Brampton.

Rashmi has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor in Social Work from Ryerson University. Born in Mississauga, she is able to communicate in Hindi and Punjabi, aside from English. Rashmi has a strong interest in diversity issues and enjoys participating in conservation, recycling and nature-saving initiatives. She enjoys exploring Ontario’s parks discovering nature and is an avid yoga enthusiast. Rashmi has experience in both clinical and non-profit settings. She is very enthusiastic to implement the Diversity Project, and is looking forward to contributing her experience and education to investigating and challenging barriers to inclusiveness while helping to enhance diversity within the environmental sector.

As Community Environment Alliance’s Program Support Coordinator, Rashmi will be continuing CEA’s Diversity Project, the preliminary groundwork of which was put forth by previous Community Environment Alliance intern Simranjit Brar.

ANNA FLAMINIO

Anna is working with Justin Duncan, Staff Lawyer, at Ecojustice in Toronto.

Anna recently ventured to Toronto from her peaceful home in north-central Saskatchewan, near the river and spruce trees. Prior to law school at UBC, she practiced social work for several years mainly working with Indigenous youth in the area of addictions and healing. After law school, she worked with residential school survivors in Vancouver, both with their Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) claims and crisis counselling. Anna clerked at the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan with the Honourable Judge Turpel-Lafond and then began (and eventually hopes to finish) a LLM at the University of Saskatchewan. She looks forward to learning the legal ropes of earth stewardship and getting to know the Toronto Ecojustice team.