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January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Kim Katrin Milan

The artist who helps her diverse communities tackle issues in creative ways

Blair Mlotek@blairmlo

YOU DON’T EXPECT the word “amazing” to come out of someone’s mouth so often when they speak about difficult issues every day. Splitting her time between New York and Toronto, Kim Katrin Milan is an an educator, writer, artist, yoga instructor, and activist. She does so much that a casual viewer would be forgiven for […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Evelyn Encalada

The professor who fights to stop exploitation and improve migrant workers’ rights

Sam Juric@Samjuric

IN 2001, EVELYN ENCALADA TRAVELLED to Leamington, Ont. for the first time. Driving through the province’s tomato industry capital, flanked by farm fields on each side, made her feel like she was entering a different world, rife with exploitation and poverty. Encalada, an advocate for the rights of migrant workers, was there with a group […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Jim Derksen

The longtime disabilities activist who won’t give up the battle for change

Sam Juric@Samjuric

IN 1958, 11-YEAR-OLD JIM DERKSEN was hospitalized for polio for the second time, alongside many other children who’d been caught by the epidemic. The virus caused him to lose the use of his legs when he was just six years old. It was during this hospital trip, however, that he encountered a nurse who verbally […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Rio Rodriguez

The historical researcher who re-maps communities to keep their radical roots alive

Nashwa KhanWebsite

ON MARCH 20, 2008 New College students at the University of Toronto occupied Simcoe Hall to protest a hike in fees during a tuition freeze. The students, who were all people of colour, sat chanting and singing songs hoping to get a meeting with the school’s then president David Naylor. One of the students sitting […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Samra Zafar

The survivor and award-winning academic who empowers women to leave abuse

Fatima Syed@fatimasyed401

WHILE MOST PEOPLE’S FACEBOOK messages brim with congratulatory notes on the day of their graduation, Samra Zafar’s inbox was overflowing with two words: “Thank you.” On Monday June 10, 2013, Zafar, then 30 years old, had kept her phone off for the duration of her University of Toronto graduation, where she was awarded top student […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Erica Violet Lee

The university student who challenges Indigenous stereotypes and advocates for change

Justine Ponomareff@JPonomareff

ERICA VIOLET LEE IS A SELF-DESCRIBED “Nēhiyaw Philosopher Queen and Indigenous Feminist,” but the terms activist and writer also aptly describe the 25-year-old University of Saskatchewan student. “The first activism event I did was when I was about five years old,” says Lee, the hint of a smile detectable in her voice, even over Skype. […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Mohammad Ali Aumeer

The hip hop artist who energizes crowds with songs about human rights and social justice

Hillary Di MennaWebsite@HillaryDiMenna

IT’S MARCH 2015 and the Toronto crowd is rallying to protest Bill C-51. There’s excitement in the air. With every new body comes a greater sense of solidarity. Speakers file on and off stage. The crowd is committed, but human: there comes a point when attention wanes and distraction takes over. The energy starts to […] More »
January-February 2016

The People Do Good Stuff Issue: Amira Elghawaby

The former journalist who now works to end anti-Muslim press coverage

Adam RasmiWebsite@AdamRasmi

“WHY DO YOU HAVE TO WEAR THAT THING HERE?” “Why don’t you just go back to where you came from?” That these kinds of remarks are ever voiced might seem far-fetched, almost cartoonishly so, but they are actually common enough that many Muslim women in Canada who wear the hijab hear them at some point […] More »
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Gender Block: Remembering Jewel Kats

Hillary Di Menna

Jewel Kats, author, disabilities advocate, and real life Archie Comics character, died this past weekend. I profiled her in This Magazine’s ‘30 Totally Awesome Social Justice All-Stars‘ issue last year. I remember that she would get tired throughout the interview process so we would take breaks, but when she came back it was always with […] More »
January-February 2016

The People do Good Stuff Issue: Ilana Labow

The urban farmer who grows the green movement through gardens and education

Emily Rivas@RivasEmily

WHEN ILANA LABOW was getting her hands dirty planting baby greens and carrots in a friend’s backyard in 2009, she never envisioned that it would lead her to start a non-profit organization. “It was accidental. I’m not going to lie,” says Labow, the 32-year-old co-founder and director of Fresh Roots. “It was a lot of […] More »
January-February 2016

The People do Good Stuff Issue: Jen Sungshine

The youth LGBTQ advocate who preaches love and celebrates diversity

by Larkin SchmiedlWebsite@LarkinSchmiedl

SPREADING LOVE AS AN ACTIVIST can be a tricky balance to achieve, especially for those who do in-depth social justice work in a world rife with pain. Addressing injustice through education is emotionally demanding work and can be disheartening. But co-founder of Love Intersections, Jen Sungshine, practices love with intention. Her work focuses on raising […] More »