“The envisioning and leadership of the project stemmed directly from our Building the Roots youth team. This is a national team of grassroots and top-down youth leaders building the roots of this project from idea to execution.”

Pamphinette (Pam) Buisa, Victoria 23, grew up in Ottawa to parents originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Buisa created Vancouver Island Steps Up, a community relief fund designed to bridge the gaps in the various forms of financial aid that have been doled out by the provincial and federal governments throughout the pandemic. In less than three weeks, the fund raised more than $15,000 for people disproportionately affected by the crisis. She organized a Peace Rally in Victoria with over 10,000 in attendance (online & in person) and various other Black Lives Matter events. She is a student supervisor at the University of Victoria, where she helps students of diverse backgrounds apply for scholarships and bursaries. She won silver in 2014 & 2016 for women’s rugby. Buisa has suited up for Team Canada on the World Rugby Sevens Series in 2017-18, 2018-19 as well as training for the upcoming Olympics.

Njamba (John Michael) Koffi, Vancouver is a poet, musician and author of Refuge-e: The Journey Much Desired. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, he has lived and travelled in multiple countries as a refugee. He appreciates multiculturalism, is highly passionate about Youth empowerment, and advocates for recognition and resolution of minority issues, especially issues affecting refugee youth. He is currently working hand-in-hand with members of a Youth Club he co-founded in Mpaka Refugee Camp in Swaziland to improve existing educational resources, establish an educational fund, and build recreation facilities for all young people in the refugee camp. A United World Colleges graduate, he is currently studying International Relations at the University of British Columbia

Rochelle Prasad, Surrey is the ED/CEO of a thriving Non- Profit called SPARK Foundation. SPARK Foundation offers life education to students all over the world. She is also the recipient of the prestigious Princess Diana Award 2020, Canada 150 award in leadership, Surrey Board of Trade Top 25 Under 25, is the author of her book titled “Because We Can”, and continues to travel the world in pursuit of building schools in third world countries. Rochelle has also been interviewed, published, and written about in over 105 articles in the world. For this 21-year-old, this is just the beginning.

Sree Nair, Calgary (she/her), 24 years old was born in south India and raised in UAE, living in Calgary, AB for the past 10 years. She is a first year Master of Public Health student at Queens University and a Bachelor of Science graduate from Mount Royal University.

She is currently completing a practicum placement at The Sandbox Project as a Communications and Policy Coordinator and on the advisory board for an Anti-Black Racism project with Wisdom2Action, and Anti-Racism Working group with Queens MPH program. She is also a member of the Young Canadians Roundtable on Health where I work collaboratively with industry, government, research, health practitioners and families to improve health of Young Canadians. With almost 10 years of experience in child and youth leadership programs, she is an avid advocate for health equity and well-being development especially pertaining to racialized and marginalized youth.

Fatah Awil, Toronto, Program Coordinator for the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. A health systems and policy researcher based in Toronto. Fatah is also a graduate student pursuing a master’s in public policy & management at York University and a diploma in clinical epidemiology at McMaster University.  In addition to his work and studies, Fatah is a dedicated volunteer who has participated in initiatives like Charity Week, a volunteer-led campaign that fundraises for orphans and children.