Jerusha Alvares (she/her)
Jerusha Alvares is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Scarborough, double majoring in linguistics and international development studies and minoring in anthropology. She is passionate about equity and decolonizing institutions such as the health care and education systems. Her interests in global health and health equity led to her participating in UTSC’s Global & International Health Week first as a student in the IDSC11 class and then as a volunteer with Open Praxis Forum. She is currently involved with the promotion, outreach and communication aspects of OPF. As a part of the Knowledge Equity Lab, she seeks to better understand the production and dissemination of knowledge within academia. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering with community organizations and trying new foods. Ultimately, she aspires to serve marginalized populations by working as a speech-language pathologist.
Karma Salloum (she/her)
Karma is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, Scarborough pursuing a degree in International Development Studies with minors in Anthropology and Political Science. She is passionate about social justice issues, particularly those around women’s rights, refugee rights, and knowledge inequities and is keen on working in Lebanon, her home country, with her community in the future. At Open Praxis Forum (OPF), she is a director and communications manager who works on web design and social media. She joined the Knowledge Equity Lab out of her interest in understanding knowledge inequities and the barriers to creating and accessing knowledge in academia. Karma hopes to contribute to amplifying students’ voices, help create equitable opportunities for youth to present their work and ideas through OPF, and use her newfound knowledge to benefit her community.
Kibati Femi-Johnson (he/him)
Kibati Femi-Johnson is a second-year student at the University of Toronto Scarborough, pursuing a Double Major in International Development and Political Science. He is primarily interested in equitable policy and governance, but is also curious about other fields of study. Having roots in Nigeria, the United States, England and Canada, Kibati is interested in analyzing global interactions. He studies what makes communities different, similar, and what can be learnt from the overlap (or lack thereof) between the two. This passion has led Kibati to study history, geography and the environmental sciences in order to learn more about unique cultures and societies. Now at the Knowledge Equity Lab, Kibati works with Bioline International as a publishing assistant; downloading, proofing, and uploading journals to the Bioline website. He hopes that by opening himself to a whole new world of information, he can continue to grow in his interests and learn at a higher academic level. In the long-run, Kibati hopes to become a well-rounded and inclusive thinker by seeing the world through a global lens, and to use the knowledge he has to positively influence his community.
Simran Suri (she/her)
Simran is an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto Scarborough pursuing a specialist degree in the CO-OP International Development Studies program. She is consistently striving to build upon her organization, communication and collaborative skills which have been enhanced through her work with the Knowledge Equity Lab. Her role at the lab includes working as a communications manager and project coordinator for the Open Praxis Forum team. By using these skills, she has experience in communicating messages through digital forms such as posters using Canva and will also be co-hosting a workshop surrounding ideas of food security. As an immigrant from India, she seeks opportunities within arts and development, methods to address the increasing number of disparities among such communities and mobilizing knowledge to reach vulnerable populations in the Global South.
Ziyan is an undergraduate student at UTSC studying political science and international development studies. Their interests include queer liberation, gendered cleavages in society, and decolonisation amongst many. By joining OPF as an editor, Ziyan aims to help advance equitable learning and highlight students’ intellectual labour which often lacks acknowledgment. They want to help produce a platform which allows students to learn from each other rather than through the trickle-down model of knowledge which imprisons academia. Ziyan is currently working with the International Development Centre at UTSC to co-produce the Global Citizenship Certificate workshops amongst other events to help transition first year international students into UTSC, and has previously created and co-facilitated the LGBTQ+ and Allies Group on UTSC Residence. They also work for the UTSC Women’s and Trans Centre’s magazine, Margins, which compiles and distributes diverse student-produced content, ranging from reflections to local artist interviews to film reviews. Through experience from working with grass-roots organisations like OPF and KEL, Ziyan strives to co-work with marginalised groups, particularly BIPOC women and queer folks, to foster community support via an equitable and anti-oppressive framework.
Alec is a University of Toronto Scarborough alumni with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development studies. Alec’s research interests are in heterodox political economy, specifically, the social solidarity economy and cooperatively owned enterprises. He aspires to contribute to the growth and application of these ideas through a realistic appraisal of the obstacles and barriers they face. In other words, realistic actions and policies that can be applied today in order to foster their growth. The inequality which exists in the production of knowledge and its dissemination is also of great interest to him, and has direct bearing on his research interests. Alec is a part-time contributor to the Open Praxis Forum and has written three reflection pieces for UTSC’s Global International Health Week and one piece for the Cultivating Change: Pathways to Food Justice and Food Sovereignty symposium. He hopes to contribute to making knowledge production and dissemination more just, equitable, and inclusive.