Student Activist and Poet
Angelica Poversky plans to unveil the oppressive algorithms of Google Images, during her talk, “Google Images: Where Digital Justice Can Begin”. Angelica’s work is situated between art and activism. She intersects social justice, art and media ethics in her third year of Media and Political Science studies at the University of British Columbia. Her project “Google Images,” an interactive website that highlights the erasive algorithms of Google Images, received national recognition. Believing all ideas must be generated within an anti-oppressive framework, Angelica founded the week-long campus festival, “Artivism” where student artists explored creative resistance.
Angelica is also a spoken word poet, sharing her pieces at many political events including the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial at the Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver Sustainability Conference and the CHIMO Voices Against Violence Against Women Conference.
Avril Espinosa-Malpica will be talking about "The Improbability of Denting the Glass Ceiling Standing Still" at this year's conference. Avril is a CanExport Program Officer of Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service, where she supports Canada’s efforts to diversify its export markets and to build a sustainable and inclusive economy (particularly for women, youth, visible minorities and indigenous peoples). Outside of the office, Avril is a Young Director of the G(irls)20 Girls on Boards initiative, which aims to achieve gender-balanced representation in leadership roles. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Immigrant Women's Services Ottawa – an organization that advocates for immigrant, abused and diverse women. As well, Avril helps advance dialogue on Canada’s role in global affairs as part of the Canadian International Council - Vancouver’s Executive Committee.
Idaliya Grigoryeva is a Master’s student in Economics at UBC. Minoring in China studies and learning Mandarin in her undergrad, Ida got interested in urbanization processes happening in developing countries, which are substantially different from those in Europe or Russia. Fascinated by the rapid urbanization and ubiquitous economic opportunity so evident in China’s major cities, she spent two summers living in China in different cities, participating in different summer schools, volunteering and learning Mandarin.
A summer school on ‘Urbanization in Asia’ at Beijing University in collaboration with London School of Economics enabled her to better understand and put into perspective what she had witnessed living in a slum-like area in Shanghai for a month a year before.
This led to her first getting a Master’s in Urban Geography and now in Development Economics. Ida is planning to continue on to a Ph.D., hoping to make a difference in expanding the research about urban slums.
Growing up among the tall forests near UBC, Ira developed an appreciation and curiosity for forests early on. He has explored extensively in the forests and mountains around Vancouver and has travelled widely abroad, often by bicycle or on remote forest research expeditions. He has become increasingly intrigued by remnant ancient forest ecosystems. Ira is now pursuing his PhD in UBC Forestry as a Vanier Canada Scholar. In his PhD he aims to tell a quantitative history of British Columbia’s forests through the lens of how people and their relationship with forests have evolved over time, and continue to evolve as they face new challenges under a changing climate. In an effort to engage the public to learn about old-growth forests and sustainability he employs use of film, photography, and story-telling. He is also now the chair of the BC Big Tree Committee, a Forester-in-Training, and author of a popular online Big Tree Hiking Guide for Vancouver.
Kylynda will be hosting the talk, "Microbes, Matisse, and the Expanding Universe". Kylynda is an NSERC Vanier Canada Graduate Scholar and Microbiology and Immunology doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia. Born in Puerto Rico, Kylynda grew up in the United States and graduated from Andrews University with a Music BA and Honors Biology BS. She continued further studies while living in Spain, Argentina, and Singapore.
A microbe nerd, Kylynda began microbiome research as a FAS Systems Biology Intern at Harvard University (Turnbaugh Lab) and ORISE Post Baccalaureate fellow at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease.
She currently explores the impact of malnutrition and microbes on the gut-brain axis in the Finlay Lab at the Michael Smith Laboratories. Kylynda also works as a Program Reporter for the CIFAR Humans and the Microbiome Program.
Digital Inclusivity: Is your smartphone a privilege or a right?" Neor's talk is sure to make you deliberate the grey areas where right and privilege collide, promising a resounding conclusion to that question.
Neor Tiku is a 3rd-year Political Science student at the University of British Columbia. At the age of 16, Neor co-founded the Connect Vancouver Foundation, a youth-run organization dedicated to making technology and the internet more accessible to Vancouver’s homeless and at-risk. For almost five years, the organization has focused on providing free smartphones and phone plans to some of the cities most vulnerable, while also recently launching digital literacy training programs.
Deliberate about cultural hybridity and grapple with contexts of stereotyping at Niloufar's talk, "I'm Not My Culture!" Niloufar Vahid-Massoudi immigrated to Canada from Iran at the age of 12 and has annually visited Iran ever since. Having had already established her roots in the Iranian community, she moved to Canada at a malleable age where she absorbed and adopted the culture of her new surroundings. Canada, being a multicultural society, offered her insights into many cultures and many ideas that provided her with a multidimensional and global view. A well-established bookworm fluent in Farsi, English, and French, she has used reading to learn more about her own Iranian culture as well as to gain insight and appreciation for what the world has to offer.
Niloufar is currently completing her 5th year of undergraduate in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.
Rets is a 1st year Master of Applied Science in Mining Engineering student at UBC, aiming to improve mine safety by investigating how organizational learning can be applied to safety culture. In undergrad, Rets completed a project on Organization Behaviour in South African underground gold mines; this landed her the titles of ‘One of UBC Engineering 2018 Rising Stars’, and ‘One of Canada’s Leading Innovators from the class of 2018’. Before UBC, Rets studied at Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa. Here, she did some community service with the entrepreneurship group that equipped unemployed youth in Swaziland with skills to start and run their own businesses. This developed into an interest for youth development and when she came to UBC, she founded a high school mentorship initiative that partnered UBC students from the African Awareness Initiative and Engineers Without Borders to mentor high school students in Lesotho and Ghana with career development skills.
Gender inequality persists in far too many professions. And it diminishes institutions, entire regions, nations and the world. Sadly, while clear progress has been made toward gender equity in certain sectors, gender inequality is actually increasing in certain parts of the world. And in too many professions, there is little progress here at home. It is everyone’s responsibility, but especially for men in prominent positions, to take action and address the situation. We owe it to the next generation to take steps to ensure that every girl today can fulfill their potential tomorrow. It is up to us to #NominateHer wherever and whenever possible, especially in situations where it’s clear that women are under-represented. If we, as men, fall short on this very basic responsibility, we are doing a great disservice to the world.
Tamasha Hussein will be hosting an eye-opening talk about “Refugee Girls' Education”. Having moved from a refugee camp, where she thought all hope of attaining a better education was lost, to a prestigious university like UBC has been a huge transition that created a ray of hope in her life. Refugees are usually portrayed to be helpless and hopeless. By sharing her success story from a refugee camp to UBC, she hopes to change the narrative on refugees and bring out to the open some of the challenges refugee girls face in terms of access to education. It is also an important platform for her to advocate for the valuable work of WUSC, a non-profit Canadian organization that supports student refugee programs.