Our work would not be possible without the contributions of so many people.
The sixty movement leaders who first wrote The Leap Manifesto by consensus in 2015. The founding members of our team who have since moved on to other projects. The advisors who have supported our organization’s development at every stage. And our movement allies who inspire and drive our work every day. Thank you!
Bilan Arte Communications Lead
As the daughter of Somali refugees that fled civil war in the 90s, I am the first person in my family to complete post secondary education in the west. My experiences in the student movement changed my life. It was where I first got involved in organizing and movement building in the the name of social justice and equity. It was also where I made history as the first black person elected to lead the Canadian Federation of Students. Today, I identify as a black, muslim, feminist activist residing in unceded, unsurrendered Algonquin Territory (Ottawa) on Turtle Island. I’m thrilled to be bringing my experience in community organizing to my role as Communications Lead for The Leap. I am always fueled by my passions for social justice, equity and building people power, and I can’t wait to work with you and your community to take the Leap! Here’s what I can do for you: I’m the best person to chat with about any media questions, if you’d like to propose a story you want to see shared on our website or other online platforms, or if you need some communications support for your local campaignor project! You can get in touch with me at email@example.com.
Jody Chan Organizing Coordinator
I’m the Organizing Coordinator for The Leap, which means I have the incredible privilege of supporting the people who are bringing The Leap to life in their schools, unions, cities, and communities. I live in Toronto, in the unceded, unsurrendered lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Peoples. As an organizer and facilitator, I believe in a few things: the importance of community care, the value of art (pay your artists!) and storytelling, and the fact that dumplings will be the fuel of the resistance. When I’m not dreaming and scheming with this bunch of wonderful humans at The Leap, I spend my time doing local environmental justice organizing, writing about feelings (mostly my own), wandering around parks and bookstores, silly dancing, and petting pups (mostly other people’s). Want to get involved with The Leap, or chat about our local groups, networks, and projects? I’d love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Leah Henderson Operations & Development Lead
One of the first things I do when I go to a website is I look at the “about” section. I can’t even tell you exactly what I’m looking for – is it the gender or racial makeup of the organization? Is it the trusting smiles, or looking into their eye in the photographs? Maybe its when they write something that makes me laugh just a little, like how they like to walk their dog to the hot dog stand every Saturday morning. Regardless, here I am, for you to see and hopefully, for you to feel a bit closer to The Leap and all that we do here. I spend a lot of my time at The Leap thinking about how we can raise money in ethical and accountable ways, and how we can care for each other as a team, and as a movement through practices that build a culture of care. Before I worked here, I spent years organizing protests, facilitating meetings, and helping groups of people come together to decide on their goals and strategy to make the world a healthier and safer place. I was born and raised by settler witches on Cree territory (Alberta) and I now spend my day to day life on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Peoples (Toronto). I believe in our collective resilience and am always interested in learning more about how we can grow stronger together and I hope that you’ll do that work with me and the whole team here at The Leap.
Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright U.S. Organizer
Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright
I am an active justice seeker, writer, policy analyst, and organizer (though I am still trying to figure out how that works since I am not the most organized person this side of the Cascades). My soul smiles everyday that I wake up as a US Coordinator for the Leap. Following graduate school, I began my career as a policy analyst and urban planner in California where I specialized in writing documents to determine project compliance with myriad environmental laws including, but not limited to, National Environmental Policy Act, California Environmental Quality Act, Clean Air Act and Safe Drinking Water Act – all the while focusing on Environmental Justice compliance pursuant to Executive Order 12898. After being lured by a Colorado-based corporation from Los Angeles to work on “alternative” energy projects that turned out to be fracking, my focus shifted markedly. Since then, it’s been my honor to coordinate with and assist frontline communities who have helped me understand that climate disruption, an overall system of oppression, can only be addressed through an intersectional lens, that is, intersectional as a verb. When I am not working with the greatest team on terra firma, I can be found attempting to write the funkiest bass line of all time, pondering the bad karma New York City must have earned due to the NY Knicks while teaching Yoga classes, running after my two year old blessing of a son Zahir, and pondering what song I am going to play with Prince when we meet on the other side (Bo Diddley will be invited to said jam session too).
Avi Lewis Co-Founder and Strategic Director
I’m Co-Founder and Strategic Director of The Leap. Feels weird to write those words! Honestly, we had to come up with titles and that’s what we settled on for me, but the truth is that we’re a small team that tries to practise the silo-busting we preach – so like everyone else, I work on, well, a bit of everything. I started my career in my hometown of Toronto in 1990, as a local news reporter, reporting on fires, food bank drives, propane leaks and city council meetings. Later, I hosted a show on CityTV called The New Music, and got to interview some of my heros, like David Bowie and Leonard Cohen (who later signed the Leap Manifesto!). In the late 90s, I hosted a show called counterSpin on CBC, burning myself out (and loving most every minute of it) hosting more than 500 live televised debates in three years. Later I launched a documentary show on Al Jazeera English called Fault Lines, and along the way made a couple of feature documentaries – The Take (2004) and This Changes Everything (2015). That last one we premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and we launched the Leap Manifesto the same week! I’ve been working on making the Leap come true every waking moment since (and a whole lot of nights, I feel like I’ve been willing it into being in my sleep…).
Katie McKenna Co-Executive Director
I’m the Co-Executive Director of The Leap, and work in a leadership team with Bianca Mugyenyi, Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein. I work on everything from big-picture strategy, fundraising and everyday operations. as well as contributing to individual projects. I try to create a work environment that mirrors the values we want to see in the world: collaborative, caring, and kick-ass. Before The Leap I spent much of my career working at the intersection of storytelling, academia and social change. I’m a proud longtime co-conspirator with Avi and Naomi. I co-produced the documentaries The Take and This Changes Everything with them, and worked as Engagement Lead for the five-year This Changes Everything project. At other points in my life I’ve been: a cook, a bartender, an anthropologist studying macaques in Japan, and a documentary director and producer. To defeat my sense of intimidation around mainstream economists and politicians, I did an MSc in Global Politics at the London School of Economics in 2008-09 (the year they crashed the world economy!). I’m a bilingual Montreal and proud Habs fan. I’m now transplanted to Toronto where I live with my husband Matt Thompson and our son Leo. If you can’t find the person you’re looking for elsewhere on this page, I may be the one you need!
Bianca Mugyenyi Co-Executive Director
I’m Co-Executive Director of The Leap. I’m an activist and author based in Montreal. Born in Uganda, I left soon after when my parents were forced into political exile. I’ve spent the past decade and a half organizing with a wide spectrum of social justice collectives, organizations and projects from Haiti Action Montreal to Missing Justice and the African Union. I formerly chaired the Canadian Federation of Students-Quebec, sat on the board of the Quebec Public Interest Research Group and am co-author of Stop Signs: cars and capitalism on the road to economic, social and ecological decay. Before joining the Leap team to help coordinate the launch of the Leap Manifesto in Canada, I led campaigns at Concordia University’s Centre for Gender Advocacy. During my time there, I helped win a sexual assault centre and organized hundreds of events and actions on issues ranging from decolonization and Indigenous rights to reproductive justice and gender and climate change. The Leap community has shown me that people are hungry for profound societal transformation and a justice based transition away from fossil fuels, and want opportunities to connect and get to work. I look forward to working with you all as we harness our power through the fire of collective action. **Bianca is currently on maternity leave
Rajiv Sicora Blog Editor, Research Manager & U.S. Organizer
I’m not on Twitter, so this could be my only chance to write a bio in 160 characters or less. “Leap blog editor and organizer-in-training. Formerly lead researcher on This Changes Everything. Pan-leftist. Low-carbon leisure enthusiast.” If you’re involved in efforts to leap to a just, safe future that should be covered on our blog, please reach out! email@example.com
Jackie Joiner Manager, Klein Lewis Productions
I like to think of myself as a problem-solver and generally live by the principle of “when there is a will, there is a way.” I’ve moved around a few times in my life and have had the privilege of working with amazing people in my various stops in Vancouver, New York and Toronto. I feel very honoured to have been working with Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis for over 13 years now and to work side by side with my colleagues in the Leap witnessing the birth of this new force for good in the world. As the mother of a tween and a teenager, I’m hoping the Leap will help them and their children survive and thrive in a better world. I truly believe it is up to us. So, if you need help solving a Leap-related problem, or want to be in touch with me about Naomi Klein or Avi Lewis, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org.