Our work would not be possible without the contributions of so many people.
Thank you to 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.
Hey! I’m Arshia, the Social Media Manager here at The Leap. I am based in Mississauga, part of the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations. My work here is exciting because I get to take these great big idea’s and communicate them to the world through social media.
I enjoy doing community work, particularly within the Muslim community and bringing my activism to life with the community I grew up in. I love to travel (cliche, but true), I enjoy camping, and being outdoors. I also am a huge fan of sleeping.
Feel free to reach out to me on twitter @ArshiaLakhani or firstname.lastname@example.org
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…).
As Executive Director of The Leap, 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. I completed 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, 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!
Senior Manager of Research and U.S. Programming
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
Senior Manager of Development and Programming
I’m the Senior Manager of Programming and Development at The Leap. This means I get to work directly with folks mobilizing for change in their communities by crafting stories that make transformative change real for people.
I work at the intersections of migrant justice, the abolition of borders and racism and climate justice in my unpaid work with No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Close the Camps Coalition and as a climate justice intervener at the UNFCCC.
The other side of my role is as holder of our monthly giving program. I believe individual support is the lifeblood of the feisty advocacy world, and I’m thrilled to continue to create ways for people to power movements.
I’m based in Tkaronto on the unceded, unsurrendered lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Peoples. I am a settler in solidarity with Indigenous communities, sovereignty, self determination and resistance on these lands.
You can find me on Twitter @MayaLillianM and on Facebook as Maya Menezes. Want to collaborate and scheme together? Email me and let’s make it happen firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior Manager of Programming
I am the Senior Manager of Programming at The Leap, which means I get to dream big about all the bold and beautiful ways to make the world better. I work with thinkers, artists, organizers, and educators from different social movements, cross-pollinate ideas, and conspire to collectively create transformative change.
I am most passionate about connecting labour with the climate justice movement; pushing for drug decriminalization, and expanding public health care.
I have led advocacy for a number of unions and non-profits, including the Canadian Union of Postal Workers; the Canadian Health Coalition, and Overdose Prevention Ottawa.
I am a writer and organizer on unceded Algonquin territory (Ottawa). I write most often for Our Times, Canada’s independent labour magazine, as their climate justice columnist.
Got a wild idea and want to talk collaboration? Email me at james@TheLeap.org
Programming and Development Manager
Hello! I’m batul and I’m the Programming and Development Manager for The Leap. I’m a femme settler of colour, and I live in amiskwaciwâskahikan, colonially known as Edmonton, on Treaty 6 territory; the traditional meeting grounds and homelands for the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Dene, and Nakota Sioux.
In my unpaid work, I organize with Climate Justice Edmonton, and spend a lot of time thinking about how to make our movements more accessible and grounded in transformative love.
When I’m not online at The Leap, I love going on long road trips, spending time with my nibs, and riding my bike.
If you want to get in touch, send me an email at email@example.com or you can find me on twitter @batulgulamhus
Operations and Finance Director
Hi! I’m the Director of Operations and Finance at the Leap, which means I get excited about all the geeky organizational details that keep our team healthy. Basically: spreadsheets and post-it notes are my love language, and yes I do have Virgo in my zodiac chart, thank you so much for asking.
I facilitate our planning processes, manage policies and HR, oversee our budgeting and bookkeeping, and do my best to maintain a culture of care and support. I’m one-third of the Leap’s management team, alongside Katie McKenna and Avi Lewis.
I live in Montreal (or Tio’tia:ke in Mohawk and Mooniyang in Anishinaabemowin), on unceded Indigenous land. Je suis fièrement bilingue, et super content.e de vous parler en français par rapport à notre travail.
Outside my work at The Leap, I spend a lot of time organizing for economic justice with a group called Resource Movement. I’m especially interested in how those of us with different forms of privilege (I have a bunch!) can contribute most effectively and responsibly to grassroots social movements.
If you’re interested in any of The Leap’s internal policies or systems, I’m probably the person who can help you out! Don’t be shy to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org