Contributors

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Onella Narangoda

Illustrator

Onella is a believer of diversity and helping women find their voice.

Onella is an engineering student who hopes to empower fellow women in STEM professions. She is a strong believer that diversity is what makes the world a better place and wants to help women achieve equal opportunity. She is passionate about breaking down barriers and standing out to become the leaders that we need today. Her favourite dessert is a rich chocolate cake and she loves to spend her days bringing her woodworking projects to life.

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Razan Samara

Storyteller | Writer & Photographer

 Razan Samara is a Palestinian storyteller living on Turtle Island (near Tkaronto/Toronto). Her work is grounded in elevating diverse community voices and experiences. Her writing has appeared in The Silhouette and Canadian Art Magazine, and she was recognized as Best Journalist at the 2018 Hamilton Independent Media Awards.

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Jaizelle Ortiz

Make-up Artist 

Jaizelle Ortiz is a full-time student in the Medical Esthetics program hoping to bridge into Nursing after graduation to work around more advanced Esthetics. She has been doing makeup for about 4-5 years now experimenting and going through different phases of makeup. She decided to start a makeup page roughly around October of 2018 to showcase more of her work. And ever since, she has been trying her best to not only show different variety of makeup looks, but to represent as a Filipina in the makeup community and maybe influence others that makeup is not only a mask, but it can change how you feel about yourself (in a good way). The same way as it can brighten her day, make her feel good and look good, she’s hoping to enlighten the concept of makeup and that you can rock and feel empowered with or without it.

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Harleen Padwal

Photographer

Harleen is an aspiring healthcare professional and content creator who wants to help and support women through education and awareness. She uses her photography as an outlet to express her voice and encourages other women to be expressive. She takes her creativity and motivation to a new level and likes exploring new things. Her favourite dessert is a classic cheesecake and she loves to spend her days outdoors!

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Raina Ladha

Graduate Student

Raina is a graduate student at the University of Toronto, studying sleep and respiration. Raina's passion for social justice stems from her desire to challenge the status quo. Driven by the question "why?", she often thinks about the logic behind mainstream practices and how they impact different groups of people. Ultimately, she is an optimist striving towards an equitable future for all individuals. Dessert holds a special spot in her life and is always welcome in any form, but her favourite is a chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. When she's not in the lab, you'll find her reading, running (to the next dessert spot), cooking, or exploring a new place (preferably with dessert).

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Amandha Narangoda

Storyteller

Amandha is a Commerce graduate from McMaster University and is currently employed in the start-up industry. Working in a profession that is progressive and continuously challenges the norm, Amandha has had the opportunity to embrace open dialogue about inclusion, diversity, and empowerment amongst peers. She is an advocate for women and BIPOC, and truly believes that supporting each other will help make the world a better place. Her favourite desserts include a classic cream puff or  freshly baked apple crisp topped with vanilla ice cream. In her free time, you can find her cheering on the Toronto Raptors or experimenting with new recipes. 

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Jazé Leads 

Multidisciplinary Artist and Mental Health Advocate

Jazé is a multidisciplinary artist and a mental health advocate from Toronto. Mental health is a central piece to her work and her journey. She comes from a background in Theatre and Film studies and carries many years of experience in the field of mental health. She is a singer and songwriter in the genre of R&B alternative. An all around creative sharing thought provoking insights through her work.

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Imasha Perera

Artist and Aspiring Occupational Therapy Student

Imasha is an aspiring occupational therapy student. She hopes to use her love of art and occupational therapy to create an arts based therapeutic practice. As an artist she uses visual art to express her experiences as an immigrant and a woman of colour. Her work has messages of heartbreak, resilience, joy and empowerment. She strives to give a voice to people who have similar experiences through her work.

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Andrea Abeysekara

Artist, Psychotherapy Student, and Activist

Andrea is a Sri Lankan – Canadian artist, and uses art to make statements on social issues. As a Psychotherapy student and an activist, she is constantly exploring the intersections between mental health and social issues like gender-based violence, racism, and climate change. Drawing strong women of color and making South Asian versions of popular cartoons is how she loves to express these ideas! 

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Samiha Reza

Writer and Doctor of Optometry Student 

Samiha is a current student at the University of Waterloo pursuing a degree in Doctor of Optometry. She is very passionate about supporting human rights and activism. Her favourite dessert are cinnamon rolls!

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Anastasia Shekhurdina

Human Resources Professional

Anastasia is working in the field of Human Resources and studying to fulfill her course requirements for the Certified Human Resources Leader designation. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from McMaster University but found her passion for Human Resources. She believes in equitable practices, empowerment, and self-development, which resulted in creating her column called, Resources for Humans (potential title or if you think of a better one). Through helpful tips, the view from the recruiter, and personal job stories, this column is a place for Anastasia to teach and inform the possibilities. Furthermore, she is the type of person to take on any new task, listen and provide advice for any life situation, and fully state her opinion on any topic. And she might just eat your last double chocolate brownie because she loves chocolate.

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Maia Chapman

User Experience Designer

Maia is a Master’s student studying User Experience (UX) Design at the University of Toronto. She has experience working in design research and accessible design, notably working for her faculty during the abrupt shift to remote course delivery due to COVID-19. In this position she worked with instructors to ensure online content was accessible to all students, and continues her initiatives as an active member of her faculty’s Accessibility Interests Working Group. In the last year of her studies, she is completing a CO-OP at D2L working with the UX Development and Design Team to help to grow D2L’s existing Accessibility-first corporate culture.

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Zeinab Bilal

Educator and Poet

Zeinab is an educator and enjoys writing and reading poetry because it is a good developmental learning especially within her field as an educator children’s verbal and written skills are for them practicing developmental skills. Poetry helps Zeinab and others as well in rhythm also cognitive understanding of words where they fit and also trying to apply in a real world. Poetry helps to improve a lot of ideas, last but not least poetry helps understand the significance of words themselves and others, meaning poetry helps someone determine how they are feeling or what they feel about certain topic. There are many advantages of poetry. She also came to adapt the interest of helping women so in the future she is planning to go in the women’s studies field. she hopes to work out her dreams and goals.

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Sharon Shaji

Blog Writer and Story-teller

Sharon is a strong believer in empowering women to take up space and continue to build each other up. She wants to surround herself with strong women who intentionally create safe environments. She recently finished her Masters of Health Informatics and ultimately wants to be part of health tech environments where all these things are put into practise. She realized early on that she has a keen interest and aptitude in just hearing people out and capturing stories, which she has been able to leverage and transfer to her project work - such as Not Your Typical Coconut. She is a lover of all things health tech, basketball, yoga and powerlifting!