Avi Lewis is an Associate Professor of Geography at UBC, filmmaker, and climate activist.
Angella MacEwen is a Senior Economist at CUPE National, a research associate with the CCPA, and a policy fellow with the Broadbent Institute. She has worked as a labour economist in Ottawa since 2012, covering a wide range of social and economic issues that affect workers. Angella recently co-authored a book on wealth inequality and tax policy in Canada: “Share the Wealth: How we can tax Canada’s super-rich and create a better country for everyone”.
Laura Murphy is an Edmonton-based housing researcher.
Dr. Carolyn Whitzman is a housing and social policy consultant. She is an expert advisor to the Housing Assessment Resource Tools (HART) project based at UBC, which is developing best practices for doing housing need, land, and acquisition assessments, using open data. Carolyn is the author of six books, including most recently Clara at the Door with a Revolver (UBC/ On Point Press, 2023), and the forthcoming How to Home: Fixing Canada’s Housing Crisis (UBC/ On Point Press, 2024).
Ahmed "Knowmadic" Ali
Multi-award-winning Poet Laureate Ahmed Ali, better known as Knowmadic, is a community organizer, public speaker, actor, musician, comedian and youth worker who has dedicated his time to empowering communities around the world. He is passionate about the arts and education. Most importantly, he emphasizes the importance of equitable representation on all levels of government.
Carissa Halton is a storyteller, facilitator and writer. Her debut book of essays, Little Yellow House: Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood, explores life, heartbreak and resilience in Alberta Avenue and was a finalist for the 2019 Edmonton Book Prize. Raised in a family and community rich with stories, she lives in Edmonton with her husband and children. Her debut novel about the politically tumultuous 1920s is in stores Fall 2025.
Marliss Taylor is the Manager of Streetworks and Director of Health Services at Boyle Street Community Services in Edmonton. She is a Registered Nurse who has been in nationally and internationally. She has worked in Harm Reduction for the past 27 years. She was the first to initiate the use of community-based naloxone in Canada in 2005. She was a member of the Alberta Health Services Board of Directors from 2015-2019, and was a member of the Minister’s Opioid Emergency Response and is the Chair of the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.
Heather Morris is a registered nurse with a PhD in Health Services & Policy Research. As a former public health nurse, her research interests focus on substance use and harm reduction, public perceptions of harm reduction and how individuals with lived and living experience engage in political advocacy to shape drug policy reform in Canada. Heather is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta and the Inner City Health and Wellness Program, Royal Alexandra Hospital.
Jeremy Appel is the author of the forthcoming book Kenneyism: Jason Kenney’s Pursuit of Power, and an independent journalist who writes The Orchard newsletter. His work regularly appears in independent media outlets, such as Jacobin, Ricochet, The Breach, The Progress Report and The Maple.
Sharon J. Riley
Sharon J. Riley is an award-winning journalist based in Edmonton. She is the Prairies bureau chief for The Narwhal, an online magazine focusing on the issues related to the environment and energy. Sharon’s writing has also been published by The Walrus, Harper’s, The Tyee and Maisonneuve, among others. Sharon was born and raised in rural Alberta, and if she's not at her computer she's probably in the Rockies with her family.
Dr. Paul Kershaw is a tenured professor at the University of BC, public speaker, regular media contributor and Founder of Generation Squeeze – a “Think and Change Tank” that promotes wellbeing for all generations by turning evidence into action and rejuvenating democracy to protect what is sacred for younger and future generations: a healthy childhood, home and planet.
Dr. Stephanie Ross is Associate Professor in the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She is the co-author of Building a Better World: An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada (4th ed.) and numerous other works on labour movement strategy and politics.
Lorian Hardcastle is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary. She has a JD (with Health Law and Policy Specialization Certificate) from Dalhousie University and a masters and doctorate in law from the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on health law and policy, with a particular interest in the regulation and finance of the healthcare delivery system, governance and liability issues in the health sector, and the governance of public health.
Rebecca Graff-McRae is a Research Manager for the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta, where her areas of research include public healthcare, seniors’ care, and public services. She holds a doctorate in Irish Politics from Queen’s University Belfast, and has held fellowships with the Institute of Irish Studies at Queen’s, Memorial University Newfoundland, University College Cork, and a SSHRC Post-doctoral Fellowship in Political Science at the University of Alberta. Rebecca is the author of Remembering & Forgetting 1916: Commemoration and Conflict in Post-Peace Process Ireland (Irish Academic Press, 2010), and her scholarly work has appeared in Éire-Ireland, Nordic Irish Studies, and Ethnopolitics among other publications. She has also contributed to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives forthcoming 2023 Alternative Federal Budget, as well as Alberta Views magazine. She has previously worked for Edmonton City Council, the Centre for the Advancement of Women into Politics at Queen’s (now the Centre for Gender in Politics), and the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland through a competitive internship program. Her recent reports for Parkland include: Misdiagnosis: privatization and disruption in Alberta’s medical laboratory services (2022); Time to Care: staffing and workloads in Alberta’s long-term care facilities (2021); and Blurred Lines: private membership clinics and public healthcare (2017). When not researching or writing, Rebecca can be found practicing her Irish dancing and raising a quartet of critical thinkers.
Emma Jackson is an organizer, writer and campaigner based on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton, AB. She grew up in the Canadian labour movement and first cut her organizing teeth in the student fossil fuel divestment movement. She now works for the global climate justice organization 350.org, organizes locally with Climate Justice Edmonton, and sits on the board of the Alberta Workers' Association for Research and Education (AWARE). She's passionate about how we can build transformative mass movements, defeat Pierre Poilievre and the rise of the far-right, and win the world working people deserve.
Dave Meslin is a renowned urbanist, community organizer, and author of the bestselling book Teardown: Rebuilding Democracy from the Ground Up -- described as a “handbook of democratic solutions.”
Born in Sucker Creek Cree First Nation, Lewis Cardinal was nine when he joined his father in Edmonton. His dad, vice-president of the Indian Association of Alberta, inspired him to become a community and political activist. He studied at the University of Alberta, earning a PhD in Indigenous Education, afterwards teaching in the Department of Educational Studies. Politically active, he ran for municipal and federal office. As an educator and communicator, Cardinal emphasizes creating links among Indigenous communities and between their communities and non-Indigenous communities.