In this virtual roundtable series, the ICN focuses on the overarching theme of an inclusive public engagement for a just COVID-19 recovery process. The second roundtable session, which includes women, youth, Indigenous and LGBTQIA+ voices, focuses on how CSOs are navigating challenges associated with the digital divide for an inclusive public engagement. With the shift to online programming, digital divide resulting from inadequate resources and uneven distribution of technological infrastructure is particularly important; it determines who gets to participate and how they participate. In this roundtable, we reflect on the measures that CSOs take to ensure marginalized groups are included in a meaningful, participatory and transformative way. Our aim is to highlight particular challenges associated with digital programming for CSOs and share innovative and promising practices among the CSOs
Catherine Pappas | Acting Executive Director, Alternatives
Originally in charge of international internships, she then began to coordinate solidarity and human rights projects with partners in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iraq, and Palestine. Over the past few years, she has written several proposals funded by the Government of Canada, the European Commission, the Quebec’s Department of International Relations and the Francophonie, the International Organization of the Francophonie, and various foundations. A graduate in communication from the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM), she has also worked as a filmmaker, researcher and photographer on photographic and film documentaries with the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as well as independent production companies. Her achievements in movies and photography were recognized by the sector (Lux contest, nomination for a Jutra Award in 2003).
Daphne Morgen | Co-Founder, Youth UnMuted
Daphne Morgen is the co-founder of Youth UnMuted, an international organization aimed at storytelling and amplifying the voices of displaced youth from refugee camps in Greece to the Bay Area, California. From the beginning of her career, Daphne has engaged creatively with adults and young people, developing and implementing creative programming within the US criminal justice system, internationally within the United Nations, and back home in Canada as a mental health service provider. Daphne’s commitment results from her unwavering belief that, given the opportunity and support, vulnerable young people can move forward with confidence and the tools they need to achieve their full potential. Daphne holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University and a Masters in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University.
Gabriel Newman | Honduras Liason, World Neighbours Canada
Gabriel Newman’s day job involves working with cultural organizations as an educator and interpreter. He is also a sessional theatre instructor at Thompson Rivers University. He has been a volunteer with World Neighbours Canada since 2017 and is currently the Honduras liaison despite his Spanish being a “work in progress.” He is an active grant and report writer as well as storyteller.
Dr. Joy Masuhara | Co-Chair, Women Transforming Cities International Society (WTC)
Joy is Co-Chair of Women Transforming Cities International Society (WTC). She has been actively involved in WTC’s participation in UN Habitat as a participant and speaker. She has been a lead on the Women Friendly Cities Challenge project which was launched at the World Urban Forum 9 in 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. She also Co-chairs the SOGI Partner Constituent Group of the General Assembly of Partners, a coalition of civil society groups that plays an advisory role to UN Habitat. Joy works in Vancouver as a physician in the area of older adult mental health and has a special interest in how multicultural issues impact health outcomes. She serves on several Boards and Committees related to elder care, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and applies an intersectional feminist lens to her work.
Marina Melanidis | Founder and Co-Managing Director, Youth4Nature
Marina (she/her) is a Greek-British-Canadian settler on the unceded, unsurrendered territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (currently known as Vancouver, BC). She is the Founder and Co-Managing Director of Youth4Nature, a youth-led, global organization mobilizing youth to lead on solutions to both the ecological and climate crises that are grounded in community, knowledge, and justice. Previously, Marina has worked on conservation and climate change at home with the BC Provincial and Canadian Federal government, abroad as a research exchange fellow in India, and with the United Nations as an intern with the UN Environment Programme. She is currently pursuing an MSc, with a research focus on how the idea and practice of “nature-based solutions” is shaping and re-shaping aspects of conservation governance. Marina holds a B.Sc. in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of British Columbia. She is a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholar, a Students on Ice alumnus, and has recently been named as one of Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders and Top 25 under 25 Environmentalists. She loves 70’s rock, good vegan food, and the BC coast, and is (attempting) to learn modern Greek.
Rebecca Jacobs | Digital Communications Coordinator Community Forests International
Rebecca Jacobs is the Digital Communications Coordinator at Community Forests International, where she works to support and grow their online community engagement and storytelling. With a passion for social and environmental justice, Rebecca comes from a background in environmental governance, international development, and social geography. She has almost 10 years of experience working in public outreach, marketing, and communications in the non-profit and social enterprise world.
Ruth Taylor | Operations Coordinator, Heart-Links Lazos de Corazón
Ruth Taylor is the part-time operations coordinator at Heart-Links Lazos de Corazón, a charity based in London, Ontario, that supports community development in northern Peru. As Heart-Links’ sole staff person, Ruth draws on close to a decade of experience working as a journalist and communicator in Guatemala and on a long history of participation in global solidarity efforts. She is in her sixth year with Heart-Links.
Sean Burke | Overseas Program Director, HOPE International Development Agency
Sean Burke is the Overseas Program Director at HOPE International Development Agency, working with a team of Project Managers in Canada and a network of implementing partners in 16 countries around the globe. Sean’s various roles in community and international development, including postings with the United Nations in Cambodia, Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania and Haiti, have framed his drive for partner engagement and community-led programming. Sean has degrees in Environmental & Natural Resources Management, from Griffith University (Australia).
Tina Sweeney | Outreach and Partnerships Officer, Cuso International
Tina Sweeney is passionate about creating a space for us to come together and engage in strategies that reduce poverty and inequality. Helping Canadians participate actively in the development and stewardship of innovative partnerships and alliances to leverage their skills, expertise, and resources as important development partners.
Tina works for Cuso International in the Toronto’s satellite office as the Outreach and Partnerships Officer, where she engages with Canadians, regional councils, diaspora communities, and professional associations committed to creating a better and more sustainable future.
Through the belief in the power of people, Tina’s vision for the future is ‘a shared humanity’ through proximity.