The TRU is thrilled to welcome Vanessa Gray, Ladan Mohamed Siad, and Reena Shadaan as our new researchers. Vanessa will be leading our Environmental Justice research alongside Reena while Ladan takes on our Data Justice research.
Vanessa is an Anishnaabe kwe from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, located in Canada’s Chemical Valley. As a grassroots organizer, land defender, and educator, Vanessa works to decolonize environmental justice research by linking scholarly findings to traditional teachings. She continues to take part in a diversity of tactics such as direct action, classroom lectures, co-hosting Toxic Tours, and Water Gatherings. You can check out Vanessa’s latest interview here.
Ladan is a Creative Technologist working at the intersections of art, design and technology to tell narratives about the world that is possible when radical visionary change flourishes. Ladan is a natural born collaborator and has used their skills to teach and help in many community-based projects. Drawing from the imagery of 70s Somali Funk Album Covers, little known black subversive DC history and the sounds of 90s R&B, Siad, who is a self-taught and community supported multidisciplinary creative quilting together global black genres into a visual and audio tapestry of home everywhere. Ladan will be starting at OCAD in the Digital Futures Program (MDes) in September 2018. Ladan holds a BA in Criminology and Psychology from York University. You can check out Ladan’s portfolio here.
Reena is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Her work looks at the gendered dimensions of environmental justice and environmental health, including activism, and reproductive justice considerations. Much of Shadaan’s work to date examines the largely women-led and comprised justice movements in the aftermath of the Bhopal Gas Disaster (Bhopal, India – 1984). Currently, Shadaan is working with the Toronto-based Nail Technicians’ Network and the Healthy Nail Salon Network in response to nail technicians’ occupational/environmental health concerns (reproductive, respiratory, dermatological, and musculoskeletal), as well as the precarious labour conditions in the industry. Reena was the 2017-2018 recipient of the Nelson Mandela distinction for her research. Read the announcement here.