Adwoa Afful | Project Manager
Adwoa Afful is the founder of Black Futures Now Toronto (BFN TO) and the Project Manager for the Mapping Black Futures Project. She has a background in urban planning, and founded BFN TO to create intergenerational spaces where Black people from across the GTA interested and engaged in community building may share and create strategies for doing with each other.
Ayisha Lineo Gariba | Project Coordinator
Ayisha Lineo Gariba is a visual artist originally from Ghana and Lesotho. Their primary mediums include digital art, film photography and digital filmmaking. They enjoy exploring issues of identity specifically societal expectations of race, gender and sexuality through their films.
Their work has been featured in Huffington Post Canada, The Kit, TFO, the University of Toronto magazine and Munch Magazine. They have screened their films and appeared on panels at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, University of Toronto, George Brown, the Revue Cinema, Xpace Cultural Centre, and more.
Ayaan Abdulle | Project Lead - Operations and Logistics
Ayaan Abdulle (she/her) is a community organizer who has a passion for equity and justice. Her work focuses on cultivating equity, justice and accessibility in the communities she serves. She currently does work with Black Muslim Initiative, Black Futures Now TO, and TTCRiders. She received an Honours Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Toronto.
Samah Ali | Project Lead - Events and Partnership
Samah Ali is the Project Lead for Black Futures Now TO Mapping Black Resources program. She is a distributor and film programmer hailing from Toronto, Canada. A lover of documentaries and virtual reality, Samah's premiere interests lie within short films, ethnic futurisms, and international documentaries. She programs for Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, DOC NYC, and Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival, serves on the Nantucket Film Festival screening committee, and previously programmed for the Toronto International Film Festival. Samah is also the founder of Sisterhood Media, a production and distribution company streaming films about community and identity on Sisterhood Media TV. You can interact with her online on Twitter @sistersamah.
Shaq Singh | Technical Instructor
Shaq Singh is a software developer from Toronto.
Adele Lukusa | Participant
Adele Lukusa is a Congolese writer and j-school student based in Toronto. When she isn’t writing, you can find her choreographing IG-story exclusive dances, criticizing literature/TV/film/podcasts/etc for fun or promoting her latest obsession on Twitter.
Chloe Kirlew-Geddes | Participant
Chloe is an artist, Reiki practitioner and community educator. She believes in learning and unlearning with deliberate intention and radical honesty.
Carel | Participant
I love being creative through drawing, painting, video editing. I enjoy listening to R&B music and reading poetry.
Danait Mehreteab | Participant
Danait (pronounced: Duh-night) is an Eritrean name that means peace maker in Tigrinya; and like her name, she tries to bring peace to every space she is apart of. Danait is an Equity Educator with a passion for health and wellness. She is a fierce advocate for Black joy and gemini's (this is a no gemini slander zone). She loves being apart of this project because she believes mapping Black existence and Black experiences is essential - "to know where we are going, we must know where we come from". Creating Black archives and Black spaces (both in real life and virtually) is important work not only for us in the here and now, but for our future generations. She is grateful to BFNTO for this opportunity to have met, collaborated with and learned from other brilliant Black folx in the city.
Daniella Kalinda | Participant
I love storytelling and work with multimedia to make spaces for cultural research and communal wellbeing. Some of these projects include working with augmented reality, interactive installations, and filmmaking to find personal stories that can have a restorative impact on marginalized communities.
Hewot | Participant
Like most, Hewot is still trying to figure it out, but working in art spaces, community and civic engagement, child and youth care, and a cooking and art instructor has made her realize that the work that she enjoys doing most is grounded in Black experience/Placemaking and within frontline community work. She is a graduate from the University of Toronto where she majored in Human Geography and a Double minor in GIS and Film (she really likes films), but is a soon to be George Brown Student in September for their Community Service Worker program and is eager to do work that not only fulfills her passions but directly impacts her community.
Melissa Haughton | Participant
Melissa is multidisciplinary creative working at the intersection of digital marketing and content creation. She is passionate about sharing stories that focus on arts, culture and community. She helped produce the award-nominated CBC podcast Hard to Stomach, exploring issues related to food insecurity across Ontario. Melissa released a six-part podcast series focused on cultural identity and family history called 'So What Are You?' in April 2020.
Melisse | Participant
Melisse Watson is a Black Indigenous non-binary artist and earth-worker who is passionate about restoration work in both community and with the land. Currently a student in Pre-Health at George Brown College, Melisse intends to continue on the path of Nursing in order to create safer healthcare spaces with better outcomes for QTBlPOC peoples. Through performance, illustration, and installation work, Melisse explores complex relationships with body, spirit, gender, and Afrofuturism. Melisse has performed as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, Summerworks Festival, Anique Jordan's: Clara Ford, and the AGO. Their illustrative work has supported programs like Youthline Toronto, Black Health Alliance, CHEERS Toronto, ACCKWA, Peak Magazine, and the Weave and Mend Collective. As a member of the Mapping Black Futures project, Melisse documented Black people's relationship to their neighborhoods and the rivers that run through them. This documentation is ongoing and fuller iterations will continue into the future!
Octavia Andrade-Dixon | Participant
I am a first-gen Jamaican Canadian who recently Human Geography and Portuguese graduate from University of Toronto. I learned Portuguese as a passion project, and it has opened up the afro-lusophone world to me that is often left unmentioned. I am interest in how Black and Indigenous people across the Americas navigate and create space within settler colonial societies. Outside of work, I am a big fan of enjoyment through physical exercise, biking, lifting, rock climbing, dance etc. I'm a big music lover, nail art enthusiast and an avid reader.
Rainée N| Participant
Zenab Hassan | Participant
Hi! My name is Zenab and I'm an artist and community organizer here in Toronto. I run a platform called "Sistas and Cinema" which highlights Black women in film and media.