In March 2023, in partnership with Vancity, the Broadbent institute launched its inaugural Emerging Leaders Program - a transformative initiative uniting visionary minds from across Canada. This groundbreaking program seeks to cultivate a community of diverse, innovative, and socially conscious leaders.
Our Emerging Leaders Program is a testament to the Broadbent Institute's commitment to fostering a new generation of trailblazers who will navigate the complexities of our ever-evolving society. The goal of the Broadbent Institute’s Emerging Leaders Program is to provide leaders working for systemic change with hands-on training and ongoing mentorship and networking opportunities to increase their skills and capacity around progressive policies and projects. As one of final projects founder Ed Broadbent supported before his passing in January 2024, the program seeks to shape the next generation of progressive leadership as a part of his legacy for the future of the fight for justice and equality.
Ed Broadbent with 2023 Emerging Leader Program cohort members (from L to R) Diego Cardona, Charles Ozzude, Karimah Naguib, Ed Broadbent, Akuah Frempong, Alexandra Ages, Michael Hamilton, at Ed's last Progress Summit, March 10, 2023.
Throughout this program, participants engaged in a multifaceted learning experiences with in-depth Director-level training, ongoing mentorship and networking opportunities to increase their skills and capacity around strategic thinking, progressive policies and project management.
We invite you to explore the profiles of our exceptional inaugural cohort, each bringing their unique strengths and experiences to the table. Together, these leaders will collaborate, innovate, and inspire, forging connections that will transcend this program.
The application for the 2024 Emerging Leaders Program is NOW OPEN.
Apply to be a part of this unique opportunity before FEBRUARY 16, 2024.
Meet the 2023 Emerging Leaders Program Cohort
Akuah Frempong is a first-generation African-Caribbean-Canadian woman, Akuah holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Management of Applied Science, Specialization in Global Health Systems in Africa from Western University.
By day, Akuah is a healthcare administrator for a homeless health organization in downtown Toronto where she liaises with shelter partners and community organizations to provide low-barrier healthcare clinics to individuals experiencing homelessness. Outside of work, Akuah serves as the Chapter Secretary for the Congress of Black Women, Oshawa/Whitby Chapter and is a Community Member on the Durham Region Anti-Racism Taskforce.
Alexandra Ages currently works as the Executive Director for the Council of Alberta University Students. Alexandra is deeply privileged to support student leaders from universities across Alberta in efforts to make post-secondary more affordable and accessible.
Having obtained her Master of Public Policy degree from McGill’s Max Bell School of Public Policy, Alexandra is deeply passionate about the intricacies of political capital, and particularly enjoys engaging with public policy in regards to post-secondarie, food insecurity, and economic inequality. Previously, Alexandra has worked in various non-profit roles, and obtained her B.A from the University of Victoria, where she studied history and applied ethics.
A true community whisperer, Charles is guided by a sense of purpose, perspective, and conviction that everything he does has reverberations beyond himself. His first-generation immigrant status with gifted him a dual perspective on life that allows him to appreciate the privileges of living in Canada while remaining grounded by his roots. When not decoding health complexities, he jams to Afrobeats, cycles through the vibrant streets of Toronto, or deep dives into a good book. As a 2022 Toronto City Council Candidate and Co-Director of the Board of Health in Toronto, Charles is committed to crafting an equitable and inclusive Canada where the rhythms of compassion and collaboration thrive.
Dannielle Morrisseau (She/Her) is a Métis Cree Nation woman from Treaty 2 Territory also known as Brandon Manitoba. Dannielle is a writer and storyteller as she works with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg and more recently the Community Wellness Collaborative in Brandon Manitoba. Dannielle often does Story Trails where she tells Indigenous based teachings and creative stories in partnership with the City of Brandon and Assiniboine Food Forest. In her spare time, she is focused on her health and writing career.
Deepmala Sahu is a growing professional in the political domain who brings credible knowledge and experience in this area. Based out of Winnipeg, Ms. Sahu currently works as the Executive Assistant to Hon. Lisa Naylor, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and Minister of Consumer Protection and Government services. Ms. Sahu holds a Masters degree in Political Studies from the University of Manitoba and in International Relations from the University of Glasgow where she gained acumen in the political domain.
In her past experiences, Ms. Sahu has worked with the Scottish Parliament where she supported ministers in various public correspondences, surveys and research. Ms. Sahu has worked with various local and national non-profit organizations in India leading public outreach initiatives and generating revenue through donations. Beyond this Ms. Sahu has a strong inclination towards women rights and equality and constantly advocates for this cause through social media handles and other avenues.
Diego moved to Turtle Island - Canada as a refugee from Colombia in 2005 with his mom and sister. He is one of the co-founders of Fresh Voices, a BC-based, youth-driven organization of racialized immigrants and refugees, and has worked in different capacities with the Federation of BC Youth In Care Networks, the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition, Fostering Change initiative and Vancouver Foundation.
He has served as a policy advisor to governments in different capacities. In 2014, Diego received the National Terry Fox humanitarian award for his commitment to social justice, and in 2016 was named one of BC’s Top 10 under 20 by the Globe and Mail. He has been a candidate for Vancouver city council in the past and is currently the board chair of a municipal political party. Since 2019, Diego has served as a political staffer and ministerial advisor to B.C.’s cabinet. He currently advises the Attorney General of British Columbia, and is the chief political advisor for anti-racism initiatives. In his spare time, Diego can be found dancing, and playing volleyball.
Graysen Parker is a Diversity Specialist at the Municipality of the County of Kings in Nova Scotia. In this role Graysen promotes inclusion and diversity which contributes to the municipality’s vision to become a “community of communities, where all people belong” through actions like promoting universal access to culture, developing a mentorship program for BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ youth, supporting and promoting diverse businesses, holding cultural events are examples of this effort.
In her spare time, Graysen supports her local L’Arche community, which she has been doing for almost 10 years. This experience led to Graysen becoming the FIRST employee of L’Arche Fredericton while she was attending the University of New Brunswick. Graysen has always had a passion for leadership and building community and has shown so by publicly speaking out against the stigma surrounding mental health, organizing a Black Lives Matter march in her hometown, and working to keep a “Do With, Not For” approach.
Gurneet Dhami is a Punjabi-Sikh settler focused on centring food and community at the table. Professionally, she is an almost dietitian working in a novel role as a Health Associate in the Town of Innisfil. She holds a BASc in Nutrition and Food from Toronto Metropolitan University and completing an MSc in Applied Human Nutrition at Mount Saint Vincent University.
Her passion for food security extends into her community organizing with the York Region Youth Food Committee, where she mobilizes youth into community food projects. As a youth, she doesn't shy away from moving conversations as a Board Member with the Social Planning Council of York Region through the CivicSchool GTA project. Gurneet is currently focused on civics, anti-racism and food security work in local communities and municipal government.
Josel Angelica Gerardo
Josel Angelica Gerardo is a Philippine-born and Tkaronto-raised (Scarborough) community organizer and a master’s student in Political Science at the University of Toronto with research interests in the politics of identity and belonging. At Toronto Metropolitan University, Josel was quite involved in undergraduate student leadership where she led student government, and contributed to university research projects and initiatives focusing on knowledge mobilization, and equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.
As a young queer Filipina immigrant-settler, Josel enjoys being involved in the community advocating for progressive political and social change locally and nationally, while empowering youth to become leaders in the community, in particular, Asian and 2SLGBTQ+ youth. She is the current Director of Communications at Kabangka Canada, and co-chair of the Youth Advisory Council at Wisdom2Action's SAFER project. Josel is now in a role supporting progressive politics in the City of Tkaronto.
Karimah Naguib is an emerging international development professional with experience in program development, data analysis, and stakeholder engagement. As a Junior Professional Consultant at UNICEF HQ, she conducted extensive research and co-authored global and regional reports on education acceleration and recovery policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Karimah also manages the data analysis team for a federally funded portfolio of 89 social development projects aimed at reducing homelessness in Greater Vancouver as the Program Lead for Data Analysis and Research for Reaching Home at Vancity Community Foundation.
Her next work assignment will take her to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania as a Regional Nutrition Advisor with the Aga Khan Development Network. Karimah holds a Masters degree in Globalization and Development from the University of London, SOAS, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Nutrition with honours from the University of British Columbia. She is fluent in English and French, with conversational proficiency in Arabic and Spanish.
Kelly Speak lives in Winnipeg and is a member of Fort William First Nation. She has 20 years of experience in community social services and began life as a political staffer after the 2019 general election in Manitoba. Most recently she worked on the Leader's Tour during the 2023 Manitoba provincial election. Kelly now works with the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union.
Michael Hamilton works for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. He’s also a proud member of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union:OPSEU/SEFPO. He continues to be a strong voice for advocating for workers and their rights in the workplace. Being a racialized worker, he witnessed firsthand how hard it is for racialized and marginalized workers to move ahead within their respective occupations.
He is an active member within OPSEU/SEFPO and sits on various OPSEU/SEFPO committees which include, the Coalition of Racialized Workers, The Provincial Human Rights Committee, the Social Mapping Committee and the InSolidarity Committee. He’s also a Local President for the Liquor Board Employees Division within OPSEU/SEFPO.
Rebecca Widdicombe serves as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Premier’s Office in Manitoba. She was earlier a political Communications Officer and was platform lead and Director of Communications during the 2023 provincial election in Manitoba.
Saba is a progressive organizer and writer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has worked for political party caucuses and election campaigns across Canada to help secure bold changes -- during her time working in Yukon territorial politics, she helped enact Canada's first-ever public dental care program. More recently, she was involved in the 2023 Manitoba provincial election campaign. She now works with the Manitoba government as the Premier's speech writer. When she's not organizing, Saba spends her time fishing and paddling her way around her home in the Yukon.
Sam Bird is a citizen of Peguis First Nation. She's currently based in Winnipeg, where she works for the first Anishinaabe Premier.
Sonam's passions lie in the intersection of community economic development, equitable design and story-telling. She has spent the last 10 years working with various social impact organizations. Previously, she co-founded a social venture that focused on engaging immigrant women and their transition to the Canadian workforce through cultural cooking classes.
She earned her BA from Simon Fraser University and has studied internationally at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. She has received multiple awards for her work including HSBC Women Leader of Tomorrow for Western Canada and an AMEX Emerging Innovator.
Tsahai Carter (she/her/elle) is a recent graduate of the University of Ottawa where she studied Political Science and Languages. As a student, Tsahai was active in her school community, promoting anti-racism and equity as a student mentor and deputy director of her faculty’s internship program. She is passionate about public policy and Anti-Racism, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. Tsahai completed her 2022-23 Urban Alliance on Race Relations Youth Policy Fellowship placement with the Broadbent Institute, where she researched the future of housing policy in Ontario.
Vivienne Ho (she/her) is a community organizer and a passionate advocate for worker rights, women’s rights and social justice. She is the co-chair of Women’s March Winnipeg and the President of CUPE Local 2348. She serves on the CUPE Manitoba executive board and the Women’s Committee at Manitoba Federation of Labour. She was recently elected as Advocacy chair at The Institute for International Women's Rights.
Vivienne works for Harvest Manitoba and has long been a resident of downtown Winnipeg. She now serves as board member for Spence Neighbourhood Association. She is also politically engaged on the provincial level. She is a Manitoba 150 honouree and was awarded the Paul Fortier Prize and the Community Excellence Award by Winnipeg Labour Council and the United Way.