Maryama Ahmed is a community organizer who is a member of Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP). JFAAP is a community led anti-poverty grassroots organization that advocates to eliminate poverty locally and globally. Currently a lot of her organizing is with the Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF). BCCF is a seven acre urban farm located in the Jane and Finch community. The farm provides much needed community programming, workshops and events around sustainable food growing and outdoor learning around the food, animals and plants that are indigenous to the area. She sits on many sub-groups within the Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF) including the steering committee and resident council. Maryama creates and performs poetry and community theater pieces that are social justice themed. A lot of her community organizing is around housing insecurity, anti-poverty, anti-police and maintaining and increasing city funded programs and library services in priority neighborhoods. She enjoys her work with the Rebels around filmmaking and film festivals accessible to communities that do not have access to arts programming.
Fatin Chowdhury is a photojournalist, multimedia storyteller, researcher and organizer. He’s a community organizer working at the intersections of climate and racial justice. He’s previously worked with Leadnow and Studio Y and is currently working on mobilizing around affordable housing in the GTA with Generation Squeeze. He believes that media must be used to amplify voices of resistance to document and counter mainstream narratives.
Naila Lalji is the Volunteer and Programming Coordinator at OPIRG York, Rebels’ founding organization with a mandate to do popular education and advocacy around social and environmental justice. She is also a member of Cinema Politica at York, a group that organizes monthly screenings of inciteful documentaries at York University followed by engaging post screening discussions. She strongly believes that film can be a powerful catalyst for change through its ability to use storytelling as a means to connect people to issues that affect their communities.
Since its conception, Rinchen Lama, has supported the Rebels With A Cause film festival in different capacities as volunteer, co-presenter and Festival Manager. She is a community arts practitioner who is passionate about the intersection between social justice and the arts. She is the founder of the Made in Exile Theatre Collective and currently on the Toronto Nepali Film Festival programme committee.
A founding member of Rebels With A Cause film festival, Amee Le has been involved with the Rebels collective since the beginning. She is a cultural worker who organizes, creates, and curates in contemporary visual, film and media arts. She served as a board member of Whippersnapper Gallery and was part of s.o.s. curatorial collective. She is now the Festival Operations Manager at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, and Festival Director at Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts. An MBA-qualified professional, she also works towards her MA in Art History with a focus on decolonial art theories and practices in her free time.
A member of several Toronto-area groups that deal with climate justice and sustainability, Ezra de Leon hopes to aid the just transition to a post-carbon, post-capitalist society with no unjustified hierarchies or coercion. His favourite colour is green.
Leticia Boahen is a member of Jane Finch Action Against Poverty and a long term resident of Jane and Finch. Leticia is the Director of the Black Creek Community Farm (BCCF), which has enabled her to create programming, workshops and events in the community that provides community members the ability to interact with green spaces and learn about how farm, fresh food is grown. The farm runs a senior program that provides seniors in the community to have healthy food related workshops and events. The farm also provides Farm camp, day camps during the school break and the summer that teaches children through outdoor learning how healthy farm fresh food is grown. They also learn the indigenous animal and plants that grow naturally around them. The farm also engages community members to organize around food justice, food sovereignty and food security. Leticia also coordinates the Mother’s in Motion Wellness and Health program. A program that creates healthy active programs for mothers in the community.
John Greyson was born in Nelson BC, grew up in London Ontario, and has lived in Toronto since 1978. Instead of film or art school, he joined Toronto’s film and video production co-ops (Charles St. Video, Trinity Square Video, LIFT) and started making activist and experimental videos, working with diverse collaborators (Colin Campbell, Richard Fung, Michael Balser, David McIntosh, Lisa Steele, Clive Robertson). He attended the Canadian Film Centre in 1990, and has taught at California Institute of the Arts (1986-89) and York University Film Department (2005-present). He was awarded the Toronto Arts Award for Film/Video, 2000, the Bell Canada Video Art Award in 2007, the Arts & Culture Pride Award, 2009, and the 1st annual Alanis Obomsawin Award for Commitment to Community and Resistance, Cinema Politica, 2011.
Farid C. Partovi is a leading activist behind organizing front-line workers at four different agencies in Jane and Finch community and president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 4772. Farid has supported the labour and social justice movements in Canada and internationally in outstanding ways for over two decades. He was instrumental in formation of Jane Finch Action Against Poverty, one of Rebels’ core community partners, and always goes beyond in supporting young workers and artists crucial to social and economic justice work. Farid is also a founding member of the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran.