Below is a list of personal and professional passion projects
that I have collaborated on:
Sarang means love in Korean and Salama means peace in Arabic and Swahili. Sarang Salama was our wedding intention when Adil Dhalla and I committed to lives together. Sarang Salama was designed for personal healing, family honouring, and community celebration.
There were three main ceremonies, starting with Mendhi & Mandvo Ceremony followed by the Commitment Ceremony, and closed with the Paebaek Ceremony. Each ceremony was rooted in culture and ancestry while embodying values, such as justice, freedom, play, and passion. You can learn more about our wedding as a value statement in this Toronto Life article.
Story of 한필막
Our grandmother’s name is 한필막 (Han Pil Mak): The last daughter. 한 (Han) translates to “must” and 막 (Mak) translates to “stop.” From the day she was born, she bore the burden of being. My mother, Hyunsook Jang, and I wrote a story about Han Pil Mak.
This story was published in The Stories of Us by the Department of Imaginary Affairs and in the Living Hyphen's Issue 2, Volume 1: Resistance Across Generations.
I led the strategy on developing central research questions on entrepreneurship for the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, a think tank housed at Toronto Metropolitan University and oversaw research projects that explore how we better understand and support entrepreneurship through research and policy.
I oversaw partnerships with the Women of Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and the Innovation Lab at the University of Toronto, and supported teams that produced the following reports:
Inspired by Audre Lorde's seminal speech "Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power," I co-led a programmatic track for Reset in 2018 to create safer spaces for people to explore their eroticism as a source of joy, power, and truth to question and challenge different forms of oppression in our society.
Reset began in 2015 as a summer camp for adults with a central question: how do we bring more play, presence and connection into our lives? The rules were: no phones, no real names, no talking about work. Since then, Reset has spent 5 years learning, growing, and building community by bringing that same feeling of magic into different spaces.
I was the co-lead on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee for the Honest Farewell, a 4-day festival as a farewell to Honest Ed's. This festival was organized by NEMA Productions, the Centre for Social Innovation, and Westbank.
We developed a toolkit to audit and consider IDEA when planning the festival in order to ensure that the team, space, programming, and participants represented Toronto. Our toolkit and learnings were compiled into a report, which you can access by clicking here.
csi REGENT PARK
I managed a social enterprise coworking space called the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Regent Park for 4+ years, which supports activists, community leaders, non-profits, and socially conscious companies.
My primary responsibility was to ensure the long-term sustainability of the space while continuing to amplify impact of 100+ social purpose organizations and increasing access to residents in the neighbourhood.
NATIVE WOMEN'S RESOURCE CENTRE
I developed a feasibility study and a business plan for Debwein Kwe Sharing Circles, a social enterprise envisioned and led by the Native Women's Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT) whose goal was to promote dialogue between the urban Indigenous communities in Toronto and non-Indigenous service agencies through speaking engagements.
Clarens Commons is an intentional community and co-housing that was purchased by 6 adults who pooled resources together. Created in 2018, founders used a guiding question "How do we live well?" to share a home and build communities with home rituals, such as weekly dinners and monthly home meetings and home improvement days.
I lived in Clarens Commons learning how to live with a community. You can learn more about coliving and intentional communities from Valery Navarrete, one of the visionaries behind Clarens Commons, in her podcast Life Without Us.
평통 (Pyeongtong) means 평 (Peace) and 통 (Unification). I was a member of the Peaceful Unification Advisory Council (PUAC). Our shared vision is a peaceful process and public diplomacy that unite North and South Korea into one Korean Peninsula. 평통 (Pyeongtong).
PUAC is a constitutional institution and a presidential consultative body set up to establish and implement policies on democratic and peaceful unification on a bipartisan and pan-national level.
I was the engagement lead for JP Placemaking supporting public engagement processes for a range of place-based projects, exploring how urban design and social attitudes impact safety, leisure, and play.
Some of my responsibilities included site audits, resident engagement surveys, community building activations, and establishing partnerships with grassroots organizations, municipalities, and other local agents of change.
how to be an ally
Through the work at the Centre for Social Innovation, we partnered with liberation educator Rania El Mugammar and Jason Rocky Carter on an educational series How to be an Ally (HTBAA).
HTBAA collaborated with educators Denise McLeod, Jermaine Henry, and Jaymin Luces-Mendes to organize workshops, panels, and online material to train 2000+ leaders in the social mission sector on how they can better ally with BIPOC and LGBTQ2S+ communities.
In partnership with the Toronto Community Housing and the Daniels Corporation, we started bi-monthly community potlucks through the work at the Centre for Social Innovation to connect folks who work in Regent Park and residents who are relocated, returning and new to the neighbourhood.
We used food as a magnetic attractor to convene folks, reduce barriers for participation, and deepen connection to one another with creative programming.