Alex Megelas, Naomi Nichols, and Juan haro

Montreal, QC

Alex Megelas is a programs coordinator at the Office of Community Engagement at Concordia University and an affiliate facilitator of the Centre for Community Organizations (COCo). He is a PhD student in Educational Studies at McGill, under the supervision of Profs. Naomi Nichols and Henry Mintzberg, and is interested in collectivist approaches to social change. His most recent research projects are Power Up!, a bike-powered exploration of hackerspaces at the intersection of technology, community and self-reliance; and Paper Places, a social learning experiment on mapmaking our relationship to the urban commons.


Naomi Nichols is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at McGill University. She is also the Principal Investigator for a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) project titled, Schools, Safety, and the Urban Neighbourhood. Prior to joining the Faculty of Education at McGill, Nichols completed a Post-doctoral Fellowship with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at York University. The Fellowship focused on knowledge mobilization, research impact, and cross-sectoral responses to youth homelessness. Since completing her Ph.D., Nichols has worked as the Applied Social Scientist in the Learning Institute at the Hospital for Sick Children, a Research Associate and Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Education at York University and an Adjunct Professor in the Queen’s-Trent Concurrent Education Program. Her research activities and publications span the areas of youth homelessness; youth justice; alternative education and safe schools; inter-organizational relations in the youth sector; “youth at risk;” and community-academic research collaborations. In 2014, the University of Toronto Press published her first book: Youth Work: An institutional ethnography of youth homelessness.


Juan Haro is an organizer at Movement for Justice in El Barrio. Movement is a majority-women of color, grassroots community organization, based in East Harlem, New York City, that fights against displacement. Movement has gone door-to-door, building-to-building, and block-to-block to organize with their fellow neighbors to build a neighborhood-wide movement for dignity and justice. Committed to autonomy and self-determination, Movement practices participatory democracy and horizontal decision-making on a community-wide scale.

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