Keynote Speaker

Abigail Moriah

Abigail Moriah is a connector, facilitator, and urban planner specializing in affordable housing. She has a diverse background in the nonprofit, community, and public sectors which have shaped how she reflects on and engages in urban planning practice, pursuing an approach that builds bridges across practitioners, scholars, and community. Abigail founded the Black Planning Project in 2018 which focuses on amplifying Black perspectives and providing strategic advice, engagement, and research to reshaping planning practice. She works to build the capacity for nonprofits and community groups in development, with a focus on Black experiences and engagement in planning and housing, community building and to strengthen equity in development.

Goods Panel

Elissama Menezes

Elissama Menezes is a Latina woman living in K'jipuktuk, Mi'kma'ki (Halifax, Nova Scotia). She is a Project Co-lead at Inspiring Communities, conducting Social Research and Development through a participative, experiential learning approach to help sector change. She is also a Research Assistant at Dalhousie, looking at the participation of Indigenous women in the Arctic climate change science. Elissama co-runs an environmental NGO in Brazil focused on ocean and climate change advocacy and engagement with socially vulnerable coastal communities through art and sports. Her work focuses on the intersection of climate crisis solutions, maritime transportation, environmental and social justice, and systemic changes.

Tyler Boutilier

Tyler is an urban planner with the Halifax Port Authority (HPA) with a focus on optimizing port assets and cultivating meaningful port-city relationships. With his background in civil engineering and urban design, he uses his technical skillset to create long-term strategic plans for port infrastructure. Since beginning his career at HPA, he has gained an appreciation of how port assets impact the lives of so many people throughout Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada. Tyler strives to include effective social and environmental thinking throughout his work to lead port-city planning into the future.

Ahsan Habib

Dr. Ahsan Habib is a transportation professor and the Director of Dalhousie School of Planning. He is the founder of the Dalhousie Transportation Collaboratory (DalTRAC), a CFI-sponsored multidisciplinary research unit.His research interests include transportation modelling, microsimulation of urban systems and smarter mobility planning. Dr. Habib believes that multi-modal mobility options are the key to ensure sustainability of our cities.

Places Panel

Tammy Ewing

Tammy is dedicated to advocating for and lifting up opportunities that help people over comechallenges faced by Nova Scotia communities. She is inspired by working with those whobelieve in a Nova Scotia that offers a sense of belonging for all. Tammy understands theimportance of hearing from those who are traditionally overlooked and is passionate aboutseeking equity for all Nova Scotians. Tammy has been part of the active transportation workfrom the beginning in 2017 when the first group formed (Rural Access to Physical Activity). She continues working alongside others to further this work and is now Co-Chair of the East Preston Active Transportation Committee.


●Co-Chair, East Preston Active Transportation Committee

●Team Member, Rural Access to Physical Activity (RAPA)

●Facilitator, Nurturing Strong African Nova Scotian Families- Program

Treno Morton

Treno Morton is a graduate of Queen's University, with a degree in Geography and Planning, with a certificate in planning, and a minor in Global Development Studies. His goal is to use his education to help counteract the gentrification he's seen plaguing not only his own community, but countless other Black and underrepresented communities across Canada. Treno also has experience working with and advising local community groups, non-profit organizations, and government corporations. He is also the co-owner and Creative Director of Fumes Rolling Papers Incorporated, a blacked owned and operated rolling paper company founded by his brother and himself to help re-establish black ownership in the cannabis industry

Meaghan Dalton

Meaghan is a Community Developer for HRM's Parks & Recreation department. She has a background in planning, politics, and research. As a Community Developer, Meaghan supports grassroots groups harness their passions, skills, and community assets to create positive change in their communities. She supports groups with strategic planning, board development, and community engagement, and through capacity-building programs, such as Neighbourhood Placemaking, Community Gardens, Step Up to Leadership (a volunteer training program), and the annual HRM Volunteer Conference. Meaghan also supports the Parks & Recreation department with expertise in community engagement and outreach.

People Panel

Carmel Farahbakhsh

Carmel Farahbakhsh (they/them) is a community educator, arts maker, and youth worker. They have collaborated on The Khyber Centre For The Arts board for four years, and are enjoying their new position as co-director of local music festival EVERYSEEKER. They recently transitioned from a five year term coordinating South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre to working as the Executive Director at the Youth Project-- seeing a direct link between this community work and access to creative spaces/arts community. As the Executive Director of the Youth Project Carmel works hold a youth-centric approach to organizational movement and support. Carmel builds their vision from their community education background and aims to apply an anti-racist and trauma-informed framework to their work. They also collaborate and organize with local initiatives, artist-run-centres, and community partners with an aim to create wider 2SQTBIPOC community and support systems within the HRM.

Mapfumo Chidzonga

Mapfumo Chidzonga is currently working at Halifax Regional Municipality as a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor within the Planning and Development department. While he began his career as an intern, he is now a Diversity and Inclusion Advisor working at the forefront of championing equity, diversity and inclusion as primary and core considerations in policymaking, city-building plans, service delivery and community engagement practices. He is passionate about building trust, equitable service, inclusive and meaningful relationships and centering the voices of underrepresented communities. Mapfumo's life journey started in Harare, Zimbabwe and so, his values are proudly rooted in the African worldview of Hunhu (Ubuntu) through which he was raised to embody and instill the qualities of integrity, compassion, community responsibility, empathy, respect for life and dignity of all persons. He describes himself as an aspiring change-maker committed to life-long learning. He holds a master's degree in International Development Studies from Dalhousie University.

Jennifer Watts

Jennifer Watts is CEO of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS), the largest immigrant serving agency in Atlantic Canada. ISANS provides a wide range of programs and services including resettlement, language, employment, business development, employer engagement, community integration and online programs both pre and post arrival. Trained as an Urban and Rural Planner, Jennifer has a background in community development, urban and rural planning and municipal issues having served as a Municipal Councillor on Halifax Regional Council from 2008-2016. Jennifer has lived overseas in Central America and the Middle East and her family has been involved in supporting refugees through private sponsorships and university refugee programs.

March 11

Dalhousie School of Planning, 5410 Spring Garden Rd, Halifax, NS B3J 1B6
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