The Check Your Head team is made up of youth-identified staff and board of directors. Our current team includes:
Anastasia was born and raised in Belarus, and has been living on unceded Coast Salish territories since 2003. Her passion is building a more just and sustainable world through popular education and mobilization. She brings ten years of experience in community organizing, education, program coordination and management, and is incredibly honoured to lead the amazing Check Your Head team. Prior to joining Check, Anastasia worked with the Justice Education Society of BC where she developed and delivered educational programs and workshops on such topics as active citizenship, democracy, gender equality, women’s rights and violence prevention. She also spent five years building and coordinating the work of the We Can End All Violence Against Women Coalition of BC. Anastasia has extensive experience working with youth, immigrants, teachers, community service providers, unions, First Nations, and other groups diverse across the province. She is a former member of the Women’s Advisory Committee for the City of Vancouver, and served on the board of Oxfam Canada. She holds a BA in Anthropology and an MA in International Studies from Simon Fraser University. Anastasia enjoys exploring various art forms, including dance, photography and cinematography.
Milad Moradi Monfared
Born in Iran, Milad and his family moved to unceded Coast Salish Territories in 1994. As a refugee and queer identified man, his interest in working with youth began during university where he was involved with various LGBTQ and immigrant service organizations. Excited to be joining Check Your Head, Milad is eager to pursue his passion around the intersectionality of migration, ethnicity and queerness. Milad holds a B.A. in Sociology and a PBD in Sustainable Community Development at SFU. When not working with Check Your Head, he can be found frolicking in the sun, cooking new recipes or dancing like there’s no tomorrow.
Education Program Coordinator
From her unique positionality as an Indian immigrant, woman of colour, artist, activist and educator, Raagini is deeply committed to educational transformation, social justice, and youth empowerment through a creative, anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, feminist framework. Through her extensive work with marginalized/racialized youth, new immigrant and refugee communities, and diverse groups of students in both community and educational spaces, she is passionate about the development of alternative, accessible, artistic, and equitable platforms of education for today’s young people.
Raagini is compelled by the question of how we as a generation might collectively navigate our increasingly complex experiences and understandings of the world in order to build community and create significant, sustainable social change. In this endeavour, she is actively committed to using social justice education and the tools it provides to help inspire, empower and activate young people to engage in the process of bettering the world in which we live.
Raagini holds a BA in Peace, Conflict & Justice and an MEd in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto. In her off-time, she enjoys being a creator/observer of art, an athlete of many sports, and a singer/song-writer.
Board of Directors
Danica Black has been involved in environmental activism since her high school years of bake sales and lunchtime meetings in Calgary, Alberta. Since then, she has followed this passion, completing interdisciplinary degree in Biological Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Guelph. Danica is continuing to fuse her love of youth work with her passion for social justice in her position as the Director of Children, Youth and Families at Canadian Memorial United Church and Centre for Peace. She is ecstatic to continue exploring the intersection between education, community and social change on the board of directors at Check Your Head.
Sharnelle’s passion for social justice began at the age of ten when she decided to do her class project on feminism. From then on it set her on a path to ask questions, gain knowledge and take action for her community. Graduating with a Bachelor’s in Social Work from UBC, Sharnelle currently works for Cedar Cottage Neighbourhood House trying her hand at all things community; from gardening, Diwali celebrations, advocacy work with families and everything in-between. She also is a member of the BC Poverty Reduction Action Committee working towards a province wide Poverty Reduction Plan. Sharnelle is very excited to be joining CYH’s board and continue growing and working towards strong communities.
Born in Winnipeg and raised in Calgary, Megan moved to Vancouver to pursue a degree in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies at UBC. Her love of education is about a passion for understanding the world and our place in it. She discovered social justice work in high school through feminism, first getting interested in how women were viewed in media and society. Since then, she has been learning, researching, writing, and facilitating about social justice issues. Megan is a long-time Check Your Head volunteer, but joining the board is a new role. She is currently working on a Masters in Educational Studies at UBC and her interests lie at the intersection of social justice and media literacy.
After working in nonprofit communications and fundraising, Allison is heading back to school to study for a dual Masters in Library and Information Studies and Archival Studies at UBC. She enjoys reading and talking about the history of social justice movements, examining what worked in the past, and learning from it. She has lead local social justice-focused walking tours with the BC Labour Heritage Centre and PeerNet BC. Allison is passionate about radical education, and is a collective member at Spartacus Books, a nonprofit, volunteer-run bookstore and resource centre. She’s learning how to code and to sew and enjoys the logic puzzles of making websites and patterns work. In the future, Allison hopes to continue creating anti-authoritarian educational spaces, where people of all ages can lead their own learning based on their talents and interests.
Born and bred in the lower mainland, Danielle has only recently moved back to the area after a decade working and studying in West Michigan, New York City and Toronto. Working towards a more just society has been a core part of her life from middle school feminist rants, studying international and community development in undergraduate studies, and organizing around issues of institutional racism, youth engagement, homelessness, and discrimination. Professionally, Danielle is trained as a lawyer and currently practises family law with specific interests in domestic violence, legal aid, and access to justice.
Outside of work, Danielle enjoys vegan baking, hiking, reading (mostly fiction and longform journalism), and television. She also seems to be exceptionally skilled at killing house plants, which is surprising considering her family’s greenhouse business. Regardless, Danielle is excited and humbled to be a part of Check, and support its longstanding mission of youth empowerment and engagement.
Jeff joins Check Your Head with 4 years of startup growth and go-to-market experience with Keela, Thinkific, and Hootsuite. While at Hootsuite, Jeff also helped with the relaunch of Hootsuite University (now Hootsuite Academy) and in attaining Hootsuite’s BCorp status. Jeff has also been involved in varying capacities (mentor, participant, and employee) at Vancouver-based startup incubators The Next Big Thing and Spring Activator. Jeff is no stranger to education innovation with experience in K-12, Higher Education, Education-Technology, and working with local children’s literacy nonprofits.
Outside of work, Jeff can be found road cycling, downward dogging, and/or at the ice rink. He has all the time in the world for exploring new countries, cultures, and a good book.
Humaira is a life-pondering philosopher-activist, relentlessly curious about the human condition and exploring the question: “How did things come to be this way?”
Her meaning-making led her to marry an academic background in biology and psychology (B.Sc. from University of British Columbia) with a background in experience design, to cultivate a body of work rooted in connection, informed by themes of clarity, responsibility, dignity, and inclusion. As an immigrant-settler on unceded Coast Salish Territories with ancestral roots in Bangladesh, she does her best to be in a good way with culture, people, and land, in a constant process of compassionate learning.
Her voice as her instrument, Humaira teaches, speaks, sings, and whistles what she hopes is a little more joy and a little more truth into the everyday. She is the Business Development Manager for British Columbia at Futurpreneur Canada, and primary instructor of Ethics and Professional Communication at WCCMT. She enjoys dancing, climbing things, and hosting welcoming dialogues exploring approaches to minimalism (#YVRmins), and death & dying (#CConDD). She is fed by presence, and reverence, and has significant trouble resisting a bag of potato chips.
Humaira is thrilled to join the board of directors at Check Your Head to support the imperative work the organization does toward raising just and healthy societies.
Sarah is proud to join Check Your Head’s proud history and visionary future as a board member. She is a high school teacher in Vancouver with a decade of classroom experience, and has been working with youth outside of the classroom in coaching and mentorship capacities for two decades. She is passionate about finding ways to leverage research, art, experiences, and personal connections to explore social justice themes and responses with students and community partners.
Sarah earned a BA degree at Acadia University, a BEd degree at UBC, and most recently an M. Ed in curriculum design and leadership at St Francis Xavier University. In her spare time, Sarah loves to do triathlons and plan Sunday Suppers to find any excuse to bring friends and strangers together over food and connection.