I am the co-founder and Project Director for Textile, a hyper-local arts collective in Waterloo Region, Ontario. Launched in 2019, Textile works with emerging writers and artists, with a focus on supporting historically excluded and marginalized groups through a critical social practice that includes publishing, mentorship, curation, and residencies. We engage with projects rooted in urgent community questions and creative works that spark critical dialogues and reimagine public memory. Some key upcoming Textile projects 2024-2025 include:

    • Residences at three regional museums and historic sites — Schneider Haus , McDougall Cottage, and Doon Heritage Village — which form part of a larger region-wide project on public memory and archiving, a collaborative effort between Textile and the Region of Waterloo’s Cultural Services and Museums.
    • "Black Talk — Hanif Abdurraqib and Antonio Michael Downing: in conversation," a literary event featuring readings and a moderated discussion.

The Creek Collective was founded in the summer of 2023 during Inter Arts Matrix’s “A Hole in the Ground” artist residencies by multimedia environmental artists Deborah Carruthers and Syd Lancaster, along with place-based nonfiction writer Geoff Martin. They discovered a shared fascination with Schneider Creek and invited other local artists to join the Collective to develop community-focused programming around Schneider Creek in 2024.

As a member of the Creek Collective, I support the group’s activities through grant writing and project administration, serving as co-treasurer and co-signer on the Collective’s community bank account at Kindred Credit Union.  

As a Researcher with the Centre for Community Based Research, I evaluated the TRIP! project at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre in Toronto from July 2022 to June 2023. This evaluation assessed the alignment of TRIP!'s youth-led harm reduction services with PQWCHC's mission of equitable, accessible health care. My responsibilities included conducting a desk review, guiding the evaluation with a community advisory committee, collaborating with a youth peer researcher, and interviewing project stakeholders. 

Citation: Switzer, S., Nsobya, A., Wong, V., Kufner, L., Azmila, A., Areguy, F., Berg, L., and Short, K. (2023). Aligning Diverse Community Needs for a Youth Harm Reduction Program Model. A Community-Based Evaluation of Trip!. Waterloo, Ontario: Centre for Community Based Research.

Access a short, youth-friendly infographic of the project here.
Access the full project report here.

Created in collaboration with data scientist Craig Sloss, Questioning the Numbers is a newsletter that explains data science concepts to help readers critically evaluate statistical claims in public policy contexts. We use real-world examples of statistical reports presented to governmental bodies, assess their reliability, and explain our analysis using non-specialist terminology. For those technically inclined, we share the R code used in our analysis for replication and application in other contexts.

The ACB Network of WR is a collaborative community development and capacity-building initiative created by Black leaders in the area. Since helping to launch the network in 2016, I have served as a member of the ACB Network’s advisory committee. The network focuses on advocacy, collaboration, and addressing systemic barriers faced by the Black community.

From Fall 2020 to Spring 2022 I served as a key collaborator, informant, and advisor for Into the Light: Living Histories of Oppression and Education in Canada, a project led by Re•Vision: The Centre for Art and Social Justice at the University of Guelph. This initiative explores the nuanced histories of oppression and education in Canada, aiming to shed light on these critical issues through artistic and social justice lenses.

The Young Carers Project of Waterloo Region

In partnership with the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP), the Young Carers Project of WR was a community collaborative aimed at educating the public about the existence and needs of young carers and motivating community action. Using a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach, this joint research and knowledge translation project co-created reports and resources shared with national and international young carer movements. As a Project Facilitator and Co-chair, I helped organize and co-create three key knowledge mobilization products: the By Us For Us© "Support Matters" guidebook, an online resource, and a documentary.  |  © 2024 Fitsum Areguy