You have the power to make change.

Our Youth Team

Emily Carson-Apstein

Emily was born on Gabriola Island, she is a musician and poet, and uses her powers for good. She has been an active member of the Esquimalt High School Gay Straight Alliance for three years, and this is her second year volunteering with Rhizome. She also collects strangers' shopping lists. 



Rowan Hébert

Rowan was born and raised on an urban farm on the unceded territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. She is currently still in high school but is often mistaken for much older due to her rampant activism, lack of interest in pop culture and irritating cynicism. She has been described as “crazy”, a “hyperactivist” and (on her better days) “relentless”. Her volunteering includes the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre, Project Respect, Victoria Midwifery Group, and the Keiskamma Trust (South Africa). She is very passionate about theatre as a means of bringing about social change and last Spring co-produced and co-directed (with fellow Rhizome member, Paloma Ponti) the first Canadian production of the play “8″ by Dustin Lance Black which helped win the fight for marriage equality in California. You’re most likely to find her in the library, in the theatre, or outside the legislature.

Nicholas Higgins

Nicholas was born and raised on the unceded territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations and has also lived in France. He grew up in a family of academics, and was often part of discussions about social issues. He discovered a year ago that he wanted to be a part of the anti-violence movement and has been involved ever since. Nicholas has a passion for musical theatre, dance, fiber arts, poetry, singing and all other forms of creative expression. He is interested in integrating these hobbies into his activism. He is still in high school but is enjoying his time there as much as possible and using it as an opportunity to discuss social issues with his peers (who are, contrary to most stereotypes, very engaged!). He is a passionate activist and will try to get you involved too!

Safahanna Hussein

Safahanna Hussein is a young woman in high school who enjoys spending time with her friends, family and dog. She indulges in the small joys of life. She can be found blowing bubbles or collecting rocks and shells on the beach. Safahanna finds thrill in playing soccer and basketball at a competitive level. Art as well as music (both playing and listening)is where she finds relaxation. She adores all shows that involve serial killers and detectives and she spends the majority of her free time watching them. She believes in creating a community and world free from sexualized violence, gender based violence and colonialism. Safahanna believes that everyone has the power to be who they truly are and the power to change their world for the good.

Chloë Mumford

Chloë was born and raised on the unceded territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees nations. She is a poet, actor, and certified goofy person. She is a member of the Esquimalt High Gay Straight Alliance, the City of Victoria Youth Council, and is very passionate about her new involvement with Rhizome and Project Respect. As a proud feminist and activist, Chloë will forever be committed to helping everyone feel as groovy as possible, no matter where they come from, or where they go.



Geneviève Nevin

A non-Indigenous settler of French Canadian, Irish and Eastern European Jewish ancestry, Geneviève is an activist/feminist/environmentalist who was born and raised on the unceded traditional homelands of the Lekwungen peoples. She is very involved with Victoria’s immigrant and refugee community and is a weekly youth leader and citizenship mentor at the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society and an ESL tutor at the Inter-Cultural Association. This past fall she spent a month volunteering in Mexico as an English teacher with La Catalina Educational Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides educational opportunities for people in the rural community of La Manzanilla. She has been a member of Rhizome for two years in which time she has been involved in various anti-violence projects in her school and community. 

Shannon Phillips

Shannon Phillips is a free-spirited artist, musician, and poet from Victoria, BC. Shannon is an equal rights advocate and activist dedicated to creating peace and understanding. Shannon has been involved with Rhizome for a year.



Paloma Ponti

Born on unceded Songhees and Esquimalt lands, Paloma Ponti is currently in her last year of high school. She is an activist, feminist, daughter and friend, admired for her constant determination, strength and organizational skills. She has been part of various violence prevention projects, both with the Rhizome Youth Social Action Team and through her school. A lover of theater, she co-produced and co-directed the successful production of “8” by Dustin Lance Black (with fellow Rhizome member, Rowan Hébert) and is an adamant advocate for LGBT rights and peace activism even when that lands her in the principal’s office.


Dani Recalma

Dani is a genderqueer identifying indigenous being of the Pentlatch Nation. With their family originating in Qualicum, Dani was born and raised on their native homeland of Vancouver Island. They’re most likely to be found triple-stepping anywhere swing dancing is present. Dani is a singer, musician, and has interests greatly surrounding music. They are an all-around feminist and social activist, committed to helping everyone feel safe, accepted and able to jive no matter where they’re from, where they’re going, how they identify or who they love. Dani is extremely passionate in their involvement with Rhizome. They have been an active member of Esquimalt High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance for two years now, and highly involved in the Idle No More movement. Passionate about many other movements, they plan to continue participating in as many forms of activism as possible in the foreseeable future.