DARCY HIGGINS
Partner

Darcy is a food, community and sustainability advocate and consultant in Toronto. He founded Food Forward in 2010 to connect and support Toronto food work and advocate for policy change. He has brought together thousands of Torontonians in dozens of successful events and projects. Darcy has advised politicians and officials on policy at institutional, municipal, provincial and federal levels, and enjoys writing, gardening and community engagement.


LISA KATES
Partner

Lisa is proud to be a founding partner in Building Roots, helping to grow it from an initial idea about social cohesion to where it is now, incorporating food, an urban farm and resiliency through programming. Lisa staunchly believes that everyone, every family, has the right to eat fresh food and to live in a community that they can be proud of. She is a strong advocate for local food and as a photographer has taken hundreds of photos at many farmers markets around the City. Food and art, finding ways to cut through red tape, making things happen at ground level are her passions.


DUSTIN STERN
Director of Operations

Dustin comes from a background of several years working in the non-profit sector, developing a variety of think tanks, conferences and other special events for international NGOs and advocacy groups. Seeking to work more directly with local community members, Dustin joined Building Roots in 2018 to manage its diverse programming and develop community partnerships. With a strong passion for the arts, Dustin is always looking for opportunities to encourage and empower creativity in the communities we serve.


HANNAH BACKMAN
Director of Community Outreach

Hannah has led and coordinated multiple Good Food Markets and food security projects primarily within downtown Toronto east, developing models of facilitation within community-led initiatives, while bringing folks together around food. Through community engagement, she advocates the genuine power of coming together with overwhelming love and generosity to create change. Hannah joined Building Roots in 2019 to further connect community, volunteers, and partners, deepening opportunities for participation.


TOOBA NASIR
Moss Park Market Manager

Tooba has extensive experience coordinating local food, and food security initiatives, in different parts of the country. She comes with a strong background in building community-led projects, and continues to foster that sense of community through food programs in the Moss Park neighbourhood. Her passion for social development and community engagement are her driving force at Building Roots.


KATE HAMILTON
Urban Farm Manager

Kate coordinates the Building Roots urban farming initiative at Ashbridge Estate and skills workshop series. Her focus on fostering agency has been applied in varied fields as editor, project manager, organic farmer, and writer. Kate’s perspective is shaped by formal training and experience in history of science and technology, non-profit management, and horticultural therapy. She says growing vegetables, even at a small scale, has a universal appeal that invites friendships and provides infinite scope for reflection and joy.