Location: ON, Canada
Ryann’s (she/her) career began with a door closing: she dropped out of her PhD in modern Buddhism. Soon after that, she jumped into the nonprofit sector—18 years ago—with no experience, but plenty of enthusiasm and a healthy dose of righteous indignation at societal injustice.
The indignation is still there, but now its focused, and accompanied by dedicated experience and expertise in the nonprofit, advocacy, labour and political sectors. With her feminist, settler queer lens, Ryann honed her skills in campaign strategy, digital as an organizational imperative, fundraising, marketing/communications and digital organizing. Working with organizations across the progressive social change spectrum, she’s helped to raise millions of dollars, the ire of the right, and awareness and momentum for important issues.
As a seasoned leader, she’s committed to building and scaling power for progressive causes and organizations through strategic partnerships and revenue generation. She excels at cultivating and managing complex relationships, strategic alliances and driving impact. Her sweet spot? Business development, including understanding all sides of a challenge or goal, and ‘solving’ puzzles for mutual value.
A perpetual lover of big ideas and challenging established norms, Ryann has spoken at many conferences, co-authored reports, led webinars, and hosted and curated networking events. In 2016, she co-founded Xlerate, Canada’s only conference dedicated to equity-deserving values and innovative digital marketing, and fundraising.
Her throughline has always been seeking justice and equity. Ryann thinks it is weird to write about herself in the third person. Relatedly, Ryann does not take herself all that seriously. Her kids definitely do not take her seriously.
Ryann (she/her) currently resides in Ontario on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishnaabeg, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee and Wendat.
What’s something about you that would surprise others to know:
I’m music obsessed. I’m a twin and a Libra so I come by my ‘fairness’ hang-up honestly.
What unique role do you or your organization play in the progressive movement in Canada?
My role is a mix of bringing ideas and people together to create change. The movement needs to be strategic and proactive about narrative change, inclusive growth, momentum and power building.
What part of movement infrastructure are you interested in building in the next decade?
I think the progressive movement in Canada is facing some major challenges, and needs some new approaches and perspectives in order to combat the right’s growing nationalist momentum. With my deep experience in the advocacy and nonprofit sector, my experience with labour, and my past working for and with American organizations, I have very good understanding of some of the ways in which labour and advocacy can.
Share a book, article, podcast, or piece of art that captures where you want the movement to go.
Cocktails & Capitalism (podcast)
Social media handles