Matt Hern

Dr. Matt Hern is a co-founder and co-director of Solid State and works directly with all of our cohorts. He has founded and directed many other community projects. His books have been published on all six continents and translated into fifteen languages. He teaches at multiple universities and continues to lecture globally.

Jshandeep Jassal

Jshandeep is a co-director of Solid State and a coordinator for various cohorts. She is a graduate from Simon Fraser University with a BA (Hons) in Sociology, a minor in Criminology, and a certification in Social Justice.

Growing up as a second-generation racialized youth in the Lower Mainland, Jshan understands the plight of balancing cultural norms with western standards. She is interested in interrogating the negative narratives that surround her identity by finding ways to maximize youth autonomy and remedying relationships between authority figures and racialized youth. When she's not at Solid State or studying, you can find Jshan with her pets, in nature, knitting, or volunteering in the community.


Vanessa Fajemisin

Vanessa, a co-director of Solid State, is a fourth-year student at Simon Fraser University, majoring in Communications. In addition to school, she works with the Daily Dose of Blackness cohort, is a member of the Ethos Lab team, and works as an Arts & Culture writer for Vice’s Passionate about all things (pop)culture, media, and social justice, Vanessa aims to combine her various interests and skills to aid in creating an inclusive, rewarding, and fun environment for her community.

Kevin Kapenda

Kevin is a multidisciplinary urbanist with a background in print journalism and urban planning. He is also interested in anti-racism policy, cultural planning, and public engagement. He holds a communications degree from Capilano University and a graduate planning degree from the University of Toronto. When I'm not working or sleeping, I enjoy listening to classic R&B, watching sports, and "attempting" to write short stories.

Sadie Couture

Sadie Couture is a digital media artist, producer, educator, and scholar based in Vancouver, British Columbia/xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and səliľwətaʔɬ territories. Sadie is pursuing a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at McGill University. Her work and interests lie at the intersection of radio history, sound studies, and community-engaged art, and she writes about and makes audio in various settings. Sadie has been an artist-in-residence at the Vancouver School Board, has contributed to the audio mapping project Mayne Island Sound Map, has co-produced a podcast about oral history and digital storytelling, and her most recent written work can be seen in On This Patch of Grass: City Parks on Occupied Land (Fernwood, 2018). Sadie works with the Daily Dose of Blackness cohort as the podcast mentor.
Social Media Specialist

Imran Hayre

Imran is a young entrepreneur who has recently started her own cheesecake business and podcast. She has taken her skills of business and marketing and joined the Solid State team as a digital media consultant. Moreover, she helped start the Let Her Talk peer support network for self identifying racialized women who need a safe space to talk and heal from the trauma of gender based violence.
Web Designer

Bevan Nutakor

Bevan is currently a first year student at Simon Fraser University studying computer science. He is a co-founder of the web development cohort Studio Pluto and is also one of the website developers at Solid State Industries.

Arwaa Khan

Arwaa is an undergraduate student studying biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia. She works alongside the Communications Team as the graphic designer and design consultant. Arwaa is passionate about engaging in philanthropic work for humanitarian causes. She aspires to take advantage of her resources and opportunities to help the underprivileged in developing countries.

Syed Khawar

Syed is an entrepreneur who is apart of the Milieu cohort, and a young business mogul studying at SFU Beedie. He also works at Solid State on the Comms team as both a graphic and web designer.

Sarah Abdullah

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.
Web Developer

Phil Jones

As a co-founder of Studio Pluto and an SSCI web developer, Phil spends most of his time creating websites. Phil spends his free time at Simon Fraser University where he is currently pursuing a Computer Science degree.

Mahado Hassan

Mahado is currently a fourth year student at Simon Fraser University majoring in Health Sciences. At Solid State, she works with a group of muslim youth to foster a safe space where like-minded high school students can come together to connect and bring their community-building ideas to life.

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Contact Us

+1 (604) 369 4753

We work, study, and live in a region south of the Fraser River which overlaps with the unceded traditional and ancestral lands of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt and Kwikwetlem peoples.

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