The Mentorship Initiative for Indigenous and Planners of Colour
Born and raised in Regent Park, Vivian Nguyen is a recent urban planning graduate from Ryerson University and an avid soccer player. She is a strong advocate for youth to be engaged and involved within their communities as well as the arts scene where she combines her passion for art and community development with planning. She is also a board member for the Regent Park Arts Non-Profit Development Board (RPAD), which is a joint venture between Artscape, the Daniels Corporation and Toronto Community Housing (TCHC). Vivian continually seeks to include the voices and participation of marginalized groups often hidden and excluded in mainstream planning, especially racialized women who are severely underrepresented in urbanism. She originally got exposed to planning through the support of her mentors and from working in numerous roles, initiatives and unique capacities through the revitalization project happening in her neighbourhood.
In 2013, Vivian along with a group of 5 other youth participated in the Revitalization Youth Ambassadors (RYA) program part of TCHC, to host a forum as a platform for youth by youth to gather their ideas and feedback on the revitalization project. The event saw over 350 participants and the attendance of late Councillor Pam McConnell. This year, Vivian was invited back not just as an alumnus of the RYA program but as a guest speaker to talk about the importance of community engagement and her journey and achievements since completing the program. Now as a co-founder of MIIPOC she aims to further support more racialized people, especially those coming from low-income communities interested in planning, to build their capacity through mentorship, and so that they are elevated in the profession.