Young Alumni Achievement Award nominee:
Described by his peers as a deeply committed environmentalist, Sam Nabi has started and supported many local initiatives to advocate for social justice and inclusive communities.
Even as a student in the School of Planning, the Dean’s Honours List student used the prize money from the D. George Dunseith scholarship he won to pursue a side project called Find A Bed. While the idea to provide real-time data for people seeking emergency shelter services, didn’t get enough traction to fly, it did fuel Sam’s passion to help those in need.
After graduating in 2013, Sam worked as a Planner for the City of Waterloo, where he was involved in the City’s Age-Friendly committee. Sam was a key player launching the first Older Adults Housing Directory – an important tool to help seniors and their children find housing that meets their needs in Waterloo.
Later, Sam pivoted to full-time web development as an independent contractor, where he supports local economic development by working with local enterprises such as Community CarShare, Queen Street Yoga, and Fritsch Fragrances (downtown Kitchener’s oldest retail store).
Understanding the loneliness and isolation of people working alone, Sam started Apartment Café, a biweekly meetup to give solopreneurs and independent contractors a change of scenery and the opportunity for casual networking.
As a member of the Housing Committee of Supportive Housing of Waterloo (SHOW), Sam helped the organization plan their new building at 402 Erb St. West, which will house nine units of new affordable housing.
He is also part of the organizing team for Hold The Line, a cycling and folk music festival that celebrates the Region of Waterloo’s Countryside Line. The first annual festival will be held on September 16, 2017 and is designed to build grassroots support for smart growth policies, to ensure the Region continues to shift the balance of development away from suburban sprawl.
If all of that didn’t keep him busy enough, Sam also serves as Communications Chair for the provincial and federal Green Party, in the Kitchener Centre riding. Between elections, he organizes educational “learning communities” for the general public on such varied issues as voting reform, basic income, and free trade – all while tying these concepts back to a political worldview rooted in ecological health and sustainability.