A yellow microphone with the text "Amplify, centering stories from the margins"

Amplify Podcast

This season of the Amplify Podcast is a dedicated platform for University of Waterloo students to openly discuss the challenges they face in navigating academia while holding marginalized identities. This space is one to honour their journeys, discover supports and allow those of us at the margins to see our stories centered.

These episodes address sensitive topics that some listeners may find triggering or emotionally challenging.

Topics include unhealthy coping mechanisms, mentions of suicidality, and homophobia. We want to ensure that our listeners are aware of the content discussed and encourage self-care. If you find these subjects distressing, please consider whether it's the right time for you to listen. Your well-being is important to us.

A non-exhaustive list of supports and resources have been made available on this page along with specific resources for each episode.

Episode Listings

Yellow microphone with text "Introducing Amplify" and the photos of Ola and Binuki on a black background

Listen on:
Spotify | SoundCloud

Welcome to Amplify

Runtime: 2 minutes 57 seconds

Your hosts, Ola and Binuki introduce to you Amplify. This weekly podcast serves as a space for University of Waterloo students to share the difficulties and obstacles that they have encountered and what supports they found in these times.

Yellow microphone with the text "Amplify" with a headshot of jada in a circle and the text "Featuring Jada"

Listen on:
SoundCloud | Spotify

Imposter Syndrome: The Importance of Community (ft. Jada)

Runtime: 27 minutes 59 seconds

Ola is joined by Jada (she/her), who talks about her experiences navigating the world and imposter syndrome as a Black person in UWaterloo's Psychology program. She speaks to the role that building community and support networks play in her undergrad journey.

Resources from the episode:

African Student Association (ASA) 
Black Association for Student Expression (UW BASE) 
Association of Caribbean Students (ACS) 

Yellow microphone with the text "Amplify" with a headshot of Rachel in a circle and the text "Featuring Rachel"

Listen on:
SoundCloud | Spotify

Finding Balance Along a Road of Firsts (ft. Rachel)

Runtime: 30 minutes

In this episode, Binuki is joined by Rachel (she/her), pursuing a Master of Science in Kinesiology and Health Sciences. A first-generation Ethiopian university student, Rachel shares her experiences navigating a road full of firsts and L's, highlighting the importance of balancing student life and learning to say no. 

Resources from the  episode:


Yellow microphone with the text "Amplify featuring Zara"

Listen on:
SoundCloud | Spotify

Trans Advocacy: Healing through Collective Care (ft. Zara) 

Runtime: 30 minutes and 29 seconds

In this episode, Ola is joined by Zara (she/they), a student and community organizer within the KW area. She shares the ups and downs of her journey navigating mental health, personal wellbeing, and gender-affirming healthcare within UWaterloo. Ola and Zara also discuss the importance of student organizing and building safety for queer and trans students in the aftermath of the June 28th attack on campus. 

Resources from the episode:

Gender Affirming Care through UW Health Services 
Glow Centre
NeuroMinds Collective 

A headshot of Emily with the word "Amplify" and a yellow microphone

Listen on:
Soundcloud | Spotify

Faithfully Queer: Navigating the Loss of Belonging (ft. Emily)

Runtime: 19 minutes and 22 seconds

Binuki talks with Emily (they/she), a queer undergraduate student in Peace and Conflict Studies, about the process of discovering themselves. Having grown up in an accepting church and unexpectedly encountering exclusionary religious beliefs on campus, they share their experiences grappling with her religious and queer identities. The two also discuss working towards reclamation and safety for queer and trans students. 

Resources from the episode:

Queer, Allied and Questioning (QuAQ) club 
UW Solidarity Network 

A headshot of Mikahilla with the words "Amplify" and a yellow microphone

Listen on:
Soundcloud | Spotify

Scholars Across Borders: Trusting the Process in Grad School (ft. Mikhailla)

Runtime: 31 minutes and 25 seconds

An international Graduate student pursuing a Master of Management Science, Mikahilla (she/her) speaks to Ola about her journey at UWaterloo and learning how to trust the process. The two discuss making holistic space for graduate students, especially those with racialized identities, in educational institutions that limit their access to connection. 

Resources from the episode:

NSBE – National Society of Black Engineers
Caribbean Students Association
Black Association for Student Expression
Graduate Student Association UW 

A yellow microphone plugged into the text "Amplify" with additional white text on a black background that reads "Featuring X"

Listen on:
Soundcloud | Spotify

"You Are Not Alone": Finding Moments of Kindness as a Trans Refugee (ft. X"

Runtime: 36 minutes and 27 seconds

In this episode, Binuki is joined by X (he/him), who speaks about immigrating to Canada from Iran, claiming refugee status, and experiencing the world as a racialized trans man. He candidly shares the challenges he grappled with in achieving his dream of studying Engineering at UWaterloo and the impact the kindness of strangers have had along the way. X touches on topics of transphobia in public and familial spheres, toxic masculinity, mental health, and 2SLGBTQIA+ connections. 

Resources from the episode:

UWaterloo Counselling Services 
Empower Me 

Meet Your Hosts

A head shot of Ola Idris Ali in a circle shape with a yellow circle border

Ola Idris Ali (she/her)

Ola Idris Ali is a Sudanese native, Ugandan raised immigrant, and an alumnus of the University of Waterloo. She graduated as the valedictorian of the Faculty of Arts, Majoring in Political Science and Business and minoring in economics and international trade. Currently is the community engagement manager with the Equity Diversity Inclusion and Anti-Racism office at the University. Outside of her professional responsibilities, Ola embraces a curious spirit, immersing herself in the school of life as a storyteller, a friend, a lover of justice, and above all, a seeker of God.

A headshot of Binuki Da Silva in a circle shape with a yellow outline around it

Binuki De Silva (they/them)

Binuki De Silva is a student majoring in Social Development Studies at the University of Waterloo. They work at the office of EDI-R as a training and engagement specialist and at the Centre for Career Development as a career leader. Their prior work experience includes research in anti-racist education, events coordination and career support. During their time in post-secondary, they use their experience navigating life as a queer Sri Lankan along with their program specializations in diversity & equity, and education to inform their work with students. Apart from their professional endeavors, they have a passion for exploring somatic healing and capturing film photographs of their people.