Ajay Puri

Ajay Puri, MHA – Movement Builder | Grassroots Organizer | Health Researcher 

Ajay Puri is an advocate for evidence-based decision-making and community empowerment. For the past ten years, he has been volunteering, working and providing important scientific research to improve the lives of many marginalized populations including at-risk youth, visible minorities, sex workers, and people suffering from mental health and addictions.

Over the last three years Ajay has co-founded and continues to co-lead many community groups including:

Bridge to a Cool Planet, a coalition of over 30 multicultural, green and social justice groups which in 2009 hosted the world's largest 350.org Climate Action Day with over 10,000+ attendees. He was the social media and ethno-cultural outreach coordinator and currently manages the @B2CP twitter account. This event has become the Vancouver People's Summit and occurs at the Main Street Car-Free Festival.

Rangi Changi Roots, formed a grassroots society which seeks to bridge the multicultural communities and the green movement. The vision is to create a fair and healthy planet. Will be providing an ongoing newsletter and have held or co-held 5 events in the past year.

CanadiansforObama.ca a grassroots online movement engaging Canadians to organize for Barack Obama. Group made 20,000+ calls, visited 10 states for the 2008 US Presidential Election. Currently has 200+ active members and assists US in keeping progressive policies (e.g., public health insurance & climate action). He co-designed the website and currently coordinates all the content.

EastOfMain.com: a community blog showcasing local stories and events from the culturally diverse area of East Vancouver. He co-designed the website and currently acts as the co-Editor of the site and manages the @eastvancity twitter feed.

He currently sits on the Board of Directors for PIVOT Legal Foundation, GoBeyond (a BC-wide campus climate action network), McCreary Centre Society, and is a judge for the BC Hydro 2011 Invent the Future contest. He is a frequent guest on RJ1200, a South Asian radio station, and coordinates a weekly event listing guide on the Vancouver Observer. For the past four years he has been a UBC Science Tri-mentor where he has mentored  students on careers in Science and research.

He completed his Bachelors of Science in biopsychology and commerce, then pursued his Masters of Health Administration at the University of British Columbia. He is currently a doctoral student at UBC researching the effects of acculturation and ethno-cultural identity on alcohol and drug use among immigrant and visible minority youth. He is also the co-lead of the BC Ethno-cultural Health Research and Community Network and a research associate with the Centre for Addictions Research of BC. Prior to pursuing doctoral studies, Ajay worked in various capacities including program evaluator at the addiction services division of Vancouver Coastal Health, research coordinator and decision support analyst at Providence Health, and research assistant and forum coordinator at the BC Centre for Disease Control. He has published five peer-reviewed articles and has presented over 25 peer-reviewed abstracts at national and international health conferences.

Ajay was acknowledged for his commitment and passion for research and engaging diverse communities as one of Canada's top five volunteers in CBC's Champions of Change contest in 2010, as one of four selected Scientists for the Government of BCs Year of Science initiative also in 2010, and as the Dean of Science Ambassador in 2001. Academically he holds the Western Regional Training Centre doctoral award and the Leading Edge Endowment Fund doctoral award.

What to do this weekend in Vancouver, BC

FESTIVALS & SHOWS 1. New Forms Festival 10 Opening and Swarm Afterparty Friday, Sept 10 @ W2 / 151 Cordova Street Doors @ 8:00, Music @ 10:00 FREE or By Donation MORE INFO: Open to the public...

Mamma Mia!, Agnite, The Coup, and the WorldCup Finals

Boy this week and hopefully weekend will be sunny and hot. Which means there will be a lot of fun outdoor activities planned. But Wait! The Masala Man will be on a meditative retreat July 10th to...

Stick it to the Streets, Critical Mass, Jazz Festival, South Asian Films, and Board Games are Sooo Gay!

Summer is here and there is so much to do, here's my TOP THREE Masala Mix picks of events not to miss this weekend: 1. Stick it to the Streets SAT June 26 1pm Meet Granville @ Smithe...

Storytelling Festival, Drag Queens at the Art Gallery, and Bollywood under the stars

Here's my Masala Mix top three events not to miss this weekend: 1. FUSE [Performance | Music | Art] Fri, June 11 6pm-Midnight @ Vancouver Art Gallery FREE for members, $20 online This...

Summer kick-off festivities on this month: music, comedy, and art waste

Ajay's IT List! It's the first weekend in June, time to enjoy summer and all the festivities around Vancity:  TOP PICK June 2 - 5 MUSIC WASTE$15 for an all-inclusive pass (or $5 per show)...

Suggestions for a great weekend: Asian music artists, Diversity Health Fair, and Sustainability Expo

Ajay's IT List for events around town this weekend: Thu May 27  Schema Magazine's WEST is EAST PARTY & [email protected] Fortune Sound Club 10pm-2am This party is going to be HYPE! My...

Faeries & Fools, Lotus & Honey, Bill & the people

Ajay on the scene around Vancouver this long weekend

Suggestions for a great weekend: Jollification protests, folk gypsy collaborations, speaking out for public healthcare, getting ready for the G8 Summit

Ajay's picks for the weekend: Fri May 14 Public Health Care: How Can We Sustain It? A Free Public Forum @ Firefighters Conference Centre, Burnaby 7-9pm - Amazing speakers including US...

Three suggestions for a great weekend: Ederlezi Brass, Andrew Coyne, Feathers & Fedoras Party

Who says Vancouver is boring?! Here's Ajay's top three picks for this weekend...

VO gets together with Ajay Puri to create a curated guide to the city

What to do? Where to go? Follow me...