Our Team

Media Democracy Days is a collaborative event supported by an ever changing collection of community partners, exhibitors, speakers, and volunteers. As an organization, we are based at the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, and work actively with our long-time coordinating partners at OpenMedia.ca and our co-sponsors, the Vancouver Public Library.

Our steering committee is made up of:



Dr. Robert Hackett

Dr. Hackett is Professor Emeritus in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, and has taught at the School since 1984. From 1993 to 2003, he co-directed NewsWatch Canada, a news media monitoring program based at SFU.Bob is on the editorial board of Journalism Studies. He has conducted numerous media interviews and public talks, written policy briefs, and has helped to found several community-based media action and education initiatives, including Media Democracy Day itself.

Dr. Stuart Poyntz

Dr. Poyntz is Associate Dean, Faculty of Communication, Art, and Technology, and Associate Professor in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. His research interests include the relationship of children and youth with media, public sphere theory, with specific concern for the work of Hannah Arendt, and young people’s historical thinking, particularly in relation to digital media technologies. Dr. Poyntz works with Media Democracy Days as our Chair.


Dr. Frederik Lesage

Dr. Frédérik Lesage is an Assistant Professor in Information and Communication Technologies in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. He completed my doctoral thesis at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2009 in the Department of Media and Communications on the topic of how creative organizations appropriate new media infrastructural standards as part of collective artistic practices. Frédérik specializes in teaching digital culture and theories of cultural production. Prior to his current appointment, Frédérik lectured at King's College London and the University of Cambridge. His ongoing research deals with how artists and other cultural practitioners design and use digital media with a particular focus on the links between discourses of creative agency and digitally mediated practice.


Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi

Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi is an Assistant Professor of Social Media, News and Public Communication at the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University. In 2006, he started his full-time academic career mostly teaching in the Sultanate of Oman, the Netherlands, and Canada. He served as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus University in the Netherlands (2011-2014) and later as an Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Canada (2015-2018). He is also an Affiliated Assistant Professor at the Department of Communication, Concordia University, in Montreal and a Research Fellow at the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus University in The Netherlands. He also serves as a Senior Research Fellow at The Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies at Leiden University, and he's an Affiliate Member of ERMeCC (Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture) at Erasmus University. He's also a founding member of the Media & Digital Literacy Academy at the Lebanese American University in Beirut.

Hanna Araza, Project Coordinator

Third year Communications major at Simon Fraser University