Hearts & Minds Living Library | About Us
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About Us

Meet A Book. Open Your Heart. Grow Your Mind.

What H&MLL Means To Us

The Hearts & Minds Living Library is a social equity tool created in order to foster one-on-one conversations between individuals who would not have met otherwise. The Compassion Catalogue Event will allow life experiences to be shared and unique narratives to be made.


The Hearts & Minds Living Library is the flagship equity tool curated by the Institute of Canadian Archives.

We are a small team dedicated to organizing events and creating tools to help break stereotypes and celebrate multiculturalism.


Q: What is the Institute of Canadian Archives?

A: We are a non-profit organization based in Toronto that brings Canadians together through the art of storytelling. Canada features an extraordinarily diverse social fabric, and we celebrate that diversity by collecting and featuring stories from real Canadians. We believe storytelling is a powerful way to break down social barriers, dismantle stereotypes, and create a more open and compassionate community for all Canadians. We are a small team dedicated to organizing events and creating tools to celebrate multiculturalism through stories.

Q: What is our vision?

A:  Our vision is a world where compassion is the core human value.

Q: What is our mission?

A: Our mission is to create, curate and celebrate stories that reflect our capacity for compassion. To accomplish our mission, we collaborate with communities using arts and communications strategies, and build their capacity to produce narratives celebrating intercultural and interfaith narratives.

Q: What are our values?

A: We have five core values:

  • Compassion
  • Diversity
  • Collaboration
  • Empowerment
  • Innovation

Meet Our Team

Azfar Rizvi, ED of H&MLL
Volunteer ED. always broke, (almost) never unhappy. overworked, filmmaker with CNN, BBC, Al -Jazeera. foodie. Loves to let nieces & nephews count teeth. Compassion is the core human value. Founder CompassioNotes. Sous- chef!

Shuang Di, Program Coordinator

Prior to joining the Hearts & Minds Living Library team in June 2017, I coordinated the Learners’ Innovation Forum on Education, researched youth cultures and communities, and wrote about traditional craftsmanship. Everything I’ve done in the past really comes together in this job. It feels great to be utilizing those skills, and to be bringing my excitement and exuberance for the Hearts & Minds Living Library.

I love being outdoors. Specifically, I’m a passionate camper, angler, and mountain biker. Being with nature is the food of my soul.

Sorry I don't have a head shot
Drew Yu, Web Developer

I am the resident awkward tech nerd working for the Heart & Minds Living Library. Currently going to Ryerson University for comp eng, you can see me hiding away in the libraries procrastinating on my studies during peak stress times.

In all honesty, I’m just a guy that really like all things technology whether it’s web/graphical design, Android, and even computer micro-architecture. In my spare time I like to assemble computers and I am also the vice-president of EngOut at RU. If you want a computer or website built hit me up.

Reeda Tariq, Social Media Coordinator

Hi, I’m Reeda! In charge of social media for the summer, so if you’ve liked any of our posts recently, you now know who made them. When I’m not making posters or updating our twitter, I’m busy hustling to make sure my last year of undergrad is one for the books, wish me luck that I don’t end up being even more of a “super” senior than I already am and that I finally figure out what I want to do next!

Huyen Hoang, Project Manager

Huyen Hoang was born in Vietnam, but spent most of her life in Poland before immigrating to Canada. She has a degree in Biology and Psychology from The University of Prince Edward Island and a Career and Work Counsellor Diploma. Having worked in the social enterprise and business consulting fields, Huyen now contributes her skills to projects that focus on people from disadvantaged populations and intercultural communication. Her passion is to change the way people connect to each other: sharing one story and one delicious meal at a time.

Meet Our Volunteers
Dandi Feng, Event Coordinator

Hi! My name is Dandi Feng and I am the event coordinator for the Hearts and Minds Living Library. Personally, I have always believed that diversity and inclusiveness are the core values which constitute us as Canadians. The “Hearts and Minds Living Library” speaks bravely about topics of religious diversity, interfaith and inclusiveness. I feel extremely honored to be on the programming and planning team for this event. My team and I wish to walk you through the spiritual journeys of many other beautiful souls living in Toronto.

Alisha Li, Resident Artist

Alisha is a 4th year Economics and Psychology double-major at the University of British Columbia.

She loves doing anything related to art and creativity, as well as working with people and organizations that endeavour to change the world for the better.

When she’s not studying or working, Alisha can probably be spotted planning her next travel itinerary or doodling in her sketchbook.

Zoya Shahzamani-Griggs, Resident Artist

Hi I’m Zoya. I am a high school student at Etobicoke School of the Arts in the film program. I have been working with this team for the past few weeks on making videos for the books. In these videos we want to let people know what the books have to say and the types of stories they will share. I am so interested in the teams goal and have so much appreciation for all the time and effort my coworkers have put into this project.