The people

Founder & Director – Imara Ajani Rolston

The Pamoja Project is the working home of Imara Ajani Rolston.

Imara Ajani Rolston brings to his work a deep commitment to citizen-led action, transformation, and social movement. Imara has over 15 years of professional experience working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community based organizations (CBOs), and independent activists across Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa. He works at the intersection between health, democracy, and citizen-led development. He intentionally moves between front line community-based work and national and international policy circles to keep the connective tissue between everyday life, policy, and decision-making alive.

Imara began his work in social justice as a youth worker in the GTA. It was during this period that he was first exposed to civic action and dialogue. He carried a growing commitment to civic action and change through his work with national AIDS service organizations in Botswana. As the Project Manager for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS & Tuberculosis (GFATM), Imara developed capacity enhancement initiatives for AIDS service organizations across Botswana. As a program officer with Oxfam Canada Imara supported organizations in the Horn and East Africa through organizational culture and policy transformation processes that enhanced their abilities to promote gender equity and women’s rights. He currently works with The Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF), conducting evaluations and organizational health checks of SLF funded community based HIV/AIDS focused organizations across 14 countries in Southern, Central, and East Africa. Imara has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. He was a LSE Centre for Human Rights Doctoral Fellow and is currently a Toronto Urban Fellow (TUF) working with the City of Toronto.

A published writer, Imara’s work explores dialogue, activism, and the intersections of health justice and democracy. His work is featured in academic journals, popular online platforms, and full-length monographs. Much of his published writing emerges from in-depth ethnographic academic work that explores the social psychological landscape of social change processes and community action.

Imara holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He earned his M.A in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). He also holds a B.A in Political Science and Sustainable Development from the University of Toronto.