Most journalists and community members have never attended a hackathon. Most programmers have never worked on immigration issues. Migrahack brings them together. Who is Migrahack for? Digital journalists, non-profits, developers interested in social data, community and activists, and more.

At #MigrahackTO, participants combine data & journalism to delve into immigration issues. They get trained in data visualizing tools, form diverse teams and use the power of data to understand and visualize impactful, evidence-based narratives. Why MCIS?



Bianca Wylie
Bianca is head of the Open Data Institute Toronto and an Associate Expert at Open North. She has an extensive professional background in both community engagement and the technology sector. The Open Data Institute Toronto supports the use of open data in public policy, civic tech and political engagement.
Claudia Núñez
Claudia is a 3rd generation journalist, the daughter and granddaughter of news photographers. She credits her father with introducing her to books and story telling. Since 1994, she has reported extensively in Mexico and the USA as an immigration reporter for La Opinión and La Prensa receiving several honors for her work. She created the original Migrahack as a platform where ethnic media journalists can collaborate with statisticians and programmers to create data visualization stories
Howard T. Tam
Howard is a Urban Planner and Designer. He holds a Master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Hong Kong and a Bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Toronto. As Founder and Principal at the ThinkFresh Group, Howard has consulted with government agencies, non-profits and community groups to design strategies, human-centered programming, create business plans & facilitate community engagement.
Patricia Carbajales-Dale
Patricia serves as the Co-Director of the Center of Excellences and manages the daily operations of the Geospatial Technology center. This includes coordinating the geospatial technology consultation services, the implementation and management of cloud-computing and web-based GIS platforms, as well as developing customized training materials for class instruction and project support.
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Eliana Trinaistic, MCIS
Eliana is the Social Impact Manager and Executive Assistant at MCIS Language Solutions.
Zoya Khan, MCIS
Zoya is the Social Impact, Event Planning, and Public Relations Coordinator at MCIS, and previously a graduate from the Master of Development Practice (International Development) program at the University of Waterloo. She loves to work with non-profits and help them grow. She also has her HBSc in Psychology from the University of Toronto.
Craig Carter-Edwards, WHTo
Craig is the co-founder of WelcomeHomeTO, and a changemaker with expertise in Public Affairs, Communications and Community Building
Kitty Shephard
Kitty is a leader in Communications and Outreach for WelcomeHomeTO. She's a young professional with experience in leadership roles & ability to respond to corporate objectives, plans & strategies.
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David Dou
David is a skilled data scientist and visual artist with a sharpened ability to mine hidden trends and insights located within large sets of structured, semi-structured and unstructured data. He has expertise in leveraging mathematics and applied statistics to create elaborate data visualizations that are engaging for both technical and non-technical people.
Nadia Caidi
Nadia Caidi is a Professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information (iSchool). Trained in Linguistics and Communication from Lyon and Grenoble (France), she holds a Ph.D. in Information Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Professor Caidi’s research interests focus on human information behaviour and information policy. Her current research is situated in the context of global migration and the role that information resources play in lives of migrants.
Niel Chah
Niel is researcher at University of Toronto and a team lead at upwork. He holds leadership responsibilities for a large-scale data curation and localization/internationalization (i18n) project on, including coordinating a team of specialists working on enhancing and curating data in a large knowledge base of international topics.
Obim Okongwu
Obim Okongwu is a Principal at Innovfi Inc, an impact measurement and advisory firm that uses data and analytics to drive capital to fund financial inclusion initiatives. He seeks to measure and optimize impact investment portfolio performance for risk-adjusted financial returns and impact. He also advises nonprofits and charities on developing their business models and pursuing data-driven solutions.
Prior to Innovfi, Obim led the Credit Risk Data and Analytics team at Manulife.
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Alex Lovell
Senior Policy and Program Advisor & Team Lead at the Refugee Settlement Secretariat for Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Ramzi Jaber
Ramzi is systematically changing how people in the Arab region access and process information. His organization, Visualizing Impact (VI), seeks out reliable but often buried sources of data and facts about pressing social justice issues.
Saadia Muzaffar
Saadia Muzaffar is a Leadership Futurist, tech entrepreneur, and founder of TechGirls Canada, the hub for Canadian women in science, technology, engineering, and math.
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MCIS Language Solutions is a non-profit social enterprise with a commitment to vulnerable persons and their rights to access important public services in their respective languages. Today, MCIS employes 45+ full time staff and offers over 50 professional language solutions in 300+ languages.

As a social enterprise, MCIS is shifting the focus from bottom line to social value. This strategy includes advocating for language access, strengthening capacity of the language services field, and maintaining growth with social purpose.

To find more about how do we envision our social impact please visit our site here:




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On the last of MigrahackTO, participants presented their wonderful final projects, with findings and data visualizations.

Click on image below for full-sized view.

MigrahackTO Projects

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Missed MigrahackTO 2017?

Watch our final Panel Discussion Below!

Our Sponsors

Our Incredible Partner


Latha Sukumar
What did we hope to get out of #MigrahackTO?

If you had asked me 6 months ago what a Migrahack was, I would have drawn a blank.  My daughter who works in the technology space ran a hackathon 2 years ago and explained to me its purpose is to get together programmers, designers and project managers for an intensely short period of time, to create usable software.

So what did MCIS hope to get out of MigrahackTO?  Did we get achieve it?...

Claudia Nunez
 #Migrahack Founder,  about her vision

How did you realize that journalists were not using data that non-profits, hackers and system users were producing to help write stories on migration?

Actually, journalists have always used data.  However, I believe that there is a huge lack of knowledge on how to interrogate the numbers, how to make them be the story tellers, and how to put a human face on what the migrants are going through.  I think there needs to be more training on this, especially for such a delicate topic such as immigration...

Howard Tam
How can #MigrahackTO help journalists?

How do journalists improve their ability to report stories from the types workshops we have at Migrahack?

I think this goes back to understanding that there are more stories out there than meet the eye. A large responsibility of journalists is to tell all the stories that are out there so that the public can have a deeper understanding of the issues. I think an event like Migrahack can help to provide activists, advocates, and journalists new tools to understand a large part of telling the story – and that is getting the right data to tell richer stories...

Eliana, Craig, and Zoya
On the Radio with Regent Park Focus

On Monday, November 6th, Regent Park Focus introduced its week-long radio programming to promote Media Literacy Week, with special guests Craig Carter-Edwards, Zoya Khan, and Eliana Trinaistic from Migrahack and Welcome Home TO to talk about media literacy from different perspectives and organizations. 

What did you get out of MigrahackTO?
Watch Short Clip Below

How do you think these tools can help you in your everyday work as a journalist?

Well, I’m currently doing an investigation into ways that seniors that don’t speak English or French are potentially vulnerable, due to a lack in funding or access to services to language interpretation services. My understanding of Tableau has already helped me create visualizations for several of the stories I’m working on –  and has given me the insight into the ladder I need to climb in order to take my visualizations to the next level!...

For most of us, it is not the numbers, but shapes or colours that will tell the story. We have a human need to relate to the information we gather, so we need to have data converted into an image. To relate, we need a story behind the numbers.  And once we have an evidence based story we are in a better position to talk about social issues behind these numbers. In my opinion, data visualization is a crucial skill for any social advocate. To understand the data and, the different angles from which it could be represented will give us a grounded ability to influence policies and create change.

Eliana Trinaistic
Developing Solutions to Social Callenges
Adam Chen
A Journalist's Perspective
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