International Development grad Gilad Cohen is an artist, advocate for human rights and the founder and executive director of Jayu, a Toronto-based charity committed to sharing human rights stories through the arts.  

His biggest takeaway from Humber is a story one of his professors told him about development workers in Uganda who planted a huge garden, only to find it destroyed upon their return. When they spoke to locals, the Ugandans were unsurprised, since the garden was right in the middle of a migratory path and was therefore trampled by various animals. 

The development workers asked why they weren’t informed of the migration, to which the locals replied: “You never asked us.” 

Cohen learned to involve the local community in every single way and to ensure development work is community-driven. In 2020, the proud Humber alumnus won the Toronto Arts Foundation ARTS FOR YOUTH award. 

Cohen’s organization JAYU is entering its 10th year and continues to grow its impact and reach. Learn more at