Hamdi is currently in her final year of an undergraduate degree at UOIT. Over the course of her academic career, she has held several leadership positions at her campus, including advocating for human rights as a Campus Coordinator at Amnesty International UOIT. Off-campus, She has served as the Parliamentary Debates Competition Chair at MIST Toronto, where she gained an appreciation for the need to give youth a venue to excel. Hamdi is currently serving her second term as the Director of Internal Affairs at Toronto Youth Cabinet, the official youth advisory board for the City of Toronto. Alongside this role, Hamdi represents over 1,500 students as the President of the UOIT Social Sciences and Humanities Student Society, which acts as a governing body for students. She is also a Disaster Responder with the Canadian Red Cross, where she provides emergency services to people affected by disasters. Hamdi is also a Fellow with the Muslim Youth Fellowship program, which aims to empower and equip young Muslim professionals with the skills to be involved with the political process.
Farzana is a first-year law student at the University of Ottawa, and a recent graduate of the Women and Gender Studies program at the University of Toronto. While completing her J.D., Farzana will be working with METRAC Action on Violence to develop resources on housing and tenancy law issues that may affect women experiencing violence.
Farzana has previously been involved with Outburst! Young Muslim Women’s Project at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic where she completed research and literature reviews on the increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes made against Muslim women. As the former President of the Women and Gender Studies Student Union at the University of Toronto, Farzana coordinated academic seminars regarding sexual assaults on campus, along with self-care workshops, and feminist art symposiums.
Farzana’s interest in law stems from her involvement with Teen Legal Helpline, a free confidential service for teens in need of legal advice. After graduating, she hopes to do social justice and advocacy work in legal aid services within low-income communities like the one she grew up in.
Zahro Hassan is an activist and a community worker. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. Zahro’s research involves understanding the barriers immigrant youth face in the school system and how teachers, school administrators, parents, and community partners can work together to eliminate those barriers. She has an extensive community and youth development experience within the multi-racial and multi-cultural immigrant communities of Toronto, Ottawa and Edmonton. Zahro is passionate about education and literacy. She is the founder of Buugaag, a charitable organization that helps schools in Somalia establish school libraries through the shipment of children’s reading books. Zahro is trilingual; speaking English, Somali and Arabic.
Munira Abdulwasi is a PhD candidate studying Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. Her research interests include marginalized individuals living with chronic disease and the health needs of Canadian Aboriginal veterans. Over the years she has been involved in various community initiatives at York University. She is passionate about health promotion and human rights. She has been fortunate to have been awarded funding through the York University Agents of Change competition to implement a Health Promotion Series at TARIC Islamic Centre in Toronto. She is excited to be given this opportunity to conduct community based programs at this mosque. She aspires to address the lack of health resources in mosques in Toronto. For her doctoral research, she intends to explore the settlement experiences of Sub-Saharan African refugees diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to the high burden of type 2 diabetes in this population in Canada. Through her research she aims to fill the gap in the literature regarding the experiences of this group of refugees and find ways to increase services to help aid Sub-Saharan African refugees living with type 2 diabetes in Canada.
Houda is an enthusiastic environmentalist and leader. Her passion for the environment grew from her appreciation of nature’s beauty and having an inquisitive nature and curiosity to understand how the complex biosphere works. This led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Calgary, where she further developed an appreciation and understanding for science and the environment. She aims to live out her values by reducing her environmental footprint through continuous lifestyle changes and engaging in various local environmental initiatives. In her final year, Houda was elected to serve as a representative for her Faculty, in which she further developed her leadership, community engagement, and policy development and analysis skills. After graduating with distinction, she worked for a year developing various leadership and engagement programs for her Faculty. Houda moved to Toronto this past August to pursue her professional Masters in Environmental Science, focusing on Conservation and Biodiversity at the University of Toronto. Houda is passionate about bridging science and society, through policy and community engagement and is excited to soon explore the environmental industry and the opportunities that Toronto offers.