IDRF DignityTour: An Engaging Discussion on Human Rights Day

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Impact Hub Ottawa, 71 Bank Street, 6th Floor, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5N2
Saturday, 10 December, 2016 - 18:30 to 21:00
Event Details: 

The International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF) is pleased to present an “Engaging discussion on Human Rights Day” as our final event on the Dignity Tour for 2016.

The event is a great opportunity to network with our speakers and local dignitaries that will be in attendance and learn about the work that is being done around access to the most basic of “Human Rights” both locally and abroad.

Our goal is to faciliatate a conversation between diverse communities on the need to unify as people to attain peace and justice for all. 

The event will be held at the Impact Hub in Ottawa and will run from 6:30pm – 9:30pm. 

Tickets can be purchased for $20 or a $75 for a Group of 4 and will include refreshments. To register, please visit 

Follow us using the hash tag: #DignityTour

We are honoured to have in attendance our speakers for the evening:

Gabrielle Fayant,
Co-founder of Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G)
Gabrielle Fayant is the co-founder of the Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G), an Indigenous non-profit youth-led organization that came together after the winter of Idle No More from the vision of three young people. A7G successfully ran an empowerment program called ReachUp! North in the winter of 2015 and the Mass Blanket Exercise Movement that will brought together 13 cities and communities across Canada in the spring of 2016 to face the untold history of Canada through the lens of Indigenous peoples over the past 500 years. Fayant has worked with the National Association of Friendship Centres, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Aboriginal Healing Foundation, & Canadian Commission of UNESCO’s Youth Advisory Group, but has done the most meaningful work in ceremony and reclaiming traditional songs and medicines that were attempted to be removed during Canada's history of forced assimilation and cultural genocide. At the age of 29, Gabrielle is the access producer, writer and host of a TV show called Noongom, meaning today in anishinabemowin, that highlights today's realities of Indigenous peoples, she is also the co-host and producer of the Michif Hour on CKCU FM, a radio show that talks about Metis history and contemporary issues while exploring Metis artists, past and present. Fayant also sings with a women's hand drum group, helps facilitate a drum circle every week at Wabano Health Centre and a traditional jingle dress dancer. Gabrielle is the recipient of the 2015 Indspire Metis Youth Award and the 2016 JS Woodsworth Individual Leadership Award. 

Farhia Ahmed, 
Human Rights Advocate and Co-Chair of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition

Farhia Ahmed injects an enthusiasm and professionalism into everything she is passionate about. She has led a human rights advocacy campaign for Oxfam Canada raising funds for a drought in the horn of Africa to working with the local Somali community as a volunteer Public Relations professional. Farhia’s work with the Somali community in the mid-2000’s earned her the Somali Centre for Family Services’ Award for Excellence in Community Services. Her dedication and passion for human rights and justice is also evident from her most recent work as Co-Chair of the Justice for Abdirahman Coalition – an Ottawa based social justice and advocacy group working to secure justice for the late Abdirahman Abdi and his family. In the professional realm, Farhia has spent the last decade and a half working for the Federal Government. Her career has spanned the areas of Human Rights, Multiculturalism and Indigenous Affairs. Her work in the latter two have earned her Deputy Ministers awards for her contributions. Farhia’s professional experience ranges from policy development and program management to corporate affairs and strategic planning. Farhia holds a Degree from the University of Ottawa in Communications and Public Administration. She also earned professional certificates in Public Relations and Project Management. 

Our emcee for the evening will be Chelby Daigle, Editor in Chief of Muslimlink.

Chelby Marie Daigle,
Editor in Chief of Muslim Link
Chelby Daigle is the Editor in Chief of Muslim Link, Ottawa's Muslim Community Website. As a vocal anti-racism and mental health advocate, Chelby regularly organizes community events focused on community building through storytelling. 

As far as Chelby’s story goes, she has gained most of her education from experience as a front-line community worker and her personal history as an "at-risk youth" coping with poverty, lack of school engagement, family violence, and mental illness. Chelby currently works with the Diversity and Race Relations Section of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS). She coordinates the activities of the Community Police Action Committee (COMPAC) which acts as an Advisory Committee assisting OPS in achieving its goals of providing just and equitable services for visible minority and Aboriginal communities in Ottawa, building trust between the Police and visible minority and Aboriginal communities, and addressing on-going and historic diversity and race relations issues which arise between the community and the Police. 

In addition, we will hear some engaging spoken word and poetry by Ottawa resident and poet Kamal Hakim.

Kamal Hakim, Poet & Spoken Word Artist.
Kamal Hakim competed nationally for spoken word and performs poetry and hip hop all over the city and the surrounding region. He goes by the stage name of "Cannon2x" (two-times) and has been performing publicly since 2010. He is a member of the only 4-man hip hop/ spoken word group in all of Canada, Missing Linx. With them, they are getting ready to release their 2nd group album in early 2017. Aside from his performing art, Kamal is also the co-founder of his film production company, Nascent Films. Kamal is a community activist, often lending his talent and skill-set to various causes and continues to stay connected to the people in his community and abroad. Kamal is currently working on his 2nd personal musical project and is set to release this in 2017. His first project was called "Collateral" and was recognized as the #2 album of the year in 2015 by the Ottawa Citizen.


The evening will also include a talk by IDRF's:

Jessica Ferne, 
Programs Director, IDRF

As the Director of Programs for IDRF, she leads this the organization in building collaborative implementation partnerships with diverse stakeholders, and has overseen emergency response and development programming across South Asia, the Middle East, Eastern and Southern Africa, and Eastern Europe. A passionate social justice advocate, Jessica has served in various management, research, volunteer, and technical assistance capacities in Canada and internationally, with a particular focus on emergency response; refugee, undocumented community, and criminalized community health; youth engagement; and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, an international development and education network working globally for social justice, as well as for Licensed to Learn. Originally from Ottawa, she began her career working and volunteering with grassroots community groups, and is committed to bringing a community development-informed and rights-based lens to global aid and development work. Jessica holds a Master of Public Health degree from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, as well as a Bachelor degree in Philosophy from the University of Ottawa. She has completed post-graduate certificates in Advanced International Project Management (University of Toronto) and Humanitarian Response (Harvard University).

Farheen Khan
Director of Fund Development & External Affairs, IDRF

Coming from humble beginnings, Farheen grew up in subsidized housing in Peel and has worked hard to get to where she is today. Farheen is a senior level executive and consultant in the not for profit sector and has been in a number of leadership positions and has worked as a consultant for charitable organizations including the United Way. Farheen is currently working with IDRF (International Development and Relief Foundation) as the Director, Fund Development & External Affairs. Farheen is an author of two books that focus on gender based islamophobia, abuse, healing and self-love. She is motivational speaker and continues to speak and write for magazines and blog sites and appear in mainstream and ethnic media to speak about women's issues and islamophobia among other topics. Farheen is also the Editor-in-Chief of the #muslimsactually blog and campaign, where she is committed to creating positive images of Muslims in society in order to challenge the stereotypes being perpetuated by the media. In 2015, Farheen ran in the Federal election as an MP candidate and became one of the only Hijab wearing woman to run in 2015. Farheen has and will continue to advocate for causes related to women and girls (violence against women, body image, health and wellness), civil liberties, human rights, poverty, food security, homelessness, youth leadership and development and international relief and humanitarian aid. 

IDRF Directors will speak about the work that IDRF is doing locally and abroad to ensure that all people can live with dignity. In addition, the event will be used to launch the Dignity Walk which will be held in Ottawa in May 2017.