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Bushra Ebadi | Young Ambassador and Executive Member of the Canadian Commission, UNESCO

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Bushra Ebadi is a social innovator, researcher, and strategist focused on mobilizing communities, knowledge, and resources to advance peace, justice, human rights, and the agency of marginalized communities globally. She is a Youth Ambassador for the UNESCO-led MIL Alliance Global Alliance and an Executive Member for the Canadian Commission for the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (CCUNESCO). Bushra co-founded the Health and Information Literacy Access (HILA) Alliance in 2020 to improve access to credible information on COVID-19 in diverse languages and formats, address infodemic and systemic racism, and advance the development of literacy capacities. She has worked with over a dozen organizations and individuals, including the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, UNICEF, the World Refugee Council, and UNESCO to transform systems as it relates to forced displacement, inclusive governance, global health, digital rights and justice, gender equity, youth engagement, and peacebuilding. Bushra holds a Master of Global Affairs from the University of Toronto and a Joint Honours BA in Political Science and Philosophy, with minors in French and Management from McGill University.

Why Equitas?

I am honoured to be nominated to join the Equitas Board of Directors. The opportunity to work with a community of people dedicated to advancing human rights and social justice is both humbling and deeply moving. I graciously accept this nomination and would like to declare my availability for and interest in the position.

As a first-generation Afghan-Canadian and child of refugees I am keenly aware of the integral role education plays in shaping and transforming systems. Education has been used both as a tool for violence and oppression, and for liberation and justice both in what we currently call Canada and around the world. In order to fulfill the promise of education to realize more just, equitable, and peaceful communities we must ensure that systematically marginalized communities are meaningfully engaged and part of the spaces where decisions and policies are made. The relationships I have built over the years, the individuals I have interacted with, and the opportunities I have been afforded with have made it profoundly clear that peace does and should start in the minds of individuals. The preamble of UNESCO’s Constitution was perhaps ahead of its time in recognizing the necessity to build peace outside of political and economic agreements and processes and to invest in building peace in our minds and in our understanding of each other and the world.

I believe that Equitas is in a unique position to support and mobilize diverse communities to advance justice, peace, and equity by addressing intersecting systems of oppression and discrimination. As a member of the Board, I will not only advocate on behalf of systematically marginalized communities, but I will also ensure that these communities are mainstreamed across the organization’s work. I am keen on driving solutions at a systems level, so that we are addressing the barriers and challenges preventing individuals from engaging with the organization and its mandate. I hope that by serving on the Board of Directors that I will be able to shape the strategic direction of the organization and co-create a vision for the future that is equitable, just, and prioritizes the agency of individuals and communities in exercising their inherent rights and power.