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EquiTalks – Building Connected Communities: Youth, Power and the Pandemic

Equitas is pleased to invite you to an inspiring panel discussion with Jayathma Wickramanayakethe UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth on Tuesday, April 27, from 11 AM to 1 PM EST. Featuring panelists who are promoting and protecting the rights of youth, these talks will focus on how young people from all over the world are redefining social justice. 

*Our panelists will discuss in English and French: subtitles will be available in both languages.*

The conference will be followed by a virtual networking event! Participants will be divided into break-out rooms to network and to have more in-depth conversations after the conferences. 

Please note that the networking event will not offer captions or a translation service. 

To register for these events, please follow these steps:

Our Guest of Honour

Portrait of Jayathma Wickramanayake, Youth Envoy.

Jayathma Wickramanayake was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth at the age of 26. She leads the UN’s youth engagement and advocacy efforts in sustainable development, human rights, peace and security, and humanitarian action. In November 2019, she was recognized by Time Magazine in the list of “Time 100 Next: Rising Stars Shaping the Future”. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, it is clear that its socio-economic impacts will severely affect young people for years to come. Governments around the world need to involve youth at the centre of decision-making processes of the COVID-19 recovery.

Young people around the globe are rising to the challenge and calling on governments to seize rebuilding efforts as an opportunity for a true paradigm shift. This is our chance to hit the re-set button, setting us on the path to a greener, more compassionate and more sustainable economy” – Jayathma Wickramanayake.

Our Moderator

Elyette Levy (she/her) is a freelance journalist who recently graduated with a degree in Journalism and Political Science. She worked at Equitas in 2019 as the Communications Intern for the 40th edition of the IHRTP. This position allowed her to bring together her strong interest in human rights and her passion for storytelling. Elyette has also taken on editorial positions at the Daily Hive Montreal and The Concordian, and she is currently a member reporter of the Institute for Investigative Journalism. Elyette is especially enthusiastic about elevating the voices of marginalized groups and using human rights education as a force for social change.

Our Panelists

Destin Bujang (he/him) came to Canada as a refugee in 2012 because of political unrest in Cameroon. Graduate in the fields of Journalism and Communications, he was the Special Events Coordinator and Resource Development assistant at FCJ Refugee Centre, as well as the Youth and Arts Program Coordinator, creating and developing Community Action Projects for youth with precarious status. Working as the Youth Ambassador for the Canadian Council for refugees, his passion for community work and leadership urged him to pursue a degree in Human Rights and Equity Studies at York University.

Destin is the co-founder and Executive Director of Equitas partner organization, the Black Creek Youth Initiative, a youth-led initiative, located in one of Toronto’s priority neighborhoods. The group provides young people with tools and resources, needed to navigate systemic barriers and improve on the physical and mental wellness of young people. In 2020, Destin received the Canada Service Corps Certificate from Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, for his contribution in improving Canadian communities.

Alex Laviolette-Moar (she/her) is a 23-year-old First Nations member of the Atikamekw community of Manawan. In 2018, she graduated from college with a degree in arts, letters and communications with a literature option.

Following her graduation, Alex was offered a position at Equitas partner organization, the Native Friendship Centre of Lanaudière where she has been working for two years as a Youth Education Coordinator. Her work consists in promoting school retention and success, culture and identity pride, as well as supporting the education of Indigenous youth aged 12 to 18. Her mandate is to set up arts, sports and outdoor projects focused on identity pride and building self-esteem. Since Alex was a child, her professional goal has been to work with First Nations: her role now allows her to reach her goals, all while getting closer to her culture as well.

Ahmad Elayan (he/him) is a 22-year-old engineering student based in Amman, Jordan. Since 2016, Ahmad has been involved in many local and regional causes promoting the rights of youth and disenfranchised communities, as well as promoting gender equality within his community in East Amman.

As a Youth Scholar at Equitas partner organization, Ruwwad Al-Tanmeya, a non-profit community development organization that works with disenfranchised communities through education, youth volunteerism, and grassroots organizing, Ahmad works with children and youth to advance their use of technology for social change and facilitates psychosocial support sessions, along with several educational workshops. In 2018, Ahmad joined Rawabet, Equitas’ MENA region human rights education initiative aimed at promoting social cultural, and economical rights as a core team member and later the Communications and Learning Intern for the initiative within his partner organization, Ruwwad. In 2019, Ahmad became the youngest person ever to take part in Equitas’ International Human Rights Training Program.

Graphic recording will be available during the event!

The EquiTalks will offer live graphic recording to visualize the key ideas coming out of the panel discussion. The event will also feature youth to ‘harvest’ the ideas of these talks and share back through creative means.

Supporting the EquiTalks

With your support, Equitas strives to build more inclusive communities, all while amplifying the voices of young human rights defenders.  

But there is still so much to do.  

To support these events and Equitas’ mission of advancing equality, we invite you to donate according to your ability to give. Donations of $20 or more will be eligible for a tax receipt. All voluntary contributions from the event will go to support Equitas’ human rights education in Canada and across the globe.  

*For more information, you can contact Laetitia Viard at lviard@equitas.org.  

Equitas sincerely thanks its sponsors for their generous support!

The EquiTalks are brought to you by The Ready Commitment, a multi-year program of TD Bank Group that aims to help individuals and communities prosper. As part of this program, TD funds Equitas’ events and programs with youth across Canada in order to build a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. 

TD Ready Commitment - Power Corporation of Canada - BGIS - Alliance Corporation - Bell - CGI - Air Canada - EY - Global Affairs Canada