ANNOUNCING OCIC DELEGATION
UN COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN
OCIC is proud to announce our Delegation for the upcoming Commission on the Status of Women 66 Forum, taking place from March 14 to 25, 2022. Delegates will have the opportunity to represent OCIC at a number of official CSW66 events, as well as at side events and parallel events. With a diverse Delegation representing multiple OCIC stakeholders, including youth, associate members, and organizational members, we look forward to the valuable, transformative, and innovative advocacy this Delegation will bring to CSW66.
Meet the delegates
Racha Abou Chakra has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Administration, a Master’s degree in Political Science specializing in International Relations and Diplomacy, a course in International Criminal Law and Procedures, summer school in Law and Armed Conflicts, Community-Based Participatory Action Research Course Training, Advocacy Bootcamp for Sustainable Development, ARMATUS Online Abuse Prevention Training, workplace, and Business Leadership and Financial Management Fundamental programs. Racha is a member of the United Nations Association in Canada Toronto Branch selected writer, an associate member of the Canadian Council on International Law. In addition, Racha is the first point of contact as Administrative Assistant at Milton Community and Family Services at the Salvation Army in Canada. Racha took the opportunity to engage with the Ontario Council for International Cooperation for training, education, and networking toward focusing on an interest in international development, global social justice, and human dignity. Moreover, Racha has years of experience providing customer service and administrative support in an office setting, committed to helping the community through development awareness projects and presentations. Racha is applying several hard and soft skills, for example, Microsoft office, management, research, analytical, leadership, written communication and oral, organization, initiative, problem-solving, attention to detail, teamwork, and language skills in English, French, and Arabic.
Hyang Cho has been working in international development for 13 years in the NGO and GO sector. Hyang is passionate about Diversity & Inclusion and equal opportunities that every person deserves. Hyang works as an executive director at Good Neighbors Canada, working for woman’s rights and health through education.
Kaitlyn Gilham (she/her) is a long-time health and equity advocate, currently works at CAMH as a Community Health and Epidemiology Coordinator. She earned her MSc in Population and Public Health from the University of British Columbia, where she developed a deep interest in the socioeconomic determinants of health. Climate change poses a great health and socioeconomic status risk to the world, and it will have the most pronounced impact on women and other equity-seeking groups. From this context, Kaitlyn is looking forward to bringing her public health and leadership expertise as a delegate to the CSW66.
Veda Jain (she/her) is a fourth-year undergraduate student at York University, pursuing a double major in political science and global health. She is also a fellow with the Mosaic Institute, where she works on projects to address racism and discrimination within Canada. Veda is passionate about global health advocacy. Much of her work in advocacy has focused on universal education, tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases.
Sarah Kamau is passionate about championing the rights of the less privileged through advocacy and community development. While living in Kenya, she worked in various national and international organizations in refugee camps and in the humanitarian field. Through these experiences, Sarah has witnessed firsthand loss of lives and livelihoods, and forced migration due to climate change. Currently, Sarah contributes her expertise and passion for climate change action as the Climate Change Project Coordinator at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM); as well as the co-founder and coordinator of the Africa Climate Action Initiative (ACAI), a CAP Network initiative to coordinate and build the capacity of African communities and partners to adapt to and mitigate climate change.
Bella Lam (she/her) has over 20 years of experience in international cooperation, amplifying the work of local partners across regions of Latin America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. As Director of Programs at the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, she leads a team to address the convergence of three crises: climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental inequity. She has in-depth experience with community-centred conservation and climate change adaptation/mitigation, recognizing that the well-being of people, animals and the environment are deeply interconnected. Her expertise in program management incorporates a strong focus on inclusiveness, gender equality and applying a rights-based approach to development.
Harshini Ramesh (she/her) is a Research Associate at Smart Prosperity Institute, where she focuses on researching clean economy policies. She is also the Executive Director of the Youth Policy Advocates’ Policy Corner, a platform working towards providing policy publishing and skill-building opportunities for youth in Canada. Through her years spent in biomedical and health education research, public health programming, and a health sciences education, she has shaped a unique multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary lens that she applies to her work. Harshini is an advocate for increasing meaningful youth engagement in policymaking and has furthered initiatives at local, national, and international levels.
Farrah K. Seucharan holds 15+ years of experience in community work, specializing in optimizing social change through co-creation and coordination. As a chronically ill individual, Farrah’s targets involve advocating for people with disabilities and creating inclusive communities. She has created webinars and spoken to audiences on various topics, with a focus on SDGs 8, 10, and 17. Farrah is an alumni of OCIC’s SDG-focused Youth Policy-Makers Hub. She is currently completing her MSc in Poverty Reduction Policy at SOAS University of London. Her research focuses on how digitally-based co-creation projects can be used to increase social inclusion in communities.
Celeste Smith (she/her) is Oneida from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She is a seed steward, traditional agriculturalist and former professor of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) at Niagara College. She works on Indigenous Food Sovereignty, Land Justice and Indigenous Human Rights through Cultural Seeds (culturalseeds.com) and Ga Gitigemi Gamik (wewillplantlodge.com). Ga Gitigemi Gamik (We Will Plant Lodge) is an ecological training centre on a permanent Indigenous-stewarded site, where women and 2SLGBTTQQIA+ persons work on the land together to (re)learn ancestral agricultural methods lost through settler colonization.
With over 7 years of strategic marketing experience, Charanya Thiyanavadivel (she/her) brings with her a unique perspective on the nexus between business and social impact. She is currently the Product Marketing Manager for The Institute for Health and Human Potential. She also serves as Group Leader for Results Canada and a board member for the Metro Toronto Movement for Literacy. Charanya is dedicated to taking an innovative and human-centered approach to ending gender-based violence, making quality education more accessible, and alleviating poverty. Leveraging her passions for writing, learning design, and creative storytelling, she has collaborated with organizations like UN Women, International Organization for Migration, and World Literacy Foundation to develop content and programming that supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Ray Njihia Veary (she/her) has dedicated her life to social justice through working with marginalized communities. She has worked in projects seeking to address social housing, food insecurity, and education, through empowerment of local communities. Community-based approach to local issues as well as adaptation of indigenous knowledge are strategies that she strongly believes in. She has a master’s degree in Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in International Development and Social Anthropology. Other academic qualifications include a higher diploma in Business Administration and a certificate in Results Based Management. Ray is currently working as the Director of International Programs at Beautiful World Canada.
Serena Yuan (she/they) is an undergraduate studying environmental science and public policy at the University of Toronto. Their interest in intersectional environmental- and gender-based justice is grounded in a perspective of learning and responding, and she researches grassroots organizing of food entrepreneurs as part of the Feeding City Lab. Serena is passionate about expanding our view of the “environment” to include urban structures and food systems, as the interconnectedness of these spaces determines peoples’ livelihoods holistically. In the delegation, Serena’s goal is to apply global-level advocacy skills and recommendations in the community to empower local organizing.
Shatabdy Zahid (she/her) is interested in using data to inform equitable health policies and strategies. She holds a Master of Public Health (specializing in epidemiology) from the University of Toronto. She works as a Research Analyst looking at the health risks and outcomes of arthritis. Shatabdy also created @publichealthbit, an online science communication platform that seeks to make knowledge accessible. She is passionate about global health and environmental issues and volunteers with a non-profit supporting Bangladeshi women, has acted as a Member State Ambassador at a World Health Assembly simulation and is a staff writer for the United Nations Association in Canada Toronto Region Branch Journal.