By Jena Lynde-Smith

Carleton University alumna, Amira Elghawaby, has just been appointed as Canada’s first Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia. Prime Minister Trudeau made the announcement on Jan. 26.   

“This position is one that came about through the support and advocacy of Muslim communities and their allies to address the painful and even deadly reality of Islamophobia in this country,” said Elghawaby during a press conference on Thursday. 

Amira Elghawaby

Amira Elghawaby

“It’s our hope that we can use this moment to spur a national conversation about the value of Canadian diversity  including the diversity of Canada’s Muslims communities  in our collective success as a nation,” Elghawaby said. 

Elghawaby is a journalist and human rights advocate. She graduated from Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication in 2001 with bachelor’s degree in journalism and law. She started her career as a journalist at CBC Ottawa and has worked at the National Council of Canadian Muslims, the Canadian Labour Congress and served as a Commissioner for the Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression. Currently, Elghawaby is the communications lead for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and a contributing columnist for the Toronto Star  

During her time at Carleton, Elghawaby reported on stories she said are often ignored or missed by major news outlets and has made it a priority in her freelance reporting.   

“I was able to utilize my journalism skills to advocate on behalf of Canadian Muslim communities, and by extension, on behalf of all Canadians,” said Elghawaby, quoted in a 2020 Capital Current article.  

In 2019, Elghawaby delivered a TEDx Talk in Ottawa about multiculturalism in Canada and she hosts regular workshops on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) for a variety of audiences. She sits on the National Security Transparency Advisory Group and is a frequent commentator on EDI for the media.  

Elghawaby’s role as Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia will enable her to serve as an advisor to the federal government on issues pertaining to Islamophobia, racism, discrimination, and religious intolerance.   

Read the appointment announcement here.   

Friday, January 27, 2023 in
Share: Twitter, Facebook