Duaa Mohamed a former CivicAction staff member is a strong social and youth advocate who aspires to help empower youth by creating opportunities and breaking barriers. She currently works with the Youth Livelihood’s Team at the MasterCard Foundation as a Program Analyst. Throughout her career, she has worked to empower disadvantaged youth with several local non-for-profit and international organizations. From actively volunteering in grassroots organizations committed to youth development, to social justice and community building, she has continuously pursued her passions for social justice and activism. When she’s not volunteering her time, she’s solving puzzles and filing in the blanks while she dreams of her debut on criminal minds!
To learn more about Duaa read her spotlight below.
My full name is…
I was born in …
I currently live in…
Scarborough, it’s one of the most diverse areas in the GTA. It has a very rich representation of all cultures (not to mention the amazing food options). I love it.
I speak …
Diverse leadership is important because…
It’s important to be inclusive of others. Having diverse leadership allows us to avoid creating more barriers rather than combating them with the various ideas and contributions that can be made by others. It’s important for our leadership to reflect our diverse city. Especially in Toronto, as it’s known to be the most diverse city in the world, our leadership needs to reflect that.
Civic engagement is important because….
It allows for us to become involved and have our voices heard, as well as to be able to help shape the way our community develops and prospers.
The issues in our region that keep me up at night are…
The lack of support and resources for Black youth, Black refugees and immigrants. Anti-black racism is very prevalent in our society, with constant conversations around how to combat it. The conversations happen, but actions do not as often. East Africa has the highest rate of refugees from the wars, famines, and a variety of other issues countries in that region are experiencing, but their cry for help has been ignored. Black youth and immigrants are often thrown into areas that are not helping them grow to their full potential. These issues keep me up at night because I have been given the privilege to access resources and support I need to grow as an individual, which I hope I’ll be able to help my community in gather the support and resources they need.
My greatest city-building accomplishment to date is …
Hearing the voices of over 150 people from the broader black community in Toronto. Being part of the data collection and implementation process to ensure policy makers have concrete data and information to revise polices for the black community.
One thing I do to ensure I continue to grow and develop as a leader is…
To always hear the voices of the people around me, especially youth, their perspectives, views, and values. While always encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone. It’s important to let them know that they need to take risks and explore all their options, and not allow society to define them.
One characteristic every leader should possess (and why) is …
The ability to listen. Listen to not only those around you but those who are often silenced. The ability to listen and learn by taking something away from everyone you speak to and interact with. As a leader this quality is often not practiced as it should because often it’s the little voices around us that are not really heard which tend to be screaming out the most.
If you want to get more engaged in your city or community you should ….
- Find something that you are passionate about
- Ask questions! If you don’t ask you will never know
- Get involved and join amazing youth led groups like the ELN
To me, an inclusive city/region/GTHA looks like…
- Where all policies apply to all (systematically)
- Where everyone has equal access to resources
- Where youth have opportunities to grow and thrive
- Where people are encouraged to be involved
One of my favourite places in the GTHA to visit/go is ….
Riverdale Park – it has the best Toronto skyline view. It’s also the best place to go to when you want to clear your mind, read a book, or just relax. Highly recommend it.
If I could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, I would choose….
Michelle Obama – I would love to have a conversation with her. A heart to heart. I admire her leadership style her drive and determination and overall how she carries herself as First Lady and a role model to all women.