“I see myself as a connector that’s connecting different worlds together to achieve a common goal of “levelling the playing field” through an equity approach. That might be through increasing voter turnout in the Muslim community, or it might be something totally outside of a religious community, such as through providing opportunities for professional development to groups that otherwise would not have had access to such programs and networks.”
Seher works at the CivicAction Leadership Foundation where she runs their DiverseCity Fellowship, an organization which aims to build strong leaders from diverse backgrounds to better represent the region. Outside of work, she volunteers with The Canadian-Muslim Vote to promote civic engagement in the Muslim community. When I asked Seher what was most important to her she told me, “I believe (and we know from lots of research) that despite living in the most diverse city/region in the world, the people who make decisions across all sectors do not reflect our population, and thus cannot possibly make decisions in the best interests of everyone. I want to change that by empowering populations that have traditionally been marginalized and disadvantaged to claim their space at those tables and shake things up.” Seher told me one thing she knows for sure is “that I love this city. The more I travel, the more I realize how lucky I am to live in a multicultural city that values pluralism. Yes, we have a LOT of work to do – I know this because I spend 40 hours/week at my day job working to solve some of the big issues facing our region, but I also believe this is the best place in the world to live. Toronto will always be my home.”
What is a fun fact about you that you haven’t told me yet?
"I carry a Ziploc bag of teabags in my purse in case I ever need to add extra caffeine to my tea. It must be Red Rose – none of that weak stuff."
What is your biggest hope?
"I just want a happy, balanced life. I want to explore this city, country, and world. I want my work and personal life to merge seamlessly because I am working on something that is true to my core values. I want to be healthy and have energy. I want to meet cool people. Basically I just want to chill."