“Arundhati Roy said, ‘There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.’”
Tasnim is 23 and is a registered social worker, the premier’s receptionist (speaking directly to the publics concerns), and is a community disability worker. She has worked many roles under the NDP government as a constituency assistant, a ministerial intern at Ministry of Children’s Services, and con-currently completing her final practicum at Ministry of Community Social Services. Somehow, she also finds time to volunteer with Islamic Relief on multiple initiatives and fundraisers. She told me she is “honoured to serve people every day and to be a part of discussions that have an influence on how our society is shaped.” What’s most important to Tasnim is relationships. She continued to say, “The relationship with myself, with Allah swt, with my family, my friends, the folks I cross in the street, the voices I connect with on the phone, my global family, the items I purchase, the colonized land I benefit off, the voting decisions I make… Everything is related, and each of these connections is what ultimately is the most important to me.” Tasnim told me the one thing she knows for sure is that “there are mass levels of systemic injustices that are ongoing and very real, in the land we occupy and all over the globe. Dialogue and raising awareness is one part of liberation-based change but we also need to be about it. Do not compromise your values and the revolution you’re undeniably a part of no matter. My justice cannot be at the cost of another oppressed group. Educate yourself, raise your consciousness (what does being anti-oppressive, anti-capitalist, intersectional-feminist mean to you?) then be ready to bring receipts and organize.” When I asked Tasnim what her greatest challenge is she told me, “every intersection of my identity poses as a challenge - being a woman, a person of color, a Muslim, having invisible disabilities, etc. Fighting institutions and ideologies is not easy. I will say I am more resilient from each experience of oppression and look forward to advocating and shaking up the systems that have been set to fail me and people like me.” Tasnim says she perceives herself as “Resilient, doing my damn best.”
Where is your favourite place to find yourself?
“I'm able to reflect just about anywhere. I feel most at home around my community of support who ground me. At an inclusive masjid, in the kitchen with my family, or driving on the Henday home with a playlist my friend sent me.”
What is your biggest hope?
“The world has the resources and capacity to change, to be kinder with one another, to not fall into moral blankness, to turn a blind eye on injustice and poverty- we can eradicate and dismantle the systems of oppression. We have the resources, the voices, it’s a matter of re-shaping society and building a culture where we do not allow it or negotiate with our morality. We should look out for each because the fate of humanity itself, depends on it.”