Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia
Amira Elghawaby is a journalist, an expert on issues of equity and inclusion, and a human rights advocate. A frequent media commentator, she has delivered keynote presentations and workshops to a wide variety of audiences.
Ms. Elghawaby currently works as Director of Strategic Communications and Campaigns at the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and is a contributing columnist for the Toronto Star. Prior to this, she held communications roles in Canada’s labour movement and at the National Council of Canadian Muslims, where she helped promote the civil liberties of Canadian Muslims and worked on issues of human rights. She started her career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation where she worked and freelanced as a reporter and associate producer over the span of 14 years.
Ms. Elghawaby has extensive experience supporting initiatives to counter hate and promote inclusion, including as a past founding board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and a past board member at the Silk Road Institute. She has served two terms as Commissioner on the Public Policy Forum’s Canadian Commission on Democratic Expression. She currently sits on the National Security Transparency Advisory Group, an independent, arms-length committee that advises the Deputy Minister of Public Safety.
Ms. Elghawaby holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Journalism and Law from Carleton University.
The Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia serves as a champion, advisor, expert, and representative to the Canadian government, for the purpose of enhancing efforts to combat Islamophobia and promote awareness of the diverse and intersectional identities of Muslims in Canada.
The mandate for Canada’s Special Representative on Combatting Islamophobia is multifaceted and includes:
- Providing guidance and advice to support the Government of Canada’s efforts to combat Islamophobia in Canada;
- Providing advice to inform the development of policies, legislative proposals, programs and regulations that could affect Muslim Canadians;
- Providing guidance and advice to Ministers to inform and improve efforts to track and monitor incidences of anti-Muslim hatred and violence across Canada;
- Supporting efforts to address systemic racism and Islamophobia through public education and awareness;
- Promoting public awareness and understanding about Muslim communities in Canada by reframing narratives and combatting stereotypes, including highlighting diverse and intersectional Muslim identities through participation in commemorations and public events;
- Proactively engaging with diverse stakeholders in Canada, including all of the varied Muslim communities around the country and other stakeholders, to advance community-informed solutions, policies, and actions;
- Offering guidance to responsible Ministers to contribute to training, in support of national security agencies, and;
- Promoting Canada’s activities in combatting Islamophobia on official Government of Canada communication channels.
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