The award is given annually in recognition of an individual or organization who has made a significant contribution towards eliminating barriers to diversity in Canada. Award recipients are leaders in Canada who have a commitment and have worked tirelessly to enrich the diversity of our country. The award is presented annually at the Harmony Award Banquet.
Eligibility of Nominees Any Canadian individual, organization, group or business may be nominated for the award. Candidates could include, but are not limited to, educators, writers, community workers, artists, service clubs, social action groups, multicultural organizations, schools, media, businesses, professional organizations, coalitions. Successful candidates must agree to be publicly acknowledged and to be present at the annual Harmony Awards to receive the award.
Nomination and Selection Process Any individual or organization in Canada may submit one or more nominations for the award. Nominations should be submitted with a cover letter from the nominator stating the nominee’s eligibility for the award. Submissions should generally be supported by supplementary information relevant to the nomination. Submissions should be faxed (416.385.2644), e-mailed or sent by post to Harmony Movement. All nominations will be acknowledged. The final decision will rest with the award committee and the board of directors of Harmony Movement.
2012 Harmony Award Recipient: Munira Abukar
Speaking Truth to Power
By Yaya Yao
Munira Abukar is a fiery and inspiring advocate whose track record, at age 20, reads like that of a veteran community leader. Named one of Chatelaine Magazine’s 2011 Women of the Year in the “Hot 20 Under 30” category, she is an aspiring lawyer passionate about achieving justice and equity on many fronts. From trailblazing tenant advocacy to refugee rights education, Munira’s work reflects her tenacious commitment to the wellbeing of others.
Munira, a third year Criminal Justice student at Ryerson University, has worked as a committee member with organizations such as the Somali Tenant Association, the Ontario Justice Education Network, the Tenant Engagement Reference Committee, and the Ryerson University Faculty of Arts. She has organized national conferences with the Canadian Council for Refugees, educated as a Youth Safety Animator with Toronto Community Housing, volunteered for the Friendship Food program, and served as the president of Zonta Club of Toronto. She has also served as the Student Ambassador of the Westmount Parent Council and the secretary of two parent councils.
Munira’s outspoken advocacy within the Toronto Community Housing Corporation is particularly trailblazing. She got involved in tenant’s rights activities early on, as she has lived in TCHC housing all of her life. After being elected as the youngest-ever member of the TCHC Board of Directors in May of last year, the Toronto Star described her as “part of the new wave of ultra-young voices popping up across the country’s political and public service scene.” Since taking on the position, she has continued to champion tenant rights in her inimitably upfront and passionate style.
Harmony Movement commends Munira’s integrity, optimism, and vision. Her volunteer and activist work epitomize Harmony Movement’s mission of educating youth to be leaders for social change.
Yaya Yao is a writer and social justice educator based in Toronto. She is a Program Officer with Harmony Movement.
Photo: Toronto Community Housing Corporation