Anisa Jama

Anisa Jama

In Anisa’s Own Words:

 As a young, black, Muslim woman, I understand the unique ways that systems of oppression work to negatively impact the lives of many. I am also the daughter of immigrants who had escaped civil unrest in a war-torn country. It is through this lens that I have cultivated a deep passion for social equity, advocacy and human rights activism. During my years of undergraduate study, I earned my B.A. in Criminology and Human Rights and although I wanted to be a voice for those who have routinely been silenced, I felt that I did not have a tangible means of doing so. I had the knowledge but not the tools for creating real, meaningful change.

I later learned about Amnesty International’s work during my time as a fundraiser. Here, I was able to get a glimpse into some of the urgent campaigns affecting many marginalized and disenfranchised communities. When I heard about the launch of the National Organizers program in the fall of 2018, I knew that I wanted to get involved. This was the beginning of actualizing my role as a global citizen through activism and advocacy. Since then, I have participated in numerous initiatives including those related to women’s rights, anti-racism, prisoners of conscience, Indigenous rights and climate change.

I am most proud of the letter writing actions that I have organized and participated in. The annual Write for Rights events in particular, have always been inspiring and empowering for me as an organizer. It is the reason why I have centered most of my activism around letter writing. In the past, I mobilized groups of volunteers to sign petitions and call on governments to take a stand against the abuse of Indigenous women including those defending the Amazon rainforest and those who have undergone forced sterilization here in Canada. More recently, I helped organize an international anti-Black racism letter writing online event which was in response to the heinous murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Regis Korchinski-Paquet. I appreciate that along with sending letters, we are encouraged to write cards in solidarity with those impacted by human rights abuses. These cards are then mailed directly to them as a reminder that they have not been forgotten and that we are actively fighting for their rights and freedoms.

The National Organizers program is a unique one which has shown me that I can make a difference both locally and abroad, regardless of my age or any other factors. It has also taught me the power of collective activism through our voices and actions.

THANK YOU, Anisa!