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Chat and Connect: Being BIPOC and the Academic and Career Journey

24 February 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

This month’s Chat and Connect session aims to support the educational and career trajectories of our racialized members, especially first-generation Canadians.

Our Chat & Connect guest, Meseret Haileyesus, is an accomplished global health expert, multi-award-winning economic justice and health equity advocate, thought leader, philanthropist, change-maker, and social entrepreneur.

She is the CEO of the Canadian Centre for Women’s Empowerment, the only Canadian organization addressing economic injustice with a keen interest in addressing systemic barriers and other challenges that prevent women and girls from fully realizing their economic rights. Meseret works to influence public policy and legislation decisions that support marginalized women to make a successful transition to economic independence in Canada. She seeks to fill the gaps for the development of new approaches to address economic injustice by reviewing existing systems, policies, legislation and procedures in Canada.

She is involved with various strategies to inform the federal government of Canada such as National Financial Literacy Strategy, National Gender-Based Violence Strategy to include economic justice. She also serves on the Board of Directors at Centertown Health Center, End FGM Canada Network, and Advisor for Various Anti-Racism Community Initiatives to contribute to a system that meets the needs of mental health challenges faced by Black youth, and their families in Canada.

Meseret works have been featured in media across Canada including CBC, CTV, Yahoo Finance, Canadian Center for Policy Alternative, Globes and Mail, Healthy Debate, Toronto Sun, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, and National Observer. In 2020, her project was recognised by 27 major cities’ mayors across Canada and at the House of Commons.

Her passion for global health and health equity has led her to spend over 16 years, working with various national and international non-profit organizations on dozens of projects centred on issues of HIV/AIDS prevention, public health research, and health policy to take action to advance social justice initiatives. Past community involvement includes the Alberta Community Council for HIV/AIDS, Alberta Health Services, University of Alberta, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, Laurentian University, Canadian Network for Society Network, Women in Edmonton, City of All Women Initiative (Ottawa), World Bank Gender Equality and Diversity in Customs & UN Women- Women’s Economic Empowerment, UNICEF, African Medical Research Foundation, Jhpiego-, Johns Snow Institute, CARE Canada & Ethiopiaid Canada.

Meseret worked on public health programs, particularly on Women’s Child Health reproductive health and economic rights, where she had the profound pleasure of assisting many marginalized pregnant African women through the amazing journey of pregnancy, childbirth, and new motherhood. Meseret Ambassador for World Pulse and Meaningful Business, a global organization dedicated to addressing racial and economic injustice to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These experiences combined with her lifelong commitment to gender equality and women’s health and well-being led Meseret to found Maternity Today, an international non-profit organization that strengthens maternal, child and newborn health through superior advocacy, research, and education in developing countries.

Beyond her social justice and public health involvement, Meseret is also the owner of Nacre Organics, and an advocate with David Suzuki Foundation for the promotion of nontoxic green personal care products, “biodegradable plastic-waste free planet” and zero-waste packaging. As a health and wellness industry entrepreneur, she is also a program advisor at Algonquin College’s Esthetician and Spa program.

She is also one of the founders of KMH Trading SC, the first multiuser health service mobile application in Ethiopia that plays a vital role in addressing the day-to-day health care services challenges along with innovators from USA, UK, Canada and Ethiopia.

She is a proud mother of one beautiful daughter who inspires and motivates her every day to continue her work towards a more just, fair, and inclusive society that protects and advances the well-being of women and girls.

We hope to see you at our Chat & Connect on Thursday, February 24, 2022, at 7 p.m. ET!