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Register for the Fires of Resistance Youth Activism Conference brought to you be Council of Agencies Serving South Asians. Email to reserve a spot for you. The conference is free of charge!

Register for the Fires of Resistance Youth Activism Conference brought to you be Council of Agencies Serving South Asians. Email to reserve a spot for you. The conference is free of charge!

Sisters Spotlight - Farrah Khan

Farrah Khan

At the age of 16, Farrah Khan picked up a microphone to speak out about sexual assault and has not put it down since. Named by the Toronto Star as one of 2011′s “People to Watch,” she has spent the last sixteen years working diligently to raise awareness of gender-based violence through art creation, counseling and community development. She supports women who are survivors of violence as a counselor and advocate at the Barbra Schlifer Clinic. The clinic provides legal representation, professional counselling and multilingual interpretation to 4,000 women each year.

Young South Asian Women Reclaiming Space in the Media - A Workshop!

Young South Asian Women Reclaiming Space in the Media - A Workshop!Free workshop for young South Asian women facilitated by Sheila Sampath from The Public Studio. 

When: May 22nd . 5-7pm 

Where: Don Montgomery Recreational Centre 2467 Eglinton Ave East Toronto, ON  

In this workshop, we’ll deconstruct the ways in which mass media is used to perpetuate colonialism, racism and gender-based violence, and start to shift the conversation into our own reclamation of this space. By the end of the session, participants will have laid the groundwork to explore the use of independent media (eg. podcasting, video-making, blogging and zine-making) in defining our own narratives and creating space for the world we want. 

Please email to register. 

This workshop is open to women between the ages of 16-30 only. Food and Tokens will be provided. 

Check us out on:

Check The Public out on: 

See you all there!

Sisters Spotlight - Nayani Thiyagarajah

Nayani Thiyagarajah

My name is Nayani Thiyagarajah. As a womyn of colour and daughter of the Tamil-Sri Lankan diaspora, I first gives thanks to the ancestors and elders who came before us, building the foundations on which we continue to work for and with each other.

I am a writer, performer and filmmaker. On my own journey, navigating myself and this world simultaneously, each of these mediums has allowed me to personally unearth stories from within, pushing me to delve deeper into the core of matters. Based on the support that each has leant so far, I continue utilizing film, theatre, and writing, as tools for creation and documentation.

My work, as a whole, focuses on supporting womyn of colour, including myself, in telling our own stories, recognizing that we’ve long experienced silencing. I believe that we must continue carving caring spaces for ourselves to create, and supporting innovative platforms for us to share our works.

My hope is to ever continue building across individual and collective borders, and working through creative mediums to connect peoples in our shared visions.

Creative Art Competition for Young South Asian Women

Generations of change:

A Creative Art Competition for Young South Asian Women

Brought to you by CASSA’s South Asian Women’s Action Collective

SAWAC invites you to submit your work for a competition for young writers and artists, aimed at offering South Asian women between the ages of 15-30, the opportunity to engage with issues related to gender-based violence, showcase their work, and ultimately, be part of a movement to bring about positive social change in their communities.

Selected submissions will be published in Generations of Change: Youth Art Exhibition 2012. Four entries will be selected for cash awards.  

Eligibility: Any self-identified South Asianwoman, between the ages of 15-30

 Contest Guidelines:

  • Acceptable submissions include written work (poems, short stories, essays) and visual art (paintings, drawings, graphic designs)
  • Word limit for written work: maximum of 1500 words
  • The following information must be submitted with each entry: title of artwork, artist’s full name and contact information

Closing Date: May 31, 2012

Submit your entry to: or

SAWAC’s Young Artists Competition

2401 Eglinton Ave E., Suite 212

M1K 2N8, Toronto, ON 

For more information, contact:

Hadia Akhtar, Youth Engagement Coordinator

No: 416-932-1359 x11

Project Background:

This competition is part of SAWAC’s Generations of Change project.

SAWAC works with women in the Scarborough-area to come up with creative strategies to end systemic and domestic violence against women. SAWAC`s first project, Generations of Change is a three-year project, funded by the City of Toronto, aimed at mobilizing young South Asian women to become leaders in the struggle against violence against women in their communities.

Sisters Spotlight: Deb Singh

Deb Singh

Deb is a warrior feminist activist. As a settler on TurtleIsland and as a queer, working class, woman of colour, she believes the acts of resistance and love are all part of the rent she pays to be on the planet. deb is an artist, an amateur chef and cat lover. Her greatest achievements include being the staff coordinator of Take Back the Night, being a professional listener and supporting our various communities in various ways.

Sisters Spotlight: Vijaya Chikermane

Vijaya Chikermane

Vijaya is the Executive Director at the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention and has been involved in HIV, AIDS, sexual health and gender equity work in Toronto, India, and Ecuador. She has been a feminist since as far as she can remember and thoroughly enjoys dissecting and deconstructing oppression. Vijaya also sits on the Board for Women’s Health in Women’s Hands and has experience in program and organizational development, communications and capacity building. She migrated to Canada in 1995 after living in the United Arab Emirates and India and considers ‘home’ a mix of all three.

Sisters Spotlight: Maya Bhullar

Maya Bhullar

Maya Bhullar has been a community and labour organizer for over two decades, since she first started organizing in high school and joined the fight to maintain equal opportunity scholarships at her university . Her work has involved building campaigns with labour unions, working in Africa for land rights, building political campaigns. She has a particular interest in grassroots engagement, effective representation of member interests and in helping organizations to better achieve their stated goals. Since 2004, Maya has been working with the Service Employees International Union, building global union campaigns and campaigns to organize cleaners across Canada.

Sisters Spotlight: Deepa Mattoo

Deepa Mattoo

Deepa Mattoo is currently a Staff Lawyer with South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario. She has over 12 years of experience in providing direct services to victims of violence, as well as providing public education and advocacy. Deepa has been involved with various issues related to domestic violence at the international level and has been a leading voice on the issue of forced marriages in Canada

South Asian Women’s Action Collective works with self-identified women in the Scarborough-area to come up with creative strategies to end systemic and domestic Violence Against Women (VAW). We are a working group under the Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA).