IDEA Leaders - Meet MP Arielle Kayabaga


Arielle and her family left Burundi for Canada when she was 11years old amid civil war and she experienced first-hand the challenges newcomers face in dealing with insecure housing and precarious employment in an unfamiliar place. Arielle is passionate about helping new Canadians get settled in our country and have access to the necessary resources to ease the transition.


Arielle gained experience in government while working for the Liberal Research Bureau on Parliament Hill and was one of 29 young Canadians selected to participate at the United Nations Framework Convention. She was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in the 2021 Canadian federal election. She represents the electoral district of London West as a member of the Liberal Party of Canada.


Why intersectionality is important as a young woman leader:

Intersectionality is important, because for too long it has been, and in certain situations continues to be, ignored by those in positions of power. It has to be recognized that individuals are not always placed within one certain category within society. An individual could have faced multiple levels of inequality. By looking at the various ways in which gender, socioeconomic status within society, race, sexuality, gender expression, ability, and various others—have the power to intersect, we as policy makers can be better equipped to tackle issues and therefore bring about the necessary change that is required.


Why intersectionality is important as a young woman leader:

Intersectionality is important, because for too long it has been, and in certain situations continues to be, ignored by those in positions of power. It has to be recognized that individuals are not always placed within one certain category within society. An individual could have faced multiple levels of inequality. By looking at the various ways in which gender, socioeconomic status within society, race, sexuality, gender expression, ability, and various others—have the power to intersect, we as policy makers can be better equipped to tackle issues and therefore bring about the necessary change that is required.


What does inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility mean to me in practice:

Inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility, like intersectionality, is factored into every decision I make. Being Black, a woman, and an immigrant in politics, means that these are more than just words tome, they are my lived experience. It is imperative to me that I make the spaces that I participate in as accepting, respectful and open for every individual possible. It means promoting the ideas and voices of those that continue to be marginalized by those in positions of power, so long as their views do not promote hate.


A woman who inspires me is:

Harriet Tubman! After escaping slavery, herself, she dedicated her life to leading other enslaved individuals to freedom. She selflessly and relentlessly used her power to fight for what she believed in, despite the risk that she faced while doing so. Without people like her who stood up to those in power, I would not be where I am today, and countless others would continue to be oppressed


What is one trait you exhibit as a leader:

Determination


Resources: Sandra Shime reached out to Ms. Kayabaga for this profile.

Sandra Shime, WIL Toronto-U.S. chapter IDEA Lead. Sandra is a leading voice in the legal community in Ontario for women and has a passion for people, projects, and change in the legal world. Sandra has had a successful career as a prosecutor in the US representing victims of domestic violence and violent crimes and as an adjudicator in Canada mediating and adjudicating workplace issues. As a lifelong learner, she greatly believes in the value and power of community and mentorship.


Connect with Sandra

Sandra Shime LinkedIn

WIL Toronto-US Website

WIL Toronto-US LinkedIn





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