Nominated for the award: Community Activism
Company: Lotus Project
Biography: Born and raised in the Jane and Finch area to Guyanese immigrants, Suzanne Narain, has over 10 years of community organizing and activism experience with working class, racialized, and marginalized communities across the GTA. Grounded in an intersectional and anti-oppressive approach, she organizes with the Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty and Black Creek Food Justice Network. She has been a part of coalitions focused on resisting the elimination of school closures, removing the school resource officer and advocated in solidarity with the $15 and fairness campaign. Suzanne is also the founder of the Lotus Project, an organization dedicated to cultivating a space for Indo-Caribbean women to share their stories of violence and trauma, while also documenting their stories of success. Outside of her dedication to the community, Suzanne is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the collaborative Social Justice Education and Women and Gender Studies program at the University of Toronto. Her research explores race, gender and citizenship, focusing on immigrant women and activism in Toronto. Suzanne has also worked as the Civics and Environment Commissioner, at the University of Toronto Graduate Student's Union, raising awareness of migrant justice issues, electoral reform and food sovereignty. Suzanne is a grassroots organizer and elementary school teacher in the Jane and Finch community. In 2014, Suzanne ran for Councillor of Ward 8 in the municipal elections in Toronto, in order to advocate for the community not only through research and activism, but also to enact policy changes championed by the community.