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Girl Up Canada Summit 2018

Updated: Nov 14, 2018

By Izzah and Marium Khan|Toronto, Canada

Girl Up Canada Summit

What an amazing summit this year, full of opportunities, inspiration and encouragement for young aspiring activists--- hosted by the twin leaders of the Girl Up Canada Coalition, Maryam and Nivaal Rehman.

Waking up super excited and ready to go, my sister Marium, my cousin Zoha and I boarded the early morning GO bus to Toronto. We loved the architecture and design of the University of Toronto’s campus especially the room the event was held in.

After signing in at registration we were directed to a nicely set table with girl up cookies and then led towards the seating area which contained a package of notes we would be using throughout the summit, as well as our very own Girl Up pens.

Once everyone had arrived and settled in we were briefly introduced to the executive Girl Up team members including Julia Mogus, Tehreem Fatima, Andrea Jacob, and Amanda Backal, all inspiring girls! After the introduction Kirsten Foster began her presentation about her advocacy challenge, especially about how young activists could start their own club or make an impact.

Kirsten gave a very detailed presentation and by the end of it both my sister and I were very keen to start our very own Girl Up clubs in our schools.

In addition, speakers included Alia Youssef, an Egyptian-Canadian photographer who created the Sisters Project, Julia Mogus who is the co-founder of Books with no Bounds, as well as the founders of The Hijabi Ballers, Amreen and Farheen Kadwa and the one and only MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes.

Girl Up Cookies made by Nancy Parra!

One of the highlights in terms of food were the Girl Up cookies! During our lunch break Kirsten held a Summit Circle in which everyone would go around and say some things about themselves to get to know each-other! Everyone's different thoughts and opinions were fun to hear and definitely brought the girls closer together.

Winners of the Hijabi Ballers Raffle

During our second break we were able to walk around to different stations and talk to some of the founders of various organizations, as well as learn how to become more involved within Girl Up. My sister and I were very fortunate to be able to win the raffle that the Hijabi Ballers held and win amazing prizes, a water bottle with a cartoon image of the Hijabi Ballers icon for me and a T-Shirt with the Hijabi Ballers logo for my sister!

Everyone was feeling inspired, happy, and ready to continue their journey towards incorporating some type activism within their lives.

Whether it be starting their very own Girl Up clubs, joining an organization that they felt would better the world or just to spread the word to help others become inspired and empowered by the knowledge they acquired. We are so grateful for this opportunity and cannot wait to attend other upcoming Girl Up events! Below is the vlog from the summit:



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