Our brains gravitate towards more acceptance, and finding a sense of belonging, in a world that often feels very isolating. Connecting with people through stories, writing, and experiences is part of being human. Though, I do wonder how much of our work becomes performative, and how much of it comes in its purest most authentic form.
When it comes to women in business, we have to draw a line in the sand of how much we are controlled by external factors that steer us from one wave into another. Because riding the wave of others, especially waves of power structures, media and its matrix, does nothing good for us or our confidence, self-esteem and empowerment.
Women of colour founders are over mentored, and underfunded. In this day and age, we don't need more mentorship, and training, we need access to the capital required to launch our ventures successfully.
In a COVID19 world, where many of us are working from home, finding a work life/balance can be challenging, especially for working parents. Establishing a morning routine, and setting boundaries with a work schedule can help alleviate some of the stress many of us are experiencing. What's a routine that has worked for you as an entrepreneur?
For many women founders, entrepreneurship feels like a roller coaster ride. Here are some of the areas to focus on to help balance your entrepreneurial journey.
How Philanthropy Needs to Transform to Meet the Challenges of the Moment
The Women Founder alum series aim to highlight stories of women entrepreneurs and startups who were/are part of the Women in Leadership/Women Founder program at Parkdale Centre for Innovation. We hear from the founders on where they’re currently at with their business, some of the successes and challenges they’re facing, life, and everything in between.
In Canada, only 50 percent of businesses make it past five years. With mentorship, that number can jump to 70 percent. Despite such evidence, there still aren’t enough mentorship opportunities for social impact founders in Canada. What needs to change?
Feature of Igho Diana, as part of the Women Founder Alum series.
The Women Founder alum series aim to highlight stories of women entrepreneurs and startups who were/are part of the Women in Leadership/Women Founder program at Parkdale Centre for Innovation. We hear from the founders on where they're currently at with their business, some of the successes and challenges they're facing, life, and everything in between. … Continue reading Women Founder Alum Series: Meet Gloria Blizzard
BIPOC women founders face economical and social barriers in addition to racial barriers when they start a business. Often times, we have to go through an added layer of dealing with this complexity as we handle day to day interactions, conversations, and relationships. Photo by Ümit Bulut on Unsplash Why wait till you learn the … Continue reading 3 Lessons I Learned as a Woman of Colour in Entrepreneurship
I was part of the Women's Intensive Leadership panel yesterday to discuss Women Leading Change during the COVID19 crisis, and some of the ways this has impacted women. Along with some of the ways we need to change the system and our own behaviour to make sure it's not leaving people behind. Here are the … Continue reading Women Leading Change: Crisis, Disruption and Systems Change
My first time visiting Leyden High School was two summers ago, when I also visited Chicago for the first time. I was there to conduct an Equity and Inclusion workshop for staff and teachers, as part of their summer Professional Development. I was very inspired by the teachers and admin staff. Their dedication to make … Continue reading How a Chicago Lunch Program is Supporting Families During COVID19
When we think about access to media, news, radio, and broadcasting, we often think of white, heteronormative thoughts, ideologies and voices put together to formulate our society's collective voice. This is not representative of marginalized voices; voices who have fought and spoken up about equity, peace, justice, and democracy for centuries. Voices who have fought … Continue reading Changing the Narrative: media, podcasting, storytelling. What’s your story?
Take a look at Parkdale Centre's 2019, a year in review, with some program, events, and people highlights & gearing up for 2020's new year goals!
What are some of the goals you have for 2020 when it comes to your business?
One of the most pressing challenges of women entrepreneurs is to access the right support system, networks and mentors at early stages of business planning.
It's been a while since I've written on this blog. I'm excited to be back and share more of my journey here. I have a new focus now, but still on the same mission to empower and elevate people's work, and create equitable opportunities for all. Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash I stayed away from it for … Continue reading New focus. Same mission.
it's time to stop calling it diversity and inclusion, it's equity and inclusion in the workplace
Parkdale Community and Legal Services hosted a workshop that focuses on the experiences of immigrant women when it comes to their immigration status in Canada, as well as introducing a graphic novel written by immigrant women to support immigrant women when it comes to violence against women. Here are several highlights from the workshop: What … Continue reading Workshop Notes: Telling Our Stories: Immigrant Women’s Resilience
I met Muslim Girls Making Change a few months ago on Twitter when I participated in #MuslimWomenDay. The team is doing amazing work to raise awareness about Muslim women and shatter stereotypes of us through their art and poetry. This is activism. They used their passion to help show the world how to be more … Continue reading Muslim Girls Making Change
This piece was originally published for PBS Newshour. Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar when Muslims observe fasting from sunrise to sunset. And it can be a difficult month for many to get through, especially students who have to go through a normal school day without eating or drinking. This year, Ramadan will … Continue reading How teachers can support students during Ramadan
My interview with Larry Ferlazzo for Education Week: LF: You write about the concept of "communicative pedagogy." Can you elaborate on it here and share some specific examples of what it might look like in the classroom? Rusul Alrubail: Communicative pedagogy is the practice in the classroom that centers the importance of interaction as one … Continue reading Interview with Education Week: Blogging for English Language Learners
Edit: the title of this post was changed from "why i left #Educolor" to just #educolor because we're all brothers and sisters and we're all growing and learning together. It's all love. I am writing this post in solidarity with my friend Melinda D. Anderson, who announced her resignation from Educolor this week. I am … Continue reading #EduColor
Digital Writing for English Language learners looks at practical ways educators can implement the use of technology in their English and Language Arts classroom for English Language Learners. The book provides a variety of classroom activities and assignments that can be completed with English Language Learners using social media and other digital writing tools. The … Continue reading Book: Digital Writing for English Language Learners
When we talk about "Diversity" and "Diverse spaces", what do we really mean? Do we mean to include some people, and not others? Of course, we don't mean to do that! After all, who intentionally goes out of their way to be exclusive? In today's political climate, we can't afford to think about what … Continue reading Intersectionality: What “Diversity” Really Means
This post was originally published in International Literacy Association's Literacy Today magazine. Google defines disruption as a “disturbance or problems that interrupt an event, activity, or process”. We need to look at disruption as a concept to use and implement in education, not as a problem, but as a strategy to formulate solutions to current … Continue reading Disruption in Education: It’s a good thing, and it’s more than a buzzword
This interview was published originally on The Tempest. Blair’s activism and presence on social media and in real life has been an inspiration to many women of color everywhere. I connected with social justice activist Blair Imani after we both tweeted using the hashtag #CanYouHearUsNow, which was created by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, after Donald … Continue reading Meet @BlairImani the activist fighting for intersectionality and rights for those on the femme spectrum
Twitter recently has added a new feature, where you can mute any account that doesn't have verified profile information, like a photo, phone number or email address. This feature is particularly helpful for activists on Twitter. If you've ever tweeted about social justice issues, GamerGate, Trump, or any other political issues, you'd likely have come … Continue reading Social Justice Activism in the Digital Space
One morning, after I dropped off the kids at work, I noticed a few white ribbons were tied around my neighbours' trees and a couple of other neighbouring houses. On the ribbon it had three words "All Faiths Welcome". This was a couple of days after the Quebec shooting. It was also a couple of … Continue reading Community Initiative: Solidarity Ribbon Campaign
I attended an event organized by my community, Parkdale's Legal Services at the local library. The event focused on addressing Islamophobia in Canada, the province, and the community, as well as the impact of the travel ban on refugees and immigrants. The event could have used more Muslim voices on the panel. There was only … Continue reading Organizing Against Islamophobia & the US Travel Ban
Many educators are often afraid of discussing "controversial" issues in the classroom. The word "controversial" here puts a shroud on many relevant topics, such as politics, daily events, history, social justice issues, equality, and many others. What are you so afraid of? Having a healthy debate in the classroom? shouldn't students be exposed to different … Continue reading Resources to Teach about The #MuslimBan
Alsalam alaikum, How have you been? I know you've been suffering for a long time now. But this past weekend, we took a hard blow. We all did. Not one of us, all of us. It doesn't matter if you are an Arab Muslim, an African Muslim, or a convert Muslim. Hearing that we are … Continue reading #NoMuslimBan: A letter to my Muslim Brothers and Sisters
When I am asked "Why did you want to get into teaching?" my answer was often about making a difference, or creating an impact in education. That, and the fact that I also enjoyed working with young people who are still trying to figure out their goals in life. Joining Ci.Strategy+Design, as an Educator-in-Residence, taught … Continue reading What is Impactful Work?
A recent article on The New York Times discussed the "Unspoken Rules Kids Create for Instagram". The article focused on how kids (middle school, and some high school) had unwritten rules on ways they engage on social media. For example, what types of images to post, how often, etc. The one thing that stood out … Continue reading Social Media & Digital Citizenship
We discuss collaboration in different spaces a great deal in and outside of education. We talk about the benefits of collaboration, the importance of it, and how it can look like. But do we ever discuss the downside of collaboration? Do we ever spend enough time to focus on how collaborative spaces can be equitable … Continue reading Equity in Collaborative Spaces
For me, as a mom, it's so important that my kids read diverse books in school and at home. Diverse books allows children to see that there is not one variation of what it means to be human. We're all different, and representing that really well in books helps children to develop an understanding, empathy, … Continue reading 3 Diverse Children’s Books My Kids are Reading
I met a wonderful lady today. She's Tibetan from Nepal. She told me her story. She has two kids, a 3 year old and a 7 year old. She arrived a few years ago in Canada, without them. I asked her why. "It's too expensive to bring the kids. It's easier if I come and … Continue reading A Snapshot of the Tibetan Refugee Crisis
A little while ago, a large publishing company consulted with me to get advice on how to engage their audience and build interest-based communities. Here is a snapshot of the framework I presented to them. Your social media’s growth cycles are incremental to exponential, it embodies ripple effects to create organic growth cycles. These cycles … Continue reading How to Grow your Social Media Community
The week before elections, I was invited to speak to The Hun School of Princeton students in New Jersey about the concepts of Grit and Resilience. The Hun School works to read 1 or 2 common books each year and have a conference about the theme of the books. This is such a neat way … Continue reading Create a Safe Space for Students to be Heard: A Workshop
This post was originally published on The Writing Project. When we hear the word “literacy” immediately some of the things that come to mind are: books, reading, writing, libraries, and maybe even magazines, newspapers. But we all know that’s not what encompasses literacy. Literacy moves beyond reading and writing. It includes the process of deciphering … Continue reading Literacy Beyond Reading & Writing
Leaving something that you have done for so can be a very challenging thing to do. There is a lot of initial denial, grief, and heartache. But it can also be a very rewarding step that you take to a new beginning. Many years ago, I wanted to become a teacher not because I loved … Continue reading From Education to Entrepreneurship
The world woke up on November 9 to the news that Donald Trump is America's next president. This is a nightmare to everyone who has been insulted and assaulted by Trump and his supporters. It's a nightmare to Black people, Muslims, LGBTQI communities, women of colour, immigrants, Mexicans, and many marginalized groups who have been … Continue reading How to Support Students in these Difficult Times
When I was in grade 6, we had a social justice activist visit our classroom from South Africa. He shared his story of being part of the movement against the apartheid, how he was imprisoned, and the massive impact the apartheid had on his family, his country, his people. I remember listening very intently to … Continue reading Global Storytelling: How it can impact students
Pernille’s class did a unit on the refugee crisis, and I was honoured to share my story with 3 of her classes. I love the process that she did to guide her students through the topic. By having students debate, discuss and ask questions about a topic that’s causing a great deal of discussion, outrage, and intolerance is so important to help students see and understand the urgency of the situation. Please have a read and I hope this Pernille’s lesson inspires you to start the conversation with your students.
I grew up in a home that had a newspaper on our table every morning. Laid out for us kids to see, we grabbed the comics first, then the Danish news. I was a teen when I started reading the international news. Being aware of the world was something that was expected of us, after all, Denmark is a small nation. We read the paper, we listened to the radio, we watched the news. Not always fully attuned but always aware of at least some of the bigger things happening in the world beyond our own.
Being a globally aware and invested teacher is something I have tried to live and breathe for many years now. After all, the Global Read Aloud was created with the idea of making the world not only smaller, but also more interconnected to create more empathy and kindness. My students have therefore in varying…
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This post was originally published for Annenberg Learner foundation. Being an English language learner, in middle school, was a really difficult experience. I had many questions about my identity, and who I was as an individual. This was a result of the language shift, but a culture shift played a huge role in this complex … Continue reading Who Am I? Help Students Explore Their Identity
My interview with Rolland Chidiac, listen to it here: In this episode I chat with Rusul Alrubail. Rusul is an education writer, consultant, and blogger who is currently working on The Writing Project, a platform that fosters and nurtures student literacy and voice. Prior to her work with the Writing Project Rusul was a Professor at … Continue reading “Find out why you feel that way and take a step back”
Through years and years of silencing, I learned that people's hidden biases will attempt to silence the voices of women of colour. Society has conditioned them to believe that our voices do not fall under dominant hegemonic cultural expectations, and therefore aren't worthy of being heard. I chose this image of Black Muslim sister, Blair … Continue reading Do Not Silence Women of Colour
The summer of 2014 I received a phone call that would forever alter my career as an English professor. The chair of my department called me to tell me that the college will be getting rid of contract faculty starting January 2015. Of course, I was a contract faculty there. My heart dropped. My mind … Continue reading Higher Education is Pushing More Professors into Poverty