Student activists have always been on the frontlines of human rights movements. From standing in front of tanks in Tiananmen Square to petitioning governments to abolish the death penalty, young people are there. Amnesty International Canada offers many ways for you to get involved and make a difference in the world. Gain valuable leadership experience and take action on the human rights issues that are most important to you. Join an Amnesty Youth Leadership Program today.
To learn more about our leadership and volunteer opportunities, drop us a line at email@example.com. You can also check out some of our programs and resources below.
Youth Activism Newsletter
Join amnesty & Make a Difference
Learn about global human rights issues firsthand from Amnesty campaigners and investigators worldwide. Get ideas to inspire your activism. Find resources and support to make the change in your school and community. Learn more by subscribing to Amnesty’s quarterly Youth Activism Newsletter now.
Here are some essential tools, resources and training materials to support your organizing, campaigning and activism.
YOUTH & STUDENT ACTIVIST GROUPS
At Amnesty International Canada, youth make up the largest portion of our membership, which means that the work you do in your school and community is central to the success of Amnesty International.
Amnesty Canada Youth and Student groups can be found at all levels of schooling and in communities nationwide. Setting up a club is easy, and we will provide you with tools and support to get your group up and running.
INDIVIDUAL YOUTH & STUDENT MEMBERS
For as little as $15 a year, you’ll be the first to hear about human rights firsthand as a member of Amnesty International Canada, and we’ll keep you in the loop on the most pressing global human rights issues. Amnesty’s latest actions, online petitions, contests, and campaigns will start with you.
YOUTH LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Are you looking for youth leadership opportunities within Amnesty International in Canada? Gain valuable leadership experience and make a difference in the world by joining a Youth Leadership Program.
NATIONAL YOUTH ACTION & ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The National Youth Action and Advisory Committee (NYAAC) is a national Amnesty group that leads youth mobilization. It also advises Amnesty International Canada’s members, leaders and staff on youth participation in various aspects of human rights work, including governance, campaigns and activism.
Members of NYAAC are happy to respond to questions about their work with Amnesty International Canada. Please contact NYAAC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shriya Shah, Co-Chair
Shriya Shah is a Junior at the University of Pennsylvania studying International Studies and Business in the Huntsman Dual Degree Program. She is also pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Human Rights from UPenn Law.
Shriya has been an active member of Amnesty at the regional and national levels since 2017. She has a passion for making institutional human rights change in her community, particularly at the intersection of technology, disability rights, and the role of advocacy networks. She has fostered this through her comparative disability legal research at UPenn Law.
She has travelled to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories for a fellowship investigating the geopolitical conflict from a human rights lens. She has also delivered a TEDx talk on the Privilege of Movement.
Aidan Sander, Co-Chair
Aidan Sander has been a dedicated member of Amnesty International since he was fifteen. He is currently pursuing a medical degree as part of the Queen’s University Accelerated Route to Medical School in Kingston, Ontario. Aidan is also a Pearson United World College alumnus in Victoria, British Columbia.
Aidan’s involvement with Amnesty International began in 2017 when he participated in the Human Rights College for Youth. Aidan has served in several roles within the organization, including as a member of the National Human Rights Goals Committee. In this capacity, he helped facilitate the membership feedback process to support the development of both the Global and AIC(ES) Strategic Goals.
In his role as Co-Chair of the National Youth Action & Advisory Committee, he helps advise the organization’s key leadership structures.
Tegan Hore-Kelman, Internal Communications Officer
In May 2022, Tegan graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. She majored in International Relations and minored in Environmental Ethics, taking a special interest in courses related to human rights, international law, global politics,
intersectionality and climate justice.
While studying at the University of Toronto, Tegan was active in her student community. She was a member of the University of Toronto’s Feminist Equal Rights Alliance, a volunteer voice and piano teacher for Musical Minds, a crisis analyst for the North American Model UN, and a researcher for the G7 Research Group. Tegan presently works as a Criminal Registrar at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto.
Akanksha Sharma, Board Liaison
Akanksha Sharma is a third-year justice, political philosophy, and law student at McMaster University, with a prospective minor in sociology and French. She first got involved with Amnesty at the age of 16, having attended the Amnesty Human Rights College In Toronto. After that, she co-founded her high school’s Amnesty Human Rights club and worked as a national organizer, facilitating and organizing
campaigns in her school community. She officially started activism at age 13 as an RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee member and has been nurturing her passion for human rights ever since.
Haris Ahmad, Board Liaison
Haris Ahmad is a passionate advocate for human rights and social justice who is dedicated to creating long-lasting change through youth empowerment. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Calgary.
Haris’ passion for human rights activism was ignited when he co-founded an Amnesty International club at his high school. He continued his involvement with Amnesty throughout his undergraduate years, serving in
various leadership roles. He led a team to organize letter-writing campaigns, including a successful Write for Rights event.
Haris’ passion also extends to educational equity. He helped start a Calgary-based non-profit that provides free tutoring and mentoring to underserved students. He is also involved with food security initiatives ranging from the Zero Food Waste Foundation. Haris hopes to continue to amplify youth and marginalized voices through Amnesty Canada’s National Youth Advisory and Action Committee.
Hajar Abdessamie, Chief Development Officer
Hajar Abdessamie is currently a Management Consulting Analyst at Accenture based in Ottawa on the traditional unceded, unsurrendered Territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. She has been an active
Amnesty International activist since 2017, holding positions as a National Organizer, VP of Finance, VP of Events, and member of the Human Rights College Organizing Committee. Hajar is committed to advancing Amnesty International’s vision of creating a world where human rights are respected and protected.
Over the years, Hajar has organized and facilitated various events for Amnesty’s campaigns, including Write for Rights, Have a Heart, and No More Stolen Sisters. Additionally, she has helped host numerous
letter-writing events for human rights defenders who have been wrongfully prosecuted. With a strong desire to make a positive impact, Hajar is eager to engage further and empower
Amnesty International’s youth activists. She aims to establish a platform where young activists can work together to tackle their challenges and create meaningful change.
Jasmin Smith, Chief Development Officer
Jasmin Smith is in her fourth and final year of a Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto, St. George. She is pursuing a double major in English and Psychology and is hoping to go on to do her Masters in journalism. She would like to become an investigative journalist. During the 2022-2023 school year,
she served as the Executive of Publications for Amnesty International’s University of Toronto chapter. During the 2023-2024 year, she serves as their president.
Jasmin began her advocacy journey at age 13 by volunteering with local minority groups in her community of Malton, Mississauga. During her first year at the University of Ottawa, she wrote a solidarity letter with other Black students to express disappointment about a racism issue at the school. Jasmin was a member of Amnesty’s University of Ottawa and University of Toronto chapters. She joined Amnesty Canada’s National Organizer Program in 2021 and helped plan the Human Rights College in 2023.
She is incredibly passionate about anti-racism work, LGBTQ+ advocacy, and gender equity, and hopes to one day report on marginalized communities and bring light to underrepresented issues.
Fatima Beydoun, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility Officer
Fatima Beydoun is currently pursuing a JD/BCL from McGill University on the unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation in Tiohtiá:ke (Montreal). Originally from the unsurrendered Mi’kmaq territory of K’jipuktuk (Halifax), Fatima was first introduced to Amnesty International Canada in Grade 11 when she
attended a workshop. She has been actively involved with the organization ever since. She started as a youth organizer and Co-President of the Amnesty Club at Dalhousie.
Fatima combines her passions for youth empowerment and human rights while working alongside others to advocate for more equitable systems locally and globally. She is involved with environmental, migrant and racial justice work on campus and in the community. She spent her first summer of law school in Manila interning with the Ateneo Human Rights Centre. When she is not organizing, she can be found watching aesthetic cafe videos, practicing cello, and spending time with her friends and family.
Hayley Yip, External Communication Officer – Media Activism
Hayley Yip is a final student at McGill University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Sociology. She is the Co-president of the Multi-Ethnic Student Alliance at McGill University. The group fosters a community for mixed-raced people and fundraises for
children in the developing world who need congenital heart disease surgeries.
Her human rights advocacy started in her hometown Hong Kong, when she witnessed the mass police brutality and democratic
backsliding since 2014. She has created an Instagram account to spread awareness of the democratic movement in Hong Kong.
In her free time, she enjoys cooking, playing the cello, watching Studio Ghibli movies, and visiting new coffee shops in downtown Montreal. She is honoured to be on the NYAAC team and excited to work with those who share her passion for human rights advocacy.
Rajaa Berry, Project Coordinator
Rajaa is beginning her third year in Business Administration, specializing in Finance, at the University of Windsor. Rajaa is an ardent supporter of youth activism, gender equality and inclusion, and elevating marginalized voices in her community. Rajaa served as a National Organizer and facilitated the Writes for Rights campaign for Amnesty International. H
Rajaa is the founder and president of the Girl STEMpowerment Club in Lasalle. This
organization helps foster young girls’ interests in the STEM field through hands-on educational experiences that develop creativity and focused thinking skills. She has organized numerous STEM workshops and hosted the all-girls math tournament.
Rajaa hopes her activism amplifies marginalized voices globally and empowers youth to create global change. She is an active volunteer in her community. She has also volunteered for the Canadian-Muslim Vote, the Parliament of Canada, and the Stay-Woke Organization.