“In a region where nearly 50% of residents identify as a visible minority, but account for zero of the Toronto region’s mayors or regional chairs, shrinking the sidelines of the leadership playing field has never been more important. Today, the CivicAction Leadership Foundation added 25 new faces to a growing pipeline of diverse, civic-minded rising leaders as part of the 2018 cohort of DiverseCity Fellows, a program that is changing the face of leadership in our region.” (Civicaction.ca)
As part of the fellowship, extended to 25 promising leaders, three hail from the Toronto Tamil community.
Abi Jeyaratnam, Leadership Academy Architect, Centennial College
Abi Jeyaratnam is a Leadership Academy Architect and contract Faculty with Centennial College where she engages in challenging but necessary conversations about social justice with students and community stakeholders. Deeply rooted in her Tamil heritage, she enjoys preserving and telling stories through mixed media art. Growing up at Jane and Finch to a refugee family, her commitment to creating a more accessible city is driven by her own personal struggles with access. She has worked to combat issues of poverty, accessible education, and the negative impacts of racism through her appointment to the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) Board, speaking at various community forums, participating in consultations around the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy, and through her work at Pathways to Education. Abi was featured in Toronto Life’s “Toronto is Failing Me” series that shed light on the growing income gap in Toronto and has been recognized as one of Toronto’s Top 30 Tamil Women Agents of Change.
Kumaran Nadesan, Senior Business Consultant, Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Born in Sri Lanka and raised in India, Oman and Scarborough, Kumaran Nadesan is currently based in Mississauga. As a Senior Business Consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, he spends his days helping advance the Provinces’ interests at various inter-governmental service delivery forums. Kumaran also heads up Konnect Communications, a strategic communications agency that works with small-to-medium enterprises in different parts of the world. Outside of work and business, Kumaran is currently a Young Advisor to 6 Degrees Citizen Space; Founding Chair of comdu.it, a growing diaspora network committed to the sustainable development of war-impacted areas in Sri Lanka; and Director of Network Engagement for the non-partisan Tamils in Public Service network in Canada. Guided by the advice that you should “give back at least twice as much as you receive”, Kumaran has a long history of involvement within the South Asian community. For Kumaran, a diverse region means a place where residents can live their full potential without fear or discrimination, while harnessing their talent and skills for the continued prosperity of our shared home.
Subagini Sivapatham, Director of Marketing and Communications, Futurpreneur Canada
Born in Sri Lanka and raised in South Africa, Subagini Sivapatham is the Director of Marketing & Communications at Futurpreneur Canada, and currently calling the Region of Peel home. She spends her days promoting stories of entrepreneurial innovations and success, building networks of Canadian achievements, and looking to inspire new ideas by showcasing the leading edge change makers across our country. Believing that there is much left to be done for youth in our region, Subagini is passionate about empowering youth, especially young women, to bring balance to our society. Subagini currently serves on the Advisor Board for both the Women’s Economic Council and the Access Employment Entrepreneurship Program. To Subagini, leadership means creating space for dialogue, and it is only through diversity in leadership that we can achieve the beauty that’s possible through collective thinking.
-Images and bios sourced from CivicAction.ca