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Toronto women honoured for outstanding contributions to empowering newcomers

Immigrant and non-status rights advocate Farrah-Marie Miranda and Jillian Andrew, founder of the Toronto Body Image Film and Arts Festival, are recipients of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) 2013 Social Activism Award. The award is presented to an individual woman or a group of women who do not hold ETFO membership but have been outstanding social activists on behalf of women and children in Ontario. 

Farrah-Marie Miranda, a first generation immigrant to Canada, is a passionate advocate for the rights of low income, racialized, newcomer women and children. As a campaign organizer with Toronto’s Education, Not Deportation campaign, she helped convince the Toronto District School Board to pass a policy prohibiting immigration officers from entering schools, in order to protect non-status students and families. She also campaigned to make shelters and anti-violence against women services off-limits to immigration enforcement so that women and children fleeing abusive situations would be protected from detention and deportation.

Jillian Andrew is deeply committed to girls’ empowerment programming dealing with issues such as body image, self-esteem, and healthy relationships. Her annual Bite Me! Body Image Festival in Toronto includes media literacy workshops for girls as well as arts-based methods for exploring issues such as violence against women, girls in politics, and discrimination. Jillian promotes community activism and volunteerism as a way for girls to establish healthy identities outside of obsessions with how they look.

“Both Jillian and Farrah-Marie are providing incredible support every day to girls and women to improve their lives,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “It is this kind of social justice and equity work that strengthens the fabric of our communities and families.”

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada. 

Posted: Sep 5, 2013

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