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Hafsah Shaikh, Niagara College

Our Leader Spotlight – Hafsah Shaikh

Manager, Student Rights & Responsibilities Office, Niagara College

This series is dedicated to introducing and celebrating the participants of the ACL+ 2021 program. Each week, we will focus on one of our leaders, sharing a little bit about them and what motivates them to explore community leadership in Niagara.

Hafsah Shaikh’s passion lies in empowering women from marginalized communities. Her personal, professional, and educational experience has equipped her with the skills to advocate for people from diverse backgrounds with diverse needs. She holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child & Youth Studies from Brock University.

Hafsah currently manages the Student Rights & Responsibilities Office at Niagara College. In this role, she oversees a team of skilled investigators for non-academic student misconduct investigations. She also leads comprehensive sexual violence programming at Niagara College. Hafsah was recently appointed as a citizen member on Niagara Region’s first-ever Women’s Advisory Committee. She is also on the Board of Directors for Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc.

Why are you personally motivated to explore civic leadership?

As a South Asian Muslim woman living and working in Niagara, I am personally motivated to explore civic leadership as historically, members of marginalized communities have often been underrepresented in politics and leadership roles.

By exploring civic leadership, I hope to be able to make a positive change by addressing issues affecting visible minorities within our community, including privilege and intersectionality of oppression.

What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?

One of the most significant issues facing our community is the lack of diverse voices and perspectives in civic life within Niagara.

A quick scan of individuals in leadership roles within the Niagara community highlights that members from BIPOC communities are clearly underrepresented and, in some cases, completely absent from the table.

What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?

I would like to expand on my current leadership skills and take the wealth of knowledge that I have gained from working at Niagara College for the past 8 years to being more involved within the Niagara community.

In other words, I would like to have a stronger understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of our Niagara community and be more involved in making a positive change.

April 26th, 2021