Navigating the School System

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Parents for Diversity is hosting a free virtual conference for parents and guardians of racialized children navigating the school system.

About this event

It takes a village to raise a child, and schools are one of the most important parts of any village. However, sometimes schools fall short in their attempts to meet our children’s needs.

That’s why we must work with community advocates and schools to help our children succeed in a safe, supportive environment.

In this webinar, parents, guardians and caregivers will learn:

  • How to navigate the school system to advocate more effectively for their children;
  • Who can support within schools;
  • What community supports are available to help.

The panel will feature the voices of Godlove Ngwafusi, Sabrina Teklab, Sadia Abdullahi and Rayan Haidar.

This webinar is intended for parents and guardians of racialized students. Organizations supporting racialized families are also welcome to attend.

The webinar will be delivered via Zoom video conferencing. Attendees will be emailed the Zoom link several hours before the start of the webinar to maintain a secure online space. This email will be sent to the address you registered with when you purchased your ticket through Eventbrite. If you have accessibility needs, please contact us directly.


Godlove Ngwafusi is an uncompromising and unrelenting African descendant community leader who will do what it takes, and go to any length, to ensure that his African-descendant brothers and sisters are giving of the very best of themselves, and getting back what they fully deserve, without race-based obstructions and restrictions.

As Coordinator of the Anti-Black Racism Committee of the African Canadian Association Ottawa (ACAO), Godlove scales the length and breadth of every hurdle and obstruction thrown in the path of African descendants, to ensure that the sons and daughters of African extraction live and love and perform to the fullest extent of their God-given potential, without having to contend with artificial racial restrictions strewn on their path to total self realization.

Godlove is a very loving parent , who has been referred to as “Mr. Mom”, due to his track record in raising great community-building children single handedly, as a sole-support male nurturer.

He believes in ensuring that every single human, irrespective of their origin and upbringing, has unrestricted potential to fully chart their own path, and realize their dreams, with the sky being the only limit, if limit there is.

Sadia Abdullahi is a proud Somali, Muslim, Canadian woman. She brings many years of experience as a social worker in Ottawa. Sadia has worked closely with children, youth, and their families to develop programs supporting the unique needs of racialized communities. She has worked with many community agencies across Ottawa including Ottawa’s Youth Outreach Worker Initiative and Children’s Aid Society. She is currently an identity specific School Social Worker supporting the needs of students and their families with the aim to support Black children and youth in schools to help address structural issues of anti-black racism, colonialism, sexism, poverty, and other forms of oppression.

In her spare time Sadia, is a beekeeper. Her passion for beekeeping comes from a deep caring and concern for the fragility of the bee population and the immense respect for their collectivist structure. Her dream is to one day start a private practice that incorporates beekeeping to support mental health and promote wellness.

Sabrina Teklab was born and raised in Ottawa and is a passionate advocate for global equity and youth empowerment. She is an experienced youth specialist with a demonstrated history of working in community development, educational systems, law enforcement and non-profit industries. Her experience is supplemented by her academic background as a graduate of an MSc in International Migration and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an Honours Bachelors of Social Science in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. In both degrees, she took a particular interest in human rights issues and outcome disparities concerning newcomer and Black families.

Her youth work has led her to focus on the importance of mentoring and support for newcomer, Black and Indigenous youth (and their families) in the Ottawa region. She has worked at organizations including: the City of Ottawa, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa, Youth Futures, OPS and is currently working as a Student and Family Advocate at the Centre for Resilience and Social Development (CRSD). These positions have provided her with a holistic understanding of outcome disparities in institutional systems in Canada for newcomer, Black and Indigenous students and their families.

Rayan Haidar is a 22 years old Lebanese-Canadian student located in Ottawa, ON. She is currently studying biochemistry / statistics at the University of Ottawa. She will graduate in April 2022.

When Rayan was in high school at Woodroffe high school, she volunteered a lot at her school. Since Rayan speaks english and arabic fluently, she helped new syrian refugees students by teaching them after school and during school and translating material to them. Also, she worked in parents meetings, helping the teachers to communicate with student parents by translating english to arabic and vice versa.

Rayan helped the supervisors and teachers to explain to parents what their children's situation is at school. She taught english and science subjects. She helped a lot in Woodroffe high school.

Rayan won two awards in high school, an honour roll award for her academic performance, and Ottawa youth spirit award in 2017 + 1000$ for her volunteer work with students, teachers, and parents. She was the only winner for this award in her school.

Rayan speaks english, arabic, and turkish. She loves learning new languages because she supports diversity. Also, her top 1 belief in life is equality between all human beings. Rayan fights against all types of discrimination, bullying, and violence.