Ep.20: Systemic racism in Canada – a conversation with Minister Hussen and how we can #DoBetter
Listen in with Ahmed Hussen
Host Edward Greenspon is joined by The Honourable Ahmed Hussen who discusses frankly the systemic reality of racism in Canada today. From both his personal and professional experiences he sets the scene for Canadians to do better. Minister Hussen shares the importance of seeing the humanity in everyone and then encourages us as Canadians to do better — institutionally, as a society, and as individuals.
The Honourable Ahmed Hussen was first elected in 2015 to represent the riding of York South—Weston. Minister Hussen immigrated to Canada in 1993 and settled in Toronto. He began his career in public service after high school, working with the Hamilton-Wentworth social services department.
Minister Hussen co-founded the Regent Park Community Council in 2002. As its president, he played a key role in securing the $500-million revitalization project for Regent Park while advocating for its 15,000 residents to ensure that their interests were protected. He was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for his leadership efforts in the Regent Park community.
Serving as National President for the Canadian Somali Congress, Minister Hussen worked with national and regional authorities to advocate on important issues to Canadians of Somali heritage, strengthening civic engagement and integration. His results-driven reputation led to an invitation from the Toronto City Summit Alliance to join a task force for modernizing income security for adults.
As a result of his advocacy work, the Toronto Star recognized Minister Hussen in 2004 as one of 10 individuals in Toronto to have made substantial contributions to the community.
After earning a law degree from the University of Ottawa, Minister Hussen practiced law in the areas of criminal defence, immigration and refugee law, and human rights. He served as a director on the board of the Global Enrichment Foundation, an organization that has enabled women in East Africa to access education in colleges and universities in the region, and on the board of Journalists for Human Rights, an organization that empowers journalists in developing countries to cover human rights and governance issues objectively and effectively. Minister Hussen also previously worked as a Special Assistant for intergovernmental affairs to former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, and sat on the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security.