Dear LEVEL Youth Policy Program Candidate,
This is an open invitation to join me, as I begin this new chapter as the Manager of the LEVEL Youth Policy Program (YPP), an initiative of Vancouver Foundation.
When I found my “why” in alignment with the LEVEL program’s “why”, I was confident that you, I, and the team could focus on doing the work together. The ongoing and growing world challenges had me reflecting on why some of us have unfair experiences in the world. These reflections have strengthened my why and will continue to inspire the work we do at YPP.
To share a little more about who I am, my name is Amora Tafadzwa Takawira, I am a first-generation settler humbled and grateful to live and work on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, my ancestors are from the Chinamora and Mhondoro Reserves on my paternal and maternal sides, respectively. I belong to the Shona Tribe and Unendoro/Achihoro (Elephant) Totem. I immigrated to these lands, my childhood dream country “Canada” – Turtle Island, in the early 2000s.
While trying to live this “dream come true”, it became apparent to me that the same inequities and structural injustices that my people faced back home were, and are still, the ongoing realities of the Indigenous people of this land. Having grown up in post-colonial Zimbabwe, I know and understand the lasting effects of colonialism, racism, oppression, and exclusion firsthand.
As I navigate this world with the intersecting identities of gender, race, class and immigrant status, I am committed to using my lived experience, the lessons I have learned and the privilege I have to advance justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and reconciliation. I will strive to create brave and safe spaces in our time together at the LEVEL Youth Policy Program so that we can foster curiosity, learning, collaboration, growth and solidarity. Most importantly, I am committed to the legacy of this program being one that inspires transformative change and delivers meaningful impact.
My extensive entrepreneurial background has enabled me to champion socio-economic inclusion and advocate for equitable access to opportunities for all. I have served as the Signature Program’s Coordinator at the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade stewarding emerging leaders through the Leaders of Tomorrow Mentorship Program and supporting the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council. Having been raised with a strong sense of community, I am an active member of BC’s Black community serving in various capacities. Most importantly, I am a proud Super Aunt who takes her aunty duties seriously!
Building on the incredible work of Rekha Pavanantharajah, Joey Cheung and the LEVEL Team that precedes me, I share in LEVEL’s mission to mitigate power imbalance by shifting and sharing power through anti-oppressive practice and center Indigenous worldviews while embracing diverse experiences.
Our goal is to empower and champion Indigenous and racialized immigrant and refugee youth by investing in the education and tools to be the critical voices of their communities in public policy and advocacy.
I leave you with the wise words of South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist, my inspiration and hero, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela from his book Notes to the Future: Words of Wisdom. His journey, much like yours started in his youth: “Young people are capable, when aroused, of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom.”
If your why is in pursuit of systemic change to deliver justice and equity, I wholeheartedly believe that this program is for you and invite you to apply to the LEVEL Youth Policy Program now!
Youth Policy Program, Manager