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Chelsey Smith

“I’ve always drawn inspiration from being surrounded by strong and empowered women.”

Chelsey Smith is passionate about ending gender-based violence. In Edmonton, Chelsey organizes film screenings, talks, and panel discussions, including Girl Rising YEG, for community and government to come together and have action-oriented conversations about social change. Chelsey promotes peace and justice in a global context by volunteering on the ground, supporting children’s rights in Ghana, and combatting gender-based violence in Swaziland. Chelsey completed her Master of Arts degree in Intercultural and International Communication in November 2015, where she researched the role of digital communication in social movements including the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Chelsey currently works with TGNP Mtandao, a feminist organization working to transform Tanzanian society by eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and other marginalized groups. What first inspired you to make a difference in the world? Learning about disparity and my own privilege inspired my work in development. I acknowledge my privilege and try to live consciously. I’ve always drawn inspiration from being surrounded by strong and empowered women.

Age: 27 Hometown: Edmonton, Alberta Works/ Worked In: Edmonton, Swaziland, Tanzania

Organizations: Crossroads International Junior Chamber International Edmonton TGNP Mtandao

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What is your favourite experience from your community development work? It is extremely gratifying to witness the ripple effect of your efforts, and inspire others to be involved in justice and development. My favourite memories are simply of people approaching me at community development events to ask me about my work. I’ve been flooded with questions like “how can I help my community?” and “what can I do to advance the rights of women and girls?”. Inspiring others to learn and care about our world is what it is all about. Which of the Sustainable Development Goals are you the most passionate about? I am most passionate about gender equality and education. Much of my volunteer and advocacy work is in support of women and girls, and addressing the challenges they face including maternal mortality, human trafficking, sexual and domestic violence, and barriers to education and justice. It is a priority for me to support the rights and well-being of women at home and abroad. This is important because violence against women and girls is a global pandemic that can be combated with education, community buyin, and political will.

Top 30 Under 30 – 2016  

The 2016 issue of the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation's annual magazine. The Top 30 Under 30 profiles thirty youth from Alberta and a...