Born in a Kurdish-Turkish family, Ela was raised in Turkey and has called Vancouver home since 2012. She is a passionate and forceful advocate for social justice and human rights. Ela believes the power of people and she is dedicated to creating space for people to make a positive change for all. She developed and managed social justice programs, applying an intersectional approach and is advocating for the public participation of marginalized groups and the rights of women, refugees, LGBTI, and children. Ela has worked with a variety of non-profits and international organizations as an activist, campaigner and strategic partnership and fundraising lead in the Middle East, Europe, and North America including Amnesty International, Follow The Women, Minority Rights Group International, and Battered Women’s Support Services.
She joined Fresh Voices Youth Advisory Team with Vancouver Foundation as an adult ally in 2016, contributing a supportive and sustainable space where immigrant and refugee youth can build on their learning and experience to influence policies to make a systemic change across BC. Ela studied International Relations and holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law.
10 years after arriving in Canada, immigrants still face poverty rates twice as high as Canadian-born people. It takes 20 years for the poverty rates of immigrants to equalize with the poverty rates of persons born in Canada.