Congratulations to our own Ranjith Kulatilake for winning the 2021 Toronto Pride Award at the City of Toronto Access, Equity and Human Rights Awards!
The Pride Award for 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion was established by the City of Toronto in 2003 to mark the 30th anniversary of Toronto City Council’s decision to adopt a human rights policy to provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation.
A deserving recipient of the Award, Ranjith has dedicated his life to helping people who escaped discrimination, abuse and torture because of their orientation. His work has aided hundreds of newcomers facing significant barriers coming to Canada, now living in Toronto. At The Neighbourhood Group Community Services, Ranjith leads Rainbow Connect, our LGBTQ+ newcomer support program, helping people who fled persecution to successfully settle into their new life in Canada. He also advocates on behalf of LGBTQ+ newcomers, ensuring they have the essential health services they need.
Beyond his work at The Neighbourhood Group, Ranjith volunteers on the City of Toronto’s 2SLGBTQ+ Council Advisory Body and the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants’ Positive Spaces Initiative, and presents his research at conferences and workshops.
And more congratulations are in order: Abdifatah Hussein won the William P. Hubbard Race Relations Award! Abdifatah worked in our Youth Services department a few years ago and is now at Hidaayah House, where he fights systemic discrimination, addresses gun violence prevention and community safety, and supports Toronto youth facing multiple barriers. Abdifatah also serves as the inaugural project coordinator with the Urban Alliance on Race Relations Black Youth Fellowship.