WATCH: In this episode of Connections, we speak to Ruth Mojeed, founder of The Inclusion Project, who is striving to promote diversity in Canada.
Ruth Mojeed founded The Inclusion Project to take diversity beyond the bounds of tokenism.
“In some of my own experiences, it’s been, ‘She’s a she, she’s black, she’s a newcomer, she checks a number of boxes’,” Mojeed said. “As a person, you begin to wonder, am I here based on merit? And then, you can answer that question… when your opinions are not valued, when the experience you bring in is not really valued. It’s just [that] you look good on the website.”
Mojeed came to Victoria from Nigeria in 2015 to pursue a master’s degree in Intercultural and International Communication at Royal Roads University.
In Canada, she experienced multiculturalism for the first time in her life, as well as racism.
“Visible minority, as they like to say it… it’s being, for me, showing at events, being the keynote speaker… and I feel like there is that unspoken expectation that maybe I’m the person who is serving [the meal],” she said.
She also hosts a T.V show that highlights stories of newcomers to Victoria.
Recently, she organized a forum, called The Inclusion Project, that brought together 178 people from different sectors to discuss how to make Victoria more inclusive.
She’s hoping to take The Inclusion Project to Vancouver, and eventually to other provinces, in the future.
“On one hand, it can be a bit disappointing [that there is racism],” Mojeed said. “But there’s work to do. And the earlier we get to it, the better.”