Sushila Samy

Country of Origin:

Singapore

Themes:

Citizenship, Racism/Discrimination, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada

Photos:

    Browse while you listen: images with relate to audio


Bio

Sushila came to Edmonton from Singapore in September 1981. She had a degree in political science and economics and experience in the human resources field having worked for a large international company. Finding difficulties in getting a job in the human resources field, she returned to university to expand her education. She obtained a certificate in human resources management and in human rights. She has worked in the not-for-profit, federal, provincial and municipal government sectors. She was one of the first Executive Directors of Changing Together, a centre for Immigrant Women.

Sushila feels strongly that she should give back to the community that helped her when she first came to Canada and has continued to do volunteer work. She has been on several volunteer boards. Currently, she is involved with the Open Minds Walk/Run, a fundraiser for the Schizophrenia Society and also provides information to newcomers. She is also an Advisory Member for the Alberta Network of Immigrant Women.

She works as a Diversity Specialist for the Alberta Human Rights Commission and aims to bring about change by creating awareness in building respectful, inclusive societies. She has received awards and citations for her work.

Story

I was born in Singapore to parents of South Asian and mixed heritage. As a result, I have never felt that I belonged in any one world, one ethnic or religious group. My parents were very open-minded and allowed me to learn and participate in all the religions that interested me. Singapore is a cosmopolitan city so I had the opportunity to learn about different religions - Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. From my experiences, I realized that there was no single religion that met all my expectations and needs. As a result, I have created my own version of spirituality taking those aspects that I love from various religions. This works for me and keeps me balanced in my work and personal life. All religions have the same basic message - be good to all and live in peace. Because of my belief, I am able to understand and respect all religious beliefs in Canada.