"Hands Off My Sister!"



Organizing Against Violence Against Women in an Age of Racism and Xenophobia

In Honour of International Women’s Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants invites you to participate in an online live, interactive event:

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017, 2:00-3:00PM

Click here to register

This conversation will explore questions such as:

  • How does racism make racialized women more vulnerable to gender-based violence?
  • What role does immigration status play out in the lives of survivors of violence?
  • How can communities, social service agencies, and governments better support racialized and newcomer women living with violence?
  • How do we organize to bring about change?

Panelists: Rania El Mugammar and Dr. Rupaleem Bhuyan
Host: Sidrah Ahmad, OCASI


Rania El Mugammar is a Sudanese Canadian NPO Director, Artist, Arts Educator, Equity and Anti-oppression Educator & Consultant , performer, speaker and published writer. Her work interrogates notions of home, belonging, womxnhood, blackness, migration/exile as they intersect with the identities and places she identities with. Rania is an advocate for womxn's rights, racial justice/black liberation and youth. Social justice anchors Rania's work as she is deeply committed to anti-oppressive practices and inclusion. 

Rania is  interested in transformative arts and community spaces and place making as a practice that inspire collaboration, community building and innovation. Rania's work in cultivating Toronto's vibrant cultural landscape is deeply rooted in a commitment to equity and anti-oppression.

She is the current co-chair of the Outburst Advisory Committee at the Barbara Schlifer Clinic, former curator of D’bi Young’s Watah School “Art(is)t Shaman” Series and a member of the Kandake Performance Collective. Rania is deeply passionate about gender/race justice and organizing locally and globally. She is the editor of SpeakSudan’s youth arts magazine and a contributor to a variety of blogs and publications. 

Rania is deeply interested in navigating intersectional and at times contradictory identities that result from inhabiting racialized bodies on colonized lands. Her research interests include Islam and Blackness, Queer youth of color, positionality/intersectionality , accessibility in community organizing, displacement/flight and migration, art as decolonial practice and more.  She is deeply interest in mentorship as a means to community growth and liberation.


Rupaleem Bhuyan is an Associate Professor in the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She is a second-generation immigrant of Assamese/Indian heritage. She was born and raised in the United States and has lived and worked in the U.S., France and Thailand.

Dr. Bhuyan has an interdisciplinary background in International Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Social Welfare. Dr. Bhuyan’s research integrates interpretive policy analysis and community-based participatory action research to address the sociocultural and political context of domestic violence, migration, citizenship and social rights. She completed her doctorate in Social Welfare at the University of Washington, where she took part in several community-based participatory research projects in areas of HIV and domestic violence prevention and intervention.

Dr. Bhuyan’s current research explores how political pressure to deny immigrant access to public benefits impacts their response to domestic violence and related health sequelae. Since 1991, Dr. Bhuyan has been part of the anti-violence movement as a peer-rape prevention educator, domestic violence and sexual assault advocate, community educator and community-based researcher. She has worked closely with indigenous, immigrant and refugee communities in addition to collaborations with advocates in organizations serving the general population.

Dr. Bhuyan is currently the principal investigator for the Migrant Mothers Project, a participatory action research project in collaboration with Mercedes Umaña from Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre. This project builds upon Dr. Bhuyan’s previous study of how violence against women shelters respond to women with different types of immigration status (2009-2010). This research is supported through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Standard Research Grant; an award from CERIS-The Ontario Metropolis Centre, and the Connaught New Researcher Award from the University of Toronto. See the Migrant Mothers Project website for more information.

Dr. Bhuyan teaches courses in the first and second year of the MSW program. First year courses include: Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations and Foundations in Social Work: Knowledge, Theory, and Values. She also teaches courses in the Social Justice and Diversity Stream including: Social Exclusion, Marginalization and Resistance and Globalization & Trans-nationalization: Social Work Responses Locally & Globally.


Sidrah Ahmad is the Coordinator of OCASI's #SafeAndLovedAtHome Campaign, which focuses on prevention and intervention for domestic violence in immigrant and refugee communities in Ontario.   

Click here to register