The Power of the Individual: Afshin-Jam shares the story of an afternoon in 2006 when she received an email about Nazanin Fatehi, a girl who was facing execution in Iran for stabbing the man who had tried to rape her. This was the beginning of a long and hard-fought battle to save her namesake, and create a path of resistance to those countries who violate the charter of human rights. Afshin-Jam, a native to Canada from a young age has refused to take our freedoms for granted. To the activist in all of us, she asks: “If not now, then when? If not you, then who?”
“I am an independent, not part of any political group or organization. I help all groups and individuals who are working towards human rights, freedom and gender equality.”
Nazanin Afshin-Jam has certainly made the most of her family's flight to freedom.
Born in Tehran in 1979, as an infant she fled the Islamic revolution with her family after her non-political father was arrested, tortured and nearly executed.
She has gone on to become an international human rights activist, singer/songwriter, actor, Miss World Canada and Miss World first runner-up in 2003 and President and co-founder of Stop Child Executions organization.
Her fame has given her the platform to raise awareness and funds for the Bam Earthquake, the 2004 Tsunami, Fistula patients in Ethiopia, Variety the Children's Charity; youth advocacy to bridge the digital divide, and a movement to stop bear bile farming in Asia.
Winner of several human rights awards, she is co-founder of the Stop Child Executions to halt the practice in Iran and in the handful of other countries where it still continues.
The talented Afshin-Jam is also the co-author of The Tale of Two Nazanins, and she has released a multilingual album Someday charting hits in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. She was appointed to the board of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation to help eliminate racism and discrimination in Canada.
Her speeches have been hits at the United Nations and international parliaments, universities and conferences. Through her speeches and music, Afshin-Jam hopes to continue being a "voice for the voiceless" and deliver her messages of freedom, peace and love worldwide.
Afshin-Jam is married to the Hon. Peter Mackay, Canada's Minister of National Defence.
"This year, the members of TRENDS Vancouver decided to explore the need our world has for outer beauty, supported by a strong foundation of inner beauty. We thought there was no better way to do this than to invite a woman who embodies these two qualities to be our keynote speaker. Nazanin was fantastically interacting with the audience...She was a great and sharp minded speaker who could be a role model for many famous figures..."
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