Jan 2021

Sonya Yalda Human Rights Honoree

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Sonya Yalda is promoting radical, systemic change 


Alleviating obstacles

As a racialized woman, 24-year-old Sonya Yalda is passionate about uplifting individuals in her home country of Canada. “Having experienced first-hand some of the hardships that vulnerable populations face in my community, I was inspired to alleviate obstacles and systemic issues that create and sustain inequalities,” she said. “I would like to be able to inform individuals, like myself, who may not otherwise know how to access said resources.”

“I would like to be able to inform individuals, like myself, who may not otherwise know how to access said resources.”

Sonya put her passion into practice by talking to individuals around her and finding ways to get involved with the causes that matter to her. “From my search, I was able to pinpoint different groups and organizations in my community in need of assistance,” she said.


Resonating with your soul

Sonya Yalda is the founder of BIPOC Insights, a non-profit organization and think-tank focused on increasing equity for the most marginalized communities through strategic policy development and implementation. She aims to open avenues for mentorship and professional skill development for Canadian youth and aims to make light of emerging and current situations through the execution of her platform.

As an exceptional Gen Z’er using her voice for good, she was honored for her work in the Human Rights space through The ConversationaLIST. “Provid[ing] guidance and direction to groups of youth in pursuing policy research and the development of recommendations helped me realize that I had a bank of knowledge that could be utilized strategically for systemic change in professional, formal settings,” she said.

"I had a bank of knowledge that could be utilized strategically for systemic change in professional, formal settings.”

Sonya wants to encourage others to find their voice by engaging with different things. “You will be able to see what resonates with your soul and what has the strongest pull,” she said.

Looking ahead to the future, Sonya hopes to make formal policy recommendations within the public sector and promote the engagement of BIPOC individuals through her initiatives. She hopes to leave behind a legacy of positive change for those who need it most. 


An objective lens

Sonya resonates with The Conversationalist’s mission to amplify the voice of youth all over the world. She enjoys having conversations about post-truth ideologies, engaging BIPOC individuals, and policy issues that transcend borders.

For Sonya, a unified world is one in which politics does not supersede human rights or establish equity. She hopes to see Gen Z achieve this “through the depoliticization of problems that are threats to humanity.”

“Always approach discussions with an objective lens and try to understand their point of view, as well as how it came to be."

To break open her echo chambers, Sonya said she reads everything. When it comes to approaching difficult conversations, she tries to keep an open mind. “Always approach discussions with an objective lens and try to understand their point of view, as well as how it came to be,” she said. “Do not take offense to anyone’s point of view or stance.”

The Conversationalist couldn’t be more grateful for Sonya Yalda for all she does to promote activism and education. Keep up with her on Instagram and follow BIPOC Insights to learn more about her work.


Come hang out with Sonya and all of our LIST honorees! Join us in Geneva and follow The Conversationalist on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to stay up to date with all of our future events.