Join us in intimate conversation with Samra Zafar, award-winning international speaker, author, scholar, social entrepreneur and author of A Good Wife: Escaping the Life I Never Chose. The memoir recounts Zafar’s traumatic real life story of escaping abuse as a child bride in a forced marriage and eventually finding solace in authentic human connections. Today, she is a beacon of hope for many people facing exclusion, abuse and gender-based violence. Don’t miss this very special engagement. Zafar will be interviewed by Shree Paradkar. Hosted by Leanne Toshiko Simpson.
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Shree Paradkar is the current Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy, examining the urgent topic of Anti-Oppression Education. She is also the Toronto Star’s Race and Gender Columnist tackling issues of discrimination and identity. Shree is the author of Betrayed: My cousin's wrongful conviction for the murder of her daughter, Aarushi. She is an international journalist who has worked in leading newsrooms in Toronto, Singapore, Bangalore and Mumbai.
Leanne Toshiko Simpson is a Japanese-Canadian writer from Scarborough. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at 17, she writes about navigating the mental health system and was most recently featured in the 2018 Bell Let's Talk campaign. You can find her stories in Matrix Magazine, The Danforth Review and Applebeard Press' first short prose anthology. She was named an Emerging Writer of 2016 by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization and is currently completing her MFA at the University of Guelph. In her spare time, Leanne teaches creative writing workshops at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
Samra Zafar is an award-winning international speaker, community leader, scholar, author and social entrepreneur. After escaping a decade of abuse as a child bride, Samra graduated as a top student at the University of Toronto, receiving several prestigious awards and scholarships. Samra now serves as an alumni governor for the university, while pursuing a successful corporate career and running Brave Beginnings, the NPO she founded to support abuse survivors. Her speaking portfolio includes Yale University, TEDx, Amnesty International, ME to WE, Women’s Business Network and more. She lives in Mississauga with her two daughters.