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Awardees 2021

Fatema Dada
Counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission – Leadership Award

Fatema Dada, Counsel, Ontario Human Rights Commission – Leadership Award

Fatema Dada, the recipient of the leadership Award graduated from Windsor Law in 2007. From 2007 to 2017, Fatema worked at the Crown Law Office with the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Office, specializing in civil litigation. Fatema then served as a Senior Policy Advisor to then-Attorney General, Yasir Naqvi, before being named Counsel to the Ontario Human Rights Commission, where she focuses on issues of Racial Profiling and Discrimination within policing.

Fatema is also an Executive Member of SMILE Canada – Support Services, an organization dedicated to supporting children with disabilities in minority communities. She also sits on the board of the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association and the Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law.  When the COVID-19 crisis began, Fatema joined Conquer COVID-19. In 5 months, Conquer COVID-19 became one of the largest, most diverse grassroots COVID-19 responses in Canada, and helped supply healthcare workers with over 3 million items of PPE.

Nav Dhillon
Senior Fraud Technology Consultant & Founder of 1iCollective – Rising Star Award

Nav Dhillon, Senior Fraud Technology Consultant & Founder of 1iCollective – Rising Star Award

Nav Dhillon the recipient of the Rising Star Award, attended York University for a Political Science Degree with the aspiration to go to law school. Unfortunately, Nav was injured in a freak accident where she was hit in the face with a beer bottle. At the age of 20, Nav lost half of her eyesight. As Nav adjusted to life with an artificial eye, she was inspired to go back to school and completed an MBA from Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

Nav is an expert in strategic thinking and has been involved in advancing the Canadian payment ecosystem and protecting Canadians from fraudsters by leading delivery programs in CIBC’s Technology and Fraud Management lines of business.

Nav launched 1iCollective (@1icollective) in 2021 to serve as a platform to share her story, raise awareness of the stigma that women with disabilities face in the South Asian culture and to support the community by educating people about the importance of inclusion and acceptance. She publishes posts tackling subjects such as: eye/vision loss and the stages of its emotional impact; building confidence; and addressing traditional concepts of beauty standards.

ElsaMarie D'silva
Founder, Red Dot Foundation – Inspiration Award

ElsaMarie D’silva, Founder, Red Dot Foundation – Inspiration Award

ElsaMarie DSilva the recipient of the Inspiration Award, left a successful career in the aviation sector where she was Vice President Network Planning at Kingfisher Airlines and went on to became the founder and CEO of the Red Dot Foundation, a United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accredited non-profit Mumbai–based organization that works to end violence against women. Here she co-founded Safecity, an anonymous reporting platform that uses crowdsourcing to track reports of sexual violence and harassment in public spaces and maps this data to show unsafe areas in cities.. Since launching Safecity in 2012, Ms. D’Silva has overseen the platform’s rise to become the largest crowd map on this topic in India.

Ms. D’Silva drew upon her experience with Safecity to explore how to expand the reach of the application to other countries around the world.  She drafted a handbook concerning the power of digital technology to address gender-based violence worldwide. Amongst her other accomplishments, she is also the Curator for #TEDxVersova under whose banner she has hosted TEDxVersovaWomen, TEDxVersovaSalons, and TEDxVersova and has received numerous awards including being listed as one of the BadAss Women of 2020 by SheThePeople.

For her pioneering work in addressing gender-based violence, Ms. D’Silva received the 2013 Digital Women in Social Impact Award, the 2015 Female Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Dusan Stojanovic, the Government of India’s 2016 #WomenTransformingIndia award, and Vital Voices’ 2017 Global Leadership Award.  In 2015, she was listed as one of BBC Hindi’s Top 100 Inspirational and Influential Women.

Pinki Gosal, Monal Patel, Gargi Patel
Vasanti Cosmetics – Innovation Award

Pinki Gosal, Monal Patel, Gargi Patel, Vasanti Cosmetics – Innovation Award

Pinki Gosal, Monal Patel, Gargi Patel Co-Founded Vasanti Cosmetics in 1998 and are the recipients of the Innovation Award. Vasanti Cosmetics began as a story of sisterhood, driven by the lack of South Asian representation in the beauty industry. Vasanti Cosmetics launched its first three products over 20 years ago with inclusivity in mind. They quickly became a coveted Canadian beauty brand that delivers high-quality skincare and products for all skin tones, types, and ages. With products in over 200 retail stores across Canada and a new focus on their digital presence, Vasanti Cosmetics continues to stand out among the ever-growing beauty and skincare industry.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vasanti Cosmetics quickly made the decision to halt all cosmetic manufacturing in April 2020 and shifted into the much-needed production of hand sanitizer. Living up to their “small, but mighty” reputation, Vasanti Cosmetics also launched a campaign to showcase frontline healthcare workers called #WeSeeYou, donating care packages valued at $50,000 per month as a token of appreciation to frontline workers. This included donating their best-selling skincare products in response to those experiencing skin irritation from the constant use of masks and facial coverings. Vasanti aspires to reach as many South Asian women as possible. In the short term, the team is dedicated to building a strong presence in Canada, USA, and UK regions while cultivating a strong community of their supporters.