150 Profiles: Shereen Munshi

As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.

Name: Shereen Munshi

Current role in the sector: Communications Coordinator at The Circle on Philanthropy & Aboriginal Peoples in Canada

Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector:  One year.

What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?

My experience as a pre-teen immigrating from Zambia to Canada has had an immense impact on my outlook on life. Though the transition was not easy, life in Canada has been truly rewarding. Reflecting on my experience with wealth disparity, lack of security and segregation has ignited my passion for true equality and shared respect. My work with The Circle, working closely with The Philanthropic Declaration of Action and learning about Indigenous cultures has been an absolute gift. Despite the grit and discomfort of learning our honest history, there is richness to working with an Indigenous-lens. Over the past year I have adapted to work with humility and built bridges while strengthening my professional communications skills. I am thrilled to be working with, learning from and being inspired by incredible change-makers from across the country.

Describe your desk/workspace.

The Circle recently moved into our new co-stewarded space with Community Foundations Canada, The MATCH International Women’s Fund and Impact Hub Ottawa. I love this space! The office is filled with natural light, glass walls and jazzy furniture. My workspace is neat and spacious and I sit facing a bright orange wall which brings warmth to the space. I am most creative when working in a colourful environment, so my stationery is colourful and trendy. I have a printed copy of The Philanthropic Declaration of Action on my desk as an active reminder to: “Learn & Remember, Understand & Acknowledge, and Participate & Act”, as I engage in the work of reconciliation.

What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?

Pocket Book: We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The next book I will be reading is: Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration – Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull.

What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure of working closely with The Philanthropist on a number of projects.

Our most recent collaborative project is translating The Philanthropic Declaration of Action into four Indigenous languages and dialects. As writers and storytellers we often overlook the intrinsic bond that is shared when communicating in a person’s inherent language. Our discussions on the importance of language and celebrating culture through practice have been eye opening.

We look forward to sharing the translated Declaration of Action at this year’s All My Relations Gathering along with a piece in The Philanthropist on this experience and the importance of language.

Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at philanthropistprofiles@gmail.com


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