150 Profiles: Manvir Bhangu

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: Manvir Bhangu

Current role in the sector: Founder of Laadliyan, Celebrating Daughters and Newcomer Youth Settlement Worker at Malton Neighbourhood Services

Years working and/or volunteering in the non-profit sector: Four years.

What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
Having always been passionate about human rights and equality and being an advocate for women’s rights, my first job/defining moment in the sector was starting my own non-profit organization called Laadliyan, Celebrating Daughters, to raise awareness about gender inequality within the South Asian culture. In order to make a difference directly in my community, I decided entering the non-profit sector would be the best route.

Describe your desk/workspace.
Since I have two different roles within the non-profit sector, I also have two workspaces. My workspace for Laadliyan is my desk at home which not only has essentials such as my laptop, daily planner, it also has personal touches like my vintage chalkboard and a bookshelf with my favourite reads. There is a lot more colour on my white desk in my room compared to my workspace at my “day job”. When I have my Newcomer Youth Settlement Worker hat on, I sit at a desk that has large binders, lots of children’s books and files. I prefer to keep my space as clutter free as possible. No matter which desk I am working on, I always have a cup of coffee or tea.

What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
I love reading everything and anything. I read the Toronto Star daily to keep myself updated with what’s going on locally and internationally. I am also a big fiction reader and currently reading And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Recently, I have been reading a lot of sample by-laws to expand my knowledge of how the core of a non-profit organization operates to ensure I can make my own organization grow.

What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
As a young woman who recently began her career in the non-profit sector, I am really interested in how we can get more youth, especially young females, involved in grassroots initiatives. I’ve noticed that a lot of young people do not understand how this sector works and the importance of this work in the community. I want to find new ways of engaging this particular generation to take part in meaningful work and start more youth-led initiatives. I also think there is a need to focus more closely on diversity and inclusion in the workplace and make sure these terms are thoroughly implemented into our organizations and not just on posters around the workplace.

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


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