Ayesha Syed & Rizwana Kaderdina
Ayesha Syed (she/her) is a Secondary School Educator with sixteen years of educational leadership experience. Currently a school board Equity Education Facilitator in York Region, she develops professional learning for K-12 teachers grounded within anti-oppressive pedagogies to support the implementation of inclusive educational environments. Ayesha has also developed and led education programs for teachers on inclusive education, cisnormativity, heterosexism, anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, shadeism, faith-based accommodations, and culturally relevant pedagogy, providing a practical understanding of equity to teachers. A community leader who is committed to holistic and pragmatic approaches to equity and community advocacy, she is a Consultant for and Co-Founder of Womxn Offering Wisdom, a grassroots organization dedicated to the advocacy and agency of diverse and non-binary South Asian womxn. She is also the past Co-chair of Educators for Students of South Asian Heritage (ESSAH) and supports the leadership of the Alliance of Educators for Muslim Students (AEMS) in York Region. Ayesha is committed to equity literacy, inclusive education, and working alongside families and minoritized communities to support advocacy and community mobilization.
Rizwana Kaderdina is a hijab-wearing, Muslim, South Asian teacher who has been working in the York Region District School Board for the last 15 years, embedding social justice and global education into her classroom practice. Rizwana is the co-founder of al-Jeeran, a grassroots initiative whose goal is to validate and support Muslim identities and experiences and to help make connections between the Muslim community and those organizations that support the most vulnerable. She currently volunteers with Victim Services of York Region.