Natasha Kornak

Age: 21
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta
Lives In: Kingston, Ontario
Affiliations:
Right2Know Alberta, Calgary, Alberta
Alma Mater Society, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario
Daughters of the Vote, an Equal Voice Initiative, Ottawa, Ontario


We all have a powerful gift: our voices. Find your voice, speak up, and follow through with action.


When I was young, my father told me: “nothing changes if you don’t speak up.” This advice shaped me into an outspoken person who isn’t afraid to speak out against things that are unjust. When I started university, I became aware of the prevalence of sexual violence on campus after supporting several friends who were coping with its aftermath. I noticed that not enough was being done by the University to prevent sexual assault and provide support to survivors. In 2016, I launched the campaign Right2Know, which calls on the Government of Alberta to reform the health and wellness curriculum to teach about consent, what to do following an assault, and how to support a friend who has been assaulted. Through this advocacy work, I have put my father’s advice to work and proven that our voices are our most valuable assets.

Which SDG are you most passionate about and why?

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. My work emphasizes and reinforces the importance of consent in our classrooms, in our justice system, and in our everyday activities. Ensuring that our institutions uphold the rights of survivors is an unforgiving, uphill battle. If we truly want equity for all genders, we must hold our institutions accountable for protecting the rights, safety, and well-being of all.

What or who is your greatest inspiration?

I have been fortunate to have my MLA Leela Sharon Aheer as a mentor. Leela is a fierce protector of human rights and is unafraid to speak out against injustice. She is an advocate dedicated to using her voice to fight for others. Watching her has shaped how I carry myself as an advocate and leader.

What lesson can you share about building meaningful partnerships for the Sustainable Development Goals?

It is important to be strong in your convictions. Know what your core values and principles are as well as what you’re fighting for. Allow this vision to serve as your motivation to keep going, even when things get tough.

 


 

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