Hediyeh Karimian, grew up in Toronto, Ontario. Hediyeh is a Master of Social Work candidate at Laurentian University. Hediyeh is studying the lived experiences of Black and racialized student-athletes living in the City of Sudbury, focusing on the impacts of athletics and academia.
Hediyeh has extensive experience working with marginalized communities in a professional role in Toronto and Sudbury, particularly with people involved in the correctional and child welfare systems. In 2018, Hediyeh co-founded an organization called ULU, which stands for Uluntu – Humanity, Lungisa – Justice and Usawa – Equity. ULU provides training opportunities focusing on a variety of topics such as: Black history, allyship, privilege, oppression, intersectionality, importance of advocacy, anti-racism, systemic and social inequalities at the micro, mezzo and macro level of society, Canadian colonial education system, and the impacts on racial minorities, influences of the media on our social constructs. Through conversations, education and awareness Hediyeh has developed the capacity to effectively engage children, youth and their families to take an active role in improving their lives. Privileging their lived experience and agency while working with them to navigate systems, fulfill their psychosocial needs, work towards their goals and overcome systemic barriers using anti-oppressive and anti-racist frameworks. Hediyeh just recently started building a e-learning platform called The Woke Age Project, which is set to launch July 2021 to take equity, diversity and inclusion to the virtual realm. Ultimately, hoping to empower and encourage people to stand up against injustice, discrimination, and racism. We must all come together with respect, dignity, unity and love. Hediyeh’s vision is inspired by Malcolm X, Viola Desmond, Harriet Tubman and Dr. Martin Luther King because she believes that their leadership has provided her the voice she needs to stand up and speak out for her people “by any means necessary” ~Malcolm X