A Zimbabwean-Canadian who grew up in Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut, is one of the newest members of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council – a non-partisan committee whose role is to advise the prime minister and the federal government.
Sarah Mazhero is a recent graduate of Concordia University in Montreal, and is one of 10 young Canadians to join the council. She has a bachelor of arts in political science with minors in psychology, law and society, and First Peoples studies.
Mazhero, who is also the lone member from Nunavut, said she wants to use her position to increase awareness about racism.
“I feel like sometimes within Canadian society, we tend to not acknowledge the issues of racism that we do have,” she said.
“That’s why I’d like to bring it more to light and figure out solutions with the federal government for how we can combat systemic racism within our society.”
Mazhero, said she believes increased awareness will lead to action to combat racism being experienced by Black and Indigenous people in particular.
“I’d done a lot of advocacy work, as it pertains to minority rights. And so I saw this opportunity as something to continue the work that I’ve been doing, but more on a nationwide scale within Canada,” she said.
Mazhero added it is also important that the country starts acknowledging its lesser known history, especially as the unmarked grave sites at residential schools come to light.
“It’s something that, you know, is a part of our history and needs to be acknowledged … that starts as soon as elementary school when we learn the basics of Canadian history,” she said.
“The minute we start acknowledging this, the minute we can start thinking about how can we make Canada a more inclusive place for the people who had this territory before.”
The council started orientation recently and had their first official meeting just a few weeks ago. The committee will be meeting every two months for the remainder of the the term.
Mazhero’s tenure as a member of the council ends 2023.