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Ouano Foundation

A philanthropic entity founded by and for women of the global majority.

Decades spent working our way into rooms where we could have a seat at the table turned out not to be the liberating moments we had been led to believe. So we began asking ourselves the question: what would it look like to build our own tables?

In the midst of the global pandemic, a so-called racial reckoning, the ongoing climate crisis and so much more, we could have given in to despair. Yet it came as no surprise to learn that once again and as always, women of the global majority were leading the way forward through mutual aid, collective action, ancestral wisdom and intellectual might.

We are women of the global majority reclaiming our collective power

and celebrating the strength and brilliance of Global Leaders of Digital Human Rights. Together, we engage in urgent acts of repair and joy.

OUR TEAM

Lara Honrado

CEO/Co-Founder

As Ouano Foundation’s CEO, Lara strives to “think not only about the enormity of the problem, but the enormity of the possibilities,” in the words of Ruth Wilson Gilmore.

She began her career in Washington, DC, as a reporter covering Capitol Hill for a national newswire service. She’s held senior leadership roles in policy-making and public affairs, and was Director of Community Relations for Vancouver’s longest-serving Mayor. More recently, she led efforts to address equity & anti-racism in urban planning and pandemic emergency response. She is an Action Canada Fellow, a proud member of the Filipinx diaspora, and a recovering extrovert.

Sharon Lewis

Co-Founder/Director

Sharon’s activism found its artistic outlet when she trained in guerilla street theater internationally.

All her work since then—from being the first Black female host of a primetime political debate show in Canada, to co-founding the first theater company by and for women of color, to directing and writing award winning movies—has been infused with her artivist lens. At present, she is focused on using her production company and her international experience as a sought-after director to tell the stories of Caribbean women, Black women, queer women and other women of the global majority. We are fiyah.

Jennifer Ouano

Founder

In the broadest sense, Jennifer is a producer, creator and transformer.

She flourishes by nurturing ideas, building teams and growing businesses that bring out the best in people. As an award-winning producer, director, storyteller and entrepreneur, Jennifer plays in the space where creativity and technology intersect. She's a Gen X trailblazer who's led vast communities of young creators into the digital age by tapping into new outlets of online expression. She’s carved her own path through business savvy and visionary creative direction in uniquely low-radar but high-impact ways, spanning media, documentaries, films, gaming, design, hospitality, and most recently as a podcast industry leader – crossing boundaries from A to ZeD.

Frustrated at lip service paid to equity, diversity and inclusion after years in media and tech, increasingly alarmed at the normalization of online abuse, disinformation and surveillance, and seeing first-hand the lack of corporate accountability, Jennifer’s shifted her considerable energies towards action, activation and global impact. Now she's working with the most brilliant minds in the world to imagine and build better futures by seeking truth to shift power.

Melanie Green

Program Director

Melanie has always been a bit obsessed with future-building as a way of coping and hoping.

She started her career in media and communications as a current affairs producer at Canada’s public broadcaster then moved to Canada’s largest newspaper, writing about culture and food systems. There, she became a political reporter focused on power and policy. She then worked as a podcast audience development specialist, audio producer, and host for a groundbreaking marketing strategy company. Melanie is a settler from Trinidad and in another life, she ran a Caribbean restaurant and live-music venue.