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 — this time in the digital world.
We are women of the global majority reclaiming our collective power
Together, we engage in urgent acts of respair and joy.
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’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.
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 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.
Daniela Rodríguez is an unabashed policy wonk who sees the big picture without losing sight of the finer details.
She brings research experience in policy and regulation for emerging technologies. Previous to Ouano Foundation, she was a researcher at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, supporting initiatives on responsible artificial intelligence policy, data governance, and privacy implications of public health responses to COVID-19 in the Asia Pacific, with a focus on Southeast Asia and Latin America. As a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA), Daniela completed her policy capstone project on developing policies to improve access to healthcare services and welfare protections for people living with sickle cell disease in Nepal. Multilingual and multifaceted, her incisive pop culture analysis brings levity to the team. The feline companion she lives with brings joy to her life, though it's unclear if the feeling is mutual.