Abrar Ali

Position: 
Director of Programs and Community Engagement

What brings Abrar to the ORCC:

As someone who strives to be an ally for social justice and reconciliation and is passionate about strength-based approaches to mental health, I am privileged to be working at the ORCC. I am deeply devoted to prioritizing and centering the voices of survivors. Being a part of the ORCC will allow me to play an active role in ensuring that survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Ottawa have a safe space to access supports when they need it most.

Abrar’s Background:

My work is grounded in intersectional, anti-oppressive, feminist values. I am passionate about working together with community to deliver programs and services that align with current needs and priorities. Before coming to ORCC, I worked with grass roots, community based, not-for-profit organizations serving First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. As a non-Indigenous woman, I took direction from Indigenous communities and recognized the importance of prioritizing Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and culture while utilizing decolonizing methodologies. This ensured that our work was valid, useful, beneficial, and relevant to the communities we served.

In my work today, I draw on the lessons I have learned through my former career as a physician in Dubai and my studies at the University of Western Ontario, where I obtained a Master of Public Health. These experiences have allowed me to take a strength-based, holistic approach that promotes wellbeing, while taking great care to ensure that survivors do not feel stigmatized. They have also allowed me to re-define health and wellbeing, and develop a deep appreciation for cultural nuances and knowledge that play a large role in understanding and promoting health.

What Abrar is most looking forward to:

I am very excited about the ORCC’s future and the ORCC’s renewal process. My goal is to work together with community, finding new and innovative ways to better support all survivors, including those from diverse social, cultural, and racial groups and members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. I am dedicated to ensuring quality, compassionate, inclusive, and accessible programming that is grounded in the values that mean most to the ORCC and the community it serves. Ultimately, I look forward to contributing to the healing, wellbeing and flourishing of survivors in ways that are responsive and relevant to their needs today.