Langara student activist demands change

Victimized Noor Fadel is stronger than ever and gathering support for her "Speak Up Together" project


Reported by Nikitha Martins

Langara student Noor Fadel is rallying support in her efforts to create change.

The 18-year-old Fadel, a practising Muslim who was thrust into the spotlight after being assaulted by a SkyTrain passenger in December, says she wants to see an increase in public awareness and safety through transit advertisements, SkyTrain security and education in schools.

“I want to collect people’s stories whether they have experienced racism, discrimination or an assault,” said Fadel, who has received hundreds of letters since her assault that has led her to start her “Speak Up Together” project.

“For those who have not experienced that [discrimination] or are aware of those who do experience this then support is also welcome.”

Fadel plans to mail those letters to parliament. Her aim is to push local and federal governments into diversifying and addressing discrimination and violence towards marginalized groups.

The 18-year-old, also hopes to see more education and awareness in schools.

Fatima Ahmed, co-founder of the advocacy group, Voices of Muslim Women, said curriculum changes and more emphasis on promoting diversity are needed.

“It is about everybody realizing that minorities are vulnerable and they need to be protected because they enrich this community,” Ahmed said. “This is Canadian society. Diversity is our strength and power.”

No specific hate crime training for Transit Police

Another of Fadel’s goals is that transit police train officers to prepare for hate-instigated crimes.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police spokesperson Anne Drennan said there is no specific hate crimes training for TransLink police, however new recruits are introduced to what constitute a hate crime.

“We refer to the BC Hate Crime team when a situation occurs,” Drennan said. “They can give advice on how to act and what specific charges are appropriate.”

Fadel said she not only wants to help those from the Islamic community but everyone.

“I’ve been fighting this battle way longer than it [the attack] happened to me,” she said.

“Your struggle is my struggle.”

Listen below for an excerpt from Nikitha Martin’s interview of Noor Fadel:

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