Nada El Masry (BEd 2015, MEd in Equity Studies) is the co-designer and manager of the Refugee Livelihood Lab through RADIUS SFU.


Alumni Feature: Meet Nada El Masry

November 30, 2020

SFU degree(s): Bachelor of General Studies (2015), currently completing a Masters in Equity Studies in Education

Nada El Masry is currently a graduate student at SFU completing her Masters in Equity Studies in Education. Nada also works at RADIUS SFU as the co-designer and manager of the Refugee Livelihood Lab (RLL), a social innovation lab that supports diverse racialized migrant peoples to build collective power, in part through organizing high-impact initiatives centering the needs and interests of their communities.

Nada’s work is deeply embedded in community; working alongside many racialized migrant leaders to address the structural and systemic barriers that continue to marginalize racialized migrant people. Over the past 2 years, more than 30 community impact projects were created by racialized migrants to support migrants in Surrey and BC through the lab. 

How did you get started in the work that you're doing?

"As a racialized migrant, I personally experienced many challenges. I also witnessed many other racialized migrants experience similar challenges when coming to Canada. I've encountered a lot of racism and/or Islamophobic incidents and I felt like I needed to do something.

Due to my lived experience, I fostered a deep passion for social justice and community work. I started by supporting friends and families who were newcomers. This eventually led me to work in the settlement sector. But after working with hundreds of racialized migrants, I realized that many of the challenges faced were not isolated incidents, but rather a result of systems and structures that create and sustain inequitable conditions. One of the issues we saw and continue to see is that migrants are often talked about but usually not meaningfully included in decision-making processes, nor hired in positions of power. As such, I started organizing with the Muslim community and the racialized migrant communities. 

Today through my work at the lab, our team aims to continue to build with migrant communities to remove barriers and create new possibilities by first and foremost centering migrants."

Our alumni go on to engage their community in a variety of ways. Read more alumni stories here.