Amina Yasin’s contributions to engage and empower Black women and girls in Metro Vancouver, among other community-building efforts, have earned this Langley resident repeated accolades – and most recently a nomination for the YWCA’s Women of Distinction awards.
On Thursday, the YWCA Metro Vancouver announce 78 nominees, including the one Langley candidate, for its 40th annual awards.
The YWCA awards honour individuals and organizations whose outstanding activities and achievements contribute to the well-being and future of our community. They give out awards in 12 different categories, and Yasin was nominated in the non-profit category.
She is director of public hearings and planning for the Renovate the Public Hearing Initiative at SFU, and she also serves as a director of the board at Hogan’s Alley Society.
In her efforts at Hogan’s Alley, she helps daylight the history of the Black community in Vancouver, and facilitated a strong tenant engagement program for residents. She was nominated for her commitment to shifting public space planning towards equity focuses on uplifting Black women and girls, and she brings this perspective to her role as a Vancouver city planning commissioner (VCPC).
After 600 people in Vancouver died in the 2021 heatwave, Yasin co-authored a memo to council that is helping change the city’s response to the climate crisis. Her work as commissioner has contributed to a historic first with establishing the justice, equity, decolonization, and inclusion subcommittee, which is reviewing historical planning inequities and organizing community engagement panels.
In addition to being nominated in one of the 12 award categories, each nominee is also eligible for the “connecting the community” award. Nominees will select a YWCA advocacy area in which they are interested and use social media channels such as Twitter and LinkedIn to promote votes.
Eligible causes include advancing gender equity, supporting early learning and child care, ending gender-based violence, supporting access to justice, and delivering affordable housing for single mother-led families.
While Yasin is passionate about all of these issues, she honed in on the affordable housing cause for this contest.
“As a city planner, who is an expert and advocate for affordable housing with integrated childcare, I’ve witnessed the challenges women face in cities. I support affordable housing for single-parent families as they strive to leave domestic violence and find housing because YWCA Vancouver is raising awareness of this issue and providing direct services to house women and their children,” Yasin said.
From March 8 to April 12, the public can cast their votes online and the nominee with the most votes at the end will receive the “connecting the community” award. Scotiabank will then donate $10,000 to the YWCA program area of the winner’s choice.
Since 1984, YWCA Metro Vancouver has paid tribute to more than 352 award recipients and 2,100 nominees, like Yasin.
This year’s award recipients will be announced at the Women of Distinction awards gala at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver on May 9.
Tickets will go on sale soon. To purchase tickets for the 40th annual YWCA Women of Distinction awards, people can visit their website at: ywcavan.org.
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