Who We Are
Sadia Anwar and Dieulita Datus are the founders of UBUNTU – Mobilizing Central Alberta. Our story begins through shared experience.
As two women of colour on the prairies, we know first hand the impacts of racism and discrimination.
We met working in the community, often finding ourselves as the only people of colour at meetings and events. Immediately we both recognized the willingness in each other to speak truth to the powers that be.
We became increasingly engaged in many crucial conversations in community and local institutions and began actively organizing – from Women’s Day marches, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at the Red Deer school, and more recently Black Lives Matter rallies in Stettler, Innisfail, Lacombe, and Red Deer.
In Central Alberta, there is a huge need to critically address and engage in Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression work in communities and municipalities using reciprocal and relational approaches in collaborating with Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC).
In power, we are taking positive action and have thus created UBUNTU – Mobilizing Central Alberta.
We are committed to doing the hard work of disrupting power dynamics at the root of systemic racism and colonialism and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities, with a particular focus on youth and women of colour.
Relationship-building drives our work, and our distinct approach is based on our experiences, learnings, and living our everyday truths. We are willing to step out of our comfort zones and anxieties, engage in extremely tough discussions, while centering ourselves as spiritual beings in a human experience.
In respecting our roots, we are free to create the change we want. And as changemakers, we were not willing to wait for a challenge to come to us, we decided to challenge ourselves…we formed UBUNTU – Mobilizing Central Alberta.
Through education, advocacy, and community building, We can lay the groundwork for equitable, just, and vibrant communities in Central Alberta.
We’ve accomplished a lot already and we’re just getting started. Join us and
support our integral work! UBUNTU – Mobilizing Central Alberta is open to collaborate on projects and
pursue possibilities that align with our goals and core values.
Now is the time to strategize, organize, and MOBILIZE!
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for”
~ Alice Walker ~
Dieulita Datus believes smart and sustainable change starts with simple conversations and strives to always make a seat at the table for others to share their stories and experiences.
Born in Haiti and raised in The Bahamas, Dieulita now calls Central Alberta home. Dieulita understands the trauma of being an immigrant child all too well and she continues to be vocal about the Haitian community in the Bahamas for rights to education and housing.
Dieulita was one of the organizers of the Red Deer Women’s March 2020, an initiative that she would like to see become a major event every year. She serves on the board of Affirm of St. Andrews United Church, which focuses on making changes in faith based organizations. Dieulita recently joined the board of the Centre for Peace and Justice and is excited to be using her voice in these spaces to amplify the voices of others.
“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair” is a quote by Shirley Chisholm that Dieulita has made her own. She has been featured on multiple news networks and profiled in national articles across Canada.
Hello and “As-Salaam-Alaikum,” the Arabic greeting meaning “Peace be unto you.”
My name is Sadia. A name worth a thousand conversations. It is an Arabic-originated name. The name derives from the Hebrew verb Sa’ad.
A bit about me, my parents migrated to Canada as refugees. The word refugee comes from the word refuge – “the state of being sheltered from pursuit, danger or difficulty”. As a young child, I faced intense challenges – overcoming trauma, learning to live in a new culture and experiences of discrimination.
Through these lived experiences I gained fresh insight into the world, learned resiliency and became an activist, fueled by ambition to defend my rights and the rights of others. I became deeply invested in my community and with progressive organizations and initiatives in Red Deer and Alberta. I’m an activist, community builder, mobilizer and a lifelong learner. I encourage all of us to listen with our heads then move through our hearts and have the courage to change. I believe the work in our personal and professional lives must be to build relationships with someone whom we don’t know and who’s story is different from ours. Acknowledge our privileges and use those privileges to benefit someone else. This is how we can create a ripple effect of change. We must believe our relationships drive our work and we need to extend ourselves, as the heart of racial justice work are relationships
Board Of Directors
Haleema Natiq, is the Chairperson of UBUNTU-mobilizing central Alberta. Highly committed and dedicated to the work we are doing in Central Alberta. Supporting by advocating and relaying the importance of all the programs/services offered by UBUNTU -Mobilizing Central Alberta. Providing leadership to an enthusiastic and diverse board, while keeping board activities focused on the organization’s mission. Ensuring the presence and use of a reliable process to evaluate the effectiveness and success of the board members using a measurable criteria while acting as one of the signing officers. Actively supported several non-profits since 2000 in Ontario and British Columbia, and currently has been working on supporting the Central Alberta non-profit sector for more than 8 years. Has held various positions such as program coordinator, volunteer manager, counsellor/mediator and board member to name a few. The consistent efforts and contributions have been of help in many capacities both domestically and internationally.
As steward of the board, offering support and guidance to both the board and the executive team in delivering on our organization’s vision and mission.
“Tansi, Leaha Potts nitsîkâson. Maskwacîs, Alberta ohci nîya. Hello, my name is Leaha Potts. I am from Maskwacis, Alberta.
I am a Nehiyaw iskwew (Cree woman), a mother, a social worker and a student so I love to learn everything new. I appreciate all that I have experienced in life and always willing to share. I love to travel and see new sights and meet new people.
I was born and raised in Maskwacis, Alberta from generations of strong residential school survivors. Growing up in a traditional Cree family, I have come to appreciate the teachings and wisdom that has been passed down to me and my siblings. I have accepted that it is now my turn as a Nehiyaw nikawíy (Cree mother) to teach my children.
My education background is Education and Native Studies from the University of Alberta and currently working towards my Bachelors of Indigenous Social Work. I have proudly worked in my community for 12 years in the social work field. Working with foster parents and kinship parents, my position has taught me invaluable life lessons and self-awareness, as well as promoted my own healing journey.
I am blessed to have this opportunity to represent my family. I am very pleased to be here, to be a part of the wonderful team of UBUNTU – Mobilizing Central Alberta.
Hai- hai, ninanaskomon
Thank you, I am thankful”
Talitha Klym (she/her) is an Indigenous practitioner who has always lived and worked in the Central Alberta community, though her ancestral roots can be found in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Saskatchewan, and both Scandinavia and Ukraine regions in Europe. Despite Talitha’s mixed ancestry, she is incredibly aware of how her lived experience as a visibly Indigenous woman growing up in Central Alberta has had a significant influence on the barriers that have persisted and opportunities that have been withheld based solely on the colour of her skin. These experiences have inspired a lifelong mission of disrupting and shifting the systems and narratives that produce these collective experiences of disadvantage for racialized groups.
Passionate about social justice and motivated to contribute to a transformed society, Talitha pursued an education in social work, drawn to the value system that aligned so closely with her own. Talitha attended Red Deer Polytechnic where she completed the Social Work Diploma program, and then the University of Calgary where she completed a Bachelor of Social Work and then a Master of Social Work, specializing in clinical social work practice with a focus on adult mental health and addiction. As an ambitious lifelong learner, Talitha is pursuing advanced social work education in leadership to support her natural inclination and skills in this area.
Talitha is a Registered Social Worker who has worked extensively within the non-profit sector and now within higher education, her professional experience has allowed her to work alongside numerous equity-deserving communities. Talitha is a multi-passionate individual who feels best when involved in numerous initiatives and roles. Talitha has developed, coordinated, and provided support to many events, programs and initiatives throughout the years, and her focus is always on expanding impact and inspiring change, specifically towards anti-racism and decolonization efforts within the community.
Secretary / Treasurer
Saija is an artist and art educator who has called central Alberta home for the past decade. She is a firm believer in building solidarity amongst people of all economic and cultural backgrounds, and in working to create a just & equal society through education and community action. She is an active member of CUPE, supporting the rights of those in her workplace and those in other sectors. She has also been involved with the Welcoming Inclusive Communities Network of Red Deer, and has assisted with donation drives and events organized by Red Deer Against Racism. As a Red Deer citizen who works to deliver art and history programs at a non-profit institution, she does her best to create inclusive environments where everyone feels welcome, encouraged to learn, and to express themselves.
Saija is honoured to be supporting the vision of Ubuntu – Mobilizing Central Alberta as Secretary of the Board.
Board Director - Youth Council Subcommittee
Bryan is a dedicated and passionate advocate for youth. His journey began when he was just 20 years old, working in the basement of a church with over 50 youth every day for a month. During this time, he discovered his ability to connect with and engage young people, using his authenticity, vulnerability and empowering message to guide them. This was when he knew that empowering youth was his true calling.
As a professional working with youth, he has dedicated his career to serving them. He has served as a youth detention specialist, teacher, youth pastor, and school administrator lead, but his ultimate goal has always been to empower and serve the youth that come to him. Bryan understands the many challenges that youth face, and his goal is to motivate, equip, and empower them to live their best, authentic life. Through mindset transformation, radical empathy, fitness empowerment and faith, he believes that youth can overcome their challenges and reach their full potential.
Board Director - Youth Council Subcommittee
Barbara Afram is a 4th-year psychology student at Burman University. Barbara was born in Toronto, but she is a proud Ghanaian.
Barbara is passionate about spirituality, family, and fostering change in her community. Barbara’s research and community involvement includes work combatting the adverse physical and psychological impacts experienced by marginalized groups in society.