The Check Your Head Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome Maisaloon Al-Ashkar as our new Executive Director! Maisaloon brings a wealth of experience in youth engagement and grassroots organizing. We are delighted to have her on the staff team and to welcome her to the Check community. Maisaloon has worked at various community organizations in the lower mainland, including Pivot Legal Society and Vancouver Status of Women, and she was a Board member at Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group throughout her undergraduate degree during which she initiated the Racialized Resistance & Healing action group. She carries a strong background in project management, researching and analyzing public policy, and facilitating *BIPOC-centered community spaces.
Throughout the recruitment and staff transition process, the Board has been continuously impressed with Maisaloon’s vision for Check and commitment to amplifying the agency of youth as well as their contributions within struggles for justice. Under Maisaloon’s visionary, fearless, and intentional leadership, the Board is delighted and inspired to see Check take new strides towards youth engagement and education through an intersectional anti-oppression framework.
Maisaloon shares why she decided to take on this role in her own words:
“BIPOC beloveds taught and continue to teach me all that I know, so it’s crucial to me that I act in solidarity with their leaderships and be a useful resource to marginalized communities as I undertake this role. While I’m aware of the various systemic barriers I will face within and beyond this role, I’m excited to bring my unapologetic presence as a proud young Muslim woman and granddaughter of Palestinian farmers, liberation strugglers and refugees. I’m constantly (un)learning, and I’m intentional about using my platforms to be a necessary form of disruption and resistance to systemic oppressions, as well as to envision, build and live relational, equitable, accountable, collective and joyful youth leaderships.”
The Board would once again like to honour and thank our outgoing Executive Director, Anastasia Gaisenok, for her dedicated leadership in growing Check over these past five years.
*BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, including people of multiple ancestries