Farah N. Mawani, MSc, PhD (C)
Founder, Farahway Global
Farah founded Farahway Global, to move people to action at the nexus of human rights and mental health. It builds on Farah’s experience as co-Founder & Director Social Media and Public Engagement,Free the Hikers, which played a large role in freeing Josh Fattal, Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd, held hostage in Iran for 2 years and 2 months.
Building global support within the incredibly complex and sensitive sociopolitical context of the Free the Hikers campaign was challenging on multiple levels. Farah applied her experience in leadership, community-based research, and global social justice, to engage people around the world, including high-profile public figures and diverse members of the general public of all ages, through a sophisticated integration of global websites, media, social media, public statements and public events. Farah’s expertise integrating social media and public engagement on a global scale is sought by organizations, businesses, political and advocacy campaigns, and leading publications in multiple sectors. She has advised and supported families and friends of many Canadians and Americans, held hostage and/or wrongfully imprisoned abroad, including Mohamed Fahmy, John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, Hamid Ghassemi, Khaled al-Qazzaz, Jason Puracal, who are all now free. She continues to advocate for Saeed Malekpour, a Canadian permanent resident wrongfully imprisoned in Iran for 8 years.
Farah has over 20 years of experience in global, national, and local community-based research, teaching, policy, advocacy, and program development focused on social determinants of mental health inequities. She has particular expertise in immigrant and refugee mental health. She has led large transformative initiatives and projects in roles ranging from: Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Mental Health Strategy, Mental Health Commission of Canada; National Coordinator for the New Canadian Children and Youth Study; Research Associate, Public Health Agency of Canada; Board Chair, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services; Traveling Faculty, International Honours Program. She is currently a Research Associate at Toronto General Research Institute, University Health Network, and Wellesley Institute.
She received the 2015 City of Toronto Access Award, a Centre for Social Innovation Agent of Change: City Builder award, and Healthier Cities and Communities Hub Seed Grant, for Building Roads Together, a community-based peer walking/rolling group program she designed, based on her research and lived experience of PTSD, to promote inclusion and reduce mental health inequities. She has received a CIHR Institute of Gender and Health Canada Graduate Scholarship Doctoral Research Award, CIHR Research in Addictions and Mental Health Policy & Services (RAMHPS) Fellowship, and Statistics Canada Tom Symons Research Fellowship for her doctoral thesis work on underemployment and mental health among immigrants and refugees in Canada. She has also received a Canada Council for the Arts Cultivate Creative Development Grant to write a memoir about her experience having a close friend held hostage by the Iranian regime for 2 years and 2 months.
We build teams of leaders with relevant expertise for each program and campaign.
Building Roads Together has involved partnerships/collaborations with: TD Centre of Learning, Regent Park Community Health Centre, Houselink, 416 Community Support for Women, and Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. Walk the Talk, the program’s walking advisory group, brings together staff from partner organizations, and other organizations building the program together.
Farahway Global was selected as a 2015-16 Centre for Social Innovation Agent of Change: City Builder to evaluate, enhance, and expand the program, in partnership with the Canadian Centre on Disability Studies. We are also partnering with researchers at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, and the School of Public Health, University of Montreal, to enhance the program’s research component.
Our Freedom Fighting teams are tailored to each campaign.