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Ilana Landsberg-Lewis

Human Rights Advocate & Executive Director of The Stephen Lewis Foundation

No matter what the issue or how overwhelming the odds, Ilana Landsberg-Lewis passionately believes that individuals can – and do – make a real difference. At the height of the AIDS pandemic in Africa, alongside her father, she co-founded the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Women’s Rights Labour and Human Rights Issues

Platform Plus

Panelist/In Conversation

  • One of our best speaking engagements ever. She provided a powerful message and stayed to talked to students after her lecture.

    - Teacher, Woodlands Secondary

Summary Profile

Ilana is a labour and human rights lawyer, and she is a deeply committed advocate for the rights of women and children. She spent eight years at the United Nations, with the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), where she worked as the Agency’s CEDAW (Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Advisor. During this time she travelled extensively to developing countries, working with grassroots women’s groups to apply human rights conventions and standards in their battles against female genital mutilation, gender violence, and all forms of discrimination. She went on to co-create a programme that brought local grassroots activists directly into the UN chambers to speak out against discrimination in their countries – a tactic that proved so successful, it has since been integrated into the official proceedings of that body. Ilana was also instrumental in bringing into existence and managing UNIFEM’s Trust Fund on Violence against Women, which funds grassroots women’s groups in developing countries.

In 2003, at the height of the AIDS pandemic in Africa, Ilana, along with her father Stephen Lewis, established the Stephen Lewis Foundation to partner directly with community-based organizations that were – and are – at the heart of the response to the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. To date, the Foundation has partnered with over 300 grassroots organizations on more than 1400 different initiatives. The Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign has grown, since its inception in 2006, into a movement involving thousands of committed and passionate grandmothers across Canada who have so far raised over 21 million dollars for the grandmothers of Africa and the orphaned children in their care.

In 2009, Ilana was the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction award for International Development, and in 2012 she was named one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada. She is a member of the Board of SIGI International, a consultant to the Global Peace Council of Canada, and an executive member of the Interpride Global Solidarity Fund.

 

The rights of African grandmothers are recognized in the newly released @UNAIDS World AIDS Day report (… https://t.co/BpiOsLIOgA (2017-11-22 05:02:50)
@AnthonyGermain Thank you CBC Newfoundland and Terra Nova Grannies! This will be a terrific fundraiser in support o… https://t.co/LrrLcOQgW5 (2017-11-17 10:45:10)
RT @AnthonyGermain: Whether you’re a master speller or an orthographic oaf, Terra Nova Grannies want you to help them raise a few dollars t… (2017-11-17 08:41:35)