At the age of seventeen, Lali Mohamed wanted to change the world and make sense of the inequality around him. His journey led him to Ryerson’s Faculty of Arts, where he turned to Sociology for answers. The program helped Mohamed delve into the complexity of the social world as well as the roots of racism and inequality. It also helped him realize his own potential to create a more equitable world.
With the diverse student body and progressive values within the Faculty of Arts and Ryerson in general, Mohamed carved out his place. He worked for Ryerson Student Union’s RyePRIDE, which connected him to a community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students. In 2009, he founded Ryerson’s Queering Black History Month, a public event celebrating the contributions of the black LGBT community.
“It was really powerful to connect myself to a rich history and tradition of activism,” he says.
Since graduating in 2013, Mohamed has flourished as a social justice and gay rights activist. He served on the board of the LGBT Youth Line, and helped execute the 2014 World Pride International Human Rights Conference. Professionally, he has worked at non-profits such as the Stephen Lewis Foundation and, currently, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. As the health charity’s Events Specialist, he manages major fundraising initiatives to support research focused on discovering the cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Mohamed also prioritizes staying involved with Ryerson. He has given class lectures on the history of LGBT activism in Canada and presented on global LGBT activism at Ryerson’s Social Justice Week. Recently, he helped establish a financial award for racialized transgender students in memory of his late friend, community activist Sumaya Dalmar.
“At Ryerson I was given the tools, space and resources to figure out who I wanted to be in the world,” he says, “so I’m going to always be connected in one way or another to the university.”