Sheila Sampath is an activist, designer and educator working at the intersection of creativity, capacity-building and social change. She is the Editorial and Art Director of Shameless, Canada’s intersectional feminist voice for young women and trans youth. She is also the Principal and Creative Director
at The Public, a community-centred social justice design studio she founded in 2008. From 2014–2019, she was an assistant professor of alternative and speculative practices
at OCAD University and, in 2013, published her first book, Letters Lived, a collection of reflections from feminist activists.
Sheila has served on the board of the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multi-cultural women against rape (where she was also a counsellor, organizer and support worker) and the South Asian Visual Arts Centre, and is currently on the program advisory committee of the George Brown Assaulted Women and children’s counsellor/advocate program.
Throughout Sheila’s work lies a commitment to building creative expression and civic engagement among marginalized communities, including intergenerational communities of racialized and queer women, girls and trans folks. Through her work at The Public and in collaboration with Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, she organized and facilitated Fight like a girl, a one-week arts-based activist training camp for racialized teen girls; programming addressing gender-based violence in South Asian communities; and a series of workshops and participatory public service announcement on elder abuse that later won an RGD So(cial) Good Award.
As an educator, Sheila contributed to building a consent culture at OCAD University, co-creating resources and art installations with students that address sexual and gender-based violence. Her mentorship and feminist pedagogical approach won her a faculty of design teaching award.
Whether through design work or writing, Sheila is challenging the status quo and paving the way for feminists in our city and beyond to amplify their message, ideas and voices through richly diverse media.
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