Farrah Khan picked up a microphone to speak out about sexual assault as a teenager and has not put it down since. She has spent two decades working diligently to raise awareness of the connection between equity and gender-based violence, through art creation, education, counselling. She has worked with a number of violence against women organizations including METRAC: Action on Violence as one of the first peer educators in the ReACT Program.
Farrah regularly contributes to national media including the CBC, New York Times and the Globe and Mail for her expertise in addressing gender based violence. She holds a combined double major from York University in Women's Studies and Environmental Studies and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.
Currently Farrah works at Ryerson University as the Manager of Consent Comes First, Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education where she supports community members affected by sexual violence, creates educational programming and aids in shaping campus policy and procedures. There she has developed innovative educational tools including a bystander intervention program and a colouring and activity book for survivors and allies entitled, We Believe You. The colouring book has been used and adapted by sexual assault crisis centres, universities and governments including the government of Nova Scotia.
Due to her subject matter knowledge and collaborative approach Farrah has been appointed
- Co-chair of Ontario’s first permanent provincial roundtable on Violence Against Women in 2015
- Member of the Government of Canada's Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence Advisory Council in 2016
- Member of the Community Advisory Group for the Ontario Human Rights Commission in 2017.
- Member of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for the G7 in 2018.
Farrah supports survivors leadership by helping them engage with mainstream media, lobby policymakers and build campaigns. Farrah mentors young feminist groups including We Give Consent, Project Slut and femifesto. With femifesto Farrah researched and created Use the Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence for journalists.
Farrah uses art to explore inclusion, healing and justice. Since 2007 she has created award winning programming for Muslim women to create, conspire and connect including: Our Collective Dreams, AQSAzine and Outburst! Young Muslim Women Project. Farrah’s work with Outburst was chronicled in the award winning 2016 documentary called Listen To Me.
As an author, Farrah wrote Caring for Yourself is a Radical Act, an illustrative self care guide for youth working in community that explores trauma, institutional betrayal and community care. She also edited Heartbeats: the IZZAT Project, a graphic novella and co-wrote the play based on the book about healing from family violence as South Asian young women. In 2014, the IZZAT Project joined the Tahirih Justice Centre for "Honouring Our Heartbeats: A Tour to End Forced Marriage" that went to six cities in the United States.
As a artist her short films about being queer and Muslim have been exhibited at A Space Gallery, screened at the Art Gallery of Ontario, as well as at festivals in the Mix Festival New York and the BFI LGBTQ Festival UK.
Awards and Honours
Honorary Degree, Humber College Board of Governors 2017
Choice Award, Planned Parenthood Toronto, 2017
J.S. Woodsworth Woman of Distinction Award, Ontario NDP 2017
Ten Favourite Feminist Role Models, Fashion Magazine 2017
Community Educator Award, Harmony Movement 2016
Michele Landsberg Award with Outburst! Young Muslim Women's Project, Canadian Women's Foundation, 2013
Vital People Award Toronto Community Foundation, 2011
Top Ten People to Watch Toronto Star, 2011
Women Who Inspire Award, Canadian Council of Muslim Women 2010
10 in 10 Urban Health Award, Wellesley Institute, 2008
V Day Award 2006
The only way I get to do the work I do is because of the community I am surrounded by. These are a few of the individuals and organizations that I love.
Projects and ORGANIZATIONS
- Abuse Does Never Become Us
- And Also Too, Collaborative Design Studio
- Rivers of Hope ToolKit on Islamophobic Violence by and for Muslim Women
- The Truth and Dare Project
- We Give Consent
- Young Women Lead
- Nasma Ahmed
- Karen Campos Castillo
- leah lakshmi piepzna-samarasinha
- Chenthoori Malankov
- Kim Katrin Milan
- Beth Lyons
- Jaclyn Friedman
- Vivek Shraya
- Andrea Villanueva