Progress demands change. Have the courage to believe in your vision; a problem created by the status quo requires a solution by a nonconformist.” 


Samar Barazesh

2023 Top 30 Under 30



AGE: 24


HOMETOWN: Edmonton, AB



    • The Health Pod with Samar and Cierre
    • Women’s Health Coalition (WHC)
    • Women’s Health Coalition Youth Council Alberta
    • Students Invested in Health Association (SIHA)
    • The Alberta SDG Youth Hub, ACGC

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

I am most passionate about:

What specific issue(s) are you taking on, and what inspires you to do so?

Growing up in a family of physicians and leaders in the health field, equal access to healthcare and resources has always been my priority. Through education and advocacy, I have learned how the social determinants of health, particularly wealth, power, and privilege, and the intersectionalities of patients’ identities can negatively impact their health and the care they receive. I firmly believe that health equity and access to comprehensive care is a human right. I am inspired to create change to address the gaps in healthcare systems in Canada and around the world, overcoming accessibility barriers, enhancing health literacy, and increasing access to resources through a combination of research and advocacy.

How do you work to ensure inclusion and reduce inequalities in your everyday actions?

It all starts with communication. It is critical to be mindful, to listen and to speak and act in a kind, respectful, and inclusive manner. I believe in collaboration and dialogue, especially with the communities I am trying to serve. I try to create a safe space that is respectful and embraces everyone. As a woman, first-generation immigrant, and visible minority with a background in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), I try to utilize my lived experiences to enhance equality and inclusion. I do my best to remain self-aware, educate myself and check my privilege. I challenge biases and address harmful behaviour, recognizing that everyone has biases, oftentimes unconscious, which we can work together to overcome.

What more needs to be done to reduce inequalities and ensure inclusive spaces for all people?

Reducing inequalities and ensuring inclusive spaces requires an attitude change fostered by early education on equity, equality, and inclusion. Governments play a role by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies, and practices to address social, economic, and political inclusion and providing equal opportunities for marginalized groups such as women and minorities. Through collaboration between communities and governments, issues such as income inequality, which affects individuals and families, can be addressed. On a local and global scale, we as a society must increase aid and investment in low-income countries’ education and health systems to allow for sustainable growth, development, and success of individuals and societies.

Samar meeting with leaders at IBM and Career Professional Canada as a Youth Ambassador with Plan International Girls Belong Here program to discuss career opportunities for young women, especially those in STEM.
Samar at No More Cuts rally protesting budget cuts to post-secondary education at the Alberta Legislature Building.
Samar and her team presented solutions for “Building a Supportive Learning Environment in a Pandemic.”
Samar at a roundtable discussion regarding barriers and general involvement of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Samar and other University of Alberta Students’ Union Councillors promoting student involvement in governance and leadership at the University of Alberta.

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