Ismail Afrah is passionate about learning and creating change in the City of Toronto and specifically for his community in Regent Park. While he prefers the world of ideas given his studies in philosophy and religion, in the last 3 years, he has fallen in love with community development. Through volunteering for the Regent Park Neighbourhood Association (RPNA) - Ismail with residents and organizations established the community benefits coalition and succeeded in securing community benefits in the value of millions for phase 4&5 in Regent Park.
As a part-time community support worker for a grass-root group called Access to Recreation - the group succeeded through the city budget process in creating a “Learn to Swim” pilot in Regent Park and are working with Parks, Forestry and Recreation on policies to increase access for marginalized communities.
As the social development coordinator, Ismail alongside residents and organizations succeeded in advocating and securing $2.5 million for the Regent Park community to implement its social development plan.
With so many challenges and opportunities, Ismail attributes a lot of the progress to the power of relationships and social networks. Ismail is a twin and learns and creates by thinking out loud; he invites others to think out loud with him with the purpose of creating change together.
Currently, Ismail Afrah is the Regent Park Neighbourhood Association (RPNA) Community Coordinator.