Sabreena Delhon

Sabreena Delhon
  • Open Democracy Fellow

Sabreena Delhon is a leading public sector strategist with a decade of experience in developing and executing initiatives that deliver complex information to diverse audiences. She has been a contributor to DemocracyXChange, Canada’s annual democracy summit since 2017 and has served as Program Advisor for Open Democracy Project since 2019. In 2020, Delhon became the inaugural Open Democracy Fellow which is a role co-created by Open Democracy Project and Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

In 2016, she conceived, coordinated and launched the first annual Access to Justice Week, bringing together government, community and justice-sector partners to examine complex issues such as digital inclusion, Indigenous child welfare and public legal education from new perspectives. A2J Week events attracted more than 650 attendees to hear from 150 leading speakers, generated earned media coverage in 25 outlets across digital, print and broadcast outlets, and was recognized by the Attorney General of Ontario, Federal Justice Minister and Chief Justice of Canada. The A2J Week framework has since been adopted by other regions across the country.

She holds an M.A. in Sociology from Dalhousie University and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Alberta.

Democracy According to Sabreena Delhon

Why did you get involved with DemocracyXChange?

I’m drawn to this community because it is creative, practical and highly effective at making change. The best part about being involved with DemocracyXChange is connecting with people from a range of backgrounds and getting their thoughts on how to foster a more resilient democratic culture across all communities in Canada. This year I’m looking forward to bringing an access to justice perspective to the program.

When did you first start to care about democracy?

I first started to care about democracy when I was 12 years old and my class ran an election. Some students were able to campaign with cupcakes while others had only handmade signs. Some students felt entitled to leadership positions while others – who were totally capable – shied away. This experience had a big impact on me. It made me think critically about cultural capital, equity and privilege. Things that continue to inform my work today.

What democracy book/article/podcast/show/movie has had an impact on you during the pandemic?

I can’t get enough of the podcast Nice White Parents. The show looks at one Brooklyn public school to illustrate how race, class and power function in a critical democratic institution. This is extremely relevant following the lock down of our schools during the pandemic and the current trepidation behind their re-opening.

Who should attend DemocracyXChange and why?

Everyone should attend DemocracyXChange. Don’t self-select out of this summit because you don’t work in the democracy space or because the program doesn’t specifically indicate your profession. There has never been a more important time to opt in and join conversations about how we can strengthen democracy in the recovery from COVID-19.

My Sessions