Introducing SFT Canada’s New Board Members!

Dear Friends,

I’m so excited to announce the newest additions to the SFT Canada Board of Directors! It was an exhilarating nominations process and a very close race. We thank all candidates for running.

We’re pleased to welcome Urgyen Badheytsang, Jigme Duntak, Arianne Gravel, and Melanie Raoul to the SFT Canada Board of Directors.

Urgyen Badheytsang studied Visual Communications at OCAD in Toronto. He has been active in Students for a Free Tibet in Toronto since 2007 and has been involved in two direct actions – the chain blockade at the Chinese embassy in Ottawa in August 2008 and the direct action against China Gold at the Toronto Resource Investment Conference this past September. He also interned with SFT Canada in October 2010, during which time he coordinated the first ‘Renaissance Series’ event in Toronto, as well as street canvassing for Rangzen Circle members. After attending numerous SFT Canada conferences and the SFT Free Tibet! Action Camp XI this past summer in New York, Urgyen is now an active trainer at SFT Canada conferences and workshops.

Jigme Duntak is a recent Honours BA History graduate of the University of Ottawa. He formerly worked at the office of the Hon. Senator Consiglio Di Nino under the Parliamentary Friends of Tibet, and was the outreach coordinator for the Chinese Canadian National Council last summer. A Tibetan-Canadian raised in Canada, Jigme was an active member of the SFT chapter at the University of Ottawa for over four years. Jigme has attended several SFT conferences in Montreal and Toronto and has been involved organizing several SFT protests and direct actions in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto.

Arianne Gravel recently graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Psychoeducation at the Université de Montréal. She has volunteered in two Tibetan settlements in India, giving her a better understanding of the views and hopes of Tibetans in exile. She has been an active member with SFT Montreal since 2007 and has taken part in several non-violent direct actions, including calling out and confronting the Chinese Ambassador to Canada at a large public event in Montreal. Arianne participated at the SFT Canada Conference in Toronto in 2008 and is interested in making SFT Canada more accessible to our Francophone supporters.

Melanie Raoul is a former member of the SFT Chapter at the University of British Columbia, was a SFT Vancouver organizer and has been an active volunteer with the organization since SFT Canada’s inception in 2004. She was a climber on the Great Wall action in Beijing in 2007 to mark the one-year countdown to the Beijing Olympics. This experience showed her the strength of the Tibet movement and the power of deploying creative non-violent actions to highlight the message for freedom and human rights in Tibet. Mel fundraised for SFT’s Olympics campaign and continued as SFT HQ’s fundraiser through the 50th Anniversary campaign. She was also the fundraising coordinator for Greenpeace in Vancouver from 2005-06. She has participated in numerous SFT camps and trainings, and has been a Climb Trainer at SFT camps since 2007. Mel is currently completing her Masters in Public Administration and non-profit management.

While we’re thrilled to have our new board members join us, we’re also sad to see our outgoing members leave – we would like to thank Jordhenla, Kelsang, Steph, and Nawang for all their work for Students for a Free Tibet over the years and for the work we know they will continue to do for Tibetan freedom and human rights. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors!

Our new Board members join us as we move forward with the upcoming youth leadership training conference at York University and continue to escalate our Stop Mining Tibet! campaign. Thank you for helping make this work possible through your critical support for Tibet and Students for a Free Tibet Canada.

In solidarity,

Tenzin Lobsang and everyone at SFT Canada

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