BIOGRAPHY

MORE ABOUT
GWEN

Gwen Madiba is an award winning human right's advocate, advocate for gender equality, public speaker, TV Host and designer.

She is the founder of the Equal Chance foundation and co-founder of the Global Black Coalition. 

She is the founder of the University of Ottawa's Black History Month Gala (2009) and the Canadian Black History Month Gala which occurred for the first time in 2016 with the presence of the Honorable Nelson Mandela's family, Reverend Al Sharpton and Top Model Naomi Campbell.

As the founder of Equal Chance and the Global Black Coalition, she turned her own experiences of racism into powerful tools for change.

Through Equal Chance, she launched a program for homeless and low-income Black families and community members that have positively impacted the lives of thousands of people. These programs include a program for homeless and low-income Black women and their children which gives them access to a wide range of resources which include but are not limited to food, access to free mental health and employment specialists, free diapers, baby products, clothes and more.

Gwen has travelled across North America, Africa, Europe and Latin America to work with vulnerable visible minorities and provide essential resources and tools to help them thrive in their society. 

In 2010, she led efforts to support Haitian students and members of the Haitian community affected by the earthquake. She helped raise thousands of dollars to support on ground efforts through the Canadian Red Cross and set up phone lines immediately on the university of Ottawa campus to ensure that Haitian community members could reach their families.

That same year, she founded the University of Ottawa's first Black History Month Gala which later became the Canadian Black History month Gala with the support of the Honorable Nelson Mandela's family through the Mandela Legacy Foundation.

Later on that year, she was nominated by the University of Ottawa's President, Canada's former ambassador to the United Nations and Justice Minister, Allan Rock to the Women's Executive Network of Canada for her outstanding achievements at such a young age. 

In 2010, she received the Telus Future Leader Award from the Women's Executive Network of Canada and was included in the list of Canada's Most Powerful Women.

From 2010 until 2014, she co-led the relief efforts of Vision Gram International in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Goma and helped launch the "Replacing guns by pen" program to reinsert former child soldiers in their community.

In 2014 she was appointed as the Ambassador of the Mandela Legacy Foundation and official representative of the Mandela Legacy foundation in North America by Zindzi Mandela, daughter of the Honorable Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela. 

In 2017, she made history at the Mrs. Universe pageant, becoming the first Black woman in over 20 years of the pageant's existence to make it in the top 5 and land in the top 2. 
That same year, with the support of the Embassy of Gabon in Canada, she launched the Education Fund for Orphans in Gabon.

 

In 2018, she received the Young Alumna Award from her ''Alma Mater'', the University of Ottawa where she obtained a Bachelor in Communication and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Sociology. 

On November 21, 2019, she received the Order of Ottawa from the City of Ottawa and was included for a second time in 9 years in the Women's Executive Network of Canada's top 100 Most powerful women in the Mercedes Benz Canada Emerging leader category.

 

In 2020, she received the United Way of Eastern Ontario's Community Builder Award - Covid-19 heroes edition Award for her dedication and work to assist the most vulnerable people during this pandemic. 
That year, she launched several programs to concretely support vulnerable low-income and homeless Black families, children, youth and individuals in Canada. One of her initiatives, "The Headphones project" helped obtain over 1400 headphones for homeless children and youth living under difficult conditions (with 6 to 7 family members in one and two-bedroom apartments and hotel rooms) making it very difficult for them to study. The program made a positive difference in their online study experience.

 

In 2021, she received the Crime Prevention Ottawa Outstanding Achievement Award for her work with Black youth and families in Ottawa, Canada.

In 2022, she was named one of L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth and received the 2022 L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Award alongside 9 other phenomenal women.

 

In 2022, she founded the Global Black Coalition to support vulnerable visible minorities fleeing the war in Ukraine. As of today, through her leadership and team work, the coalition has helped rescue over 1000 community members and has helped house over 2000 community members.
Gwen and her team have travelled across Europe to advocate for the rights of visible minorities fleeing the war in Ukraine and provide them with concrete resources. 


 

Gwen Madiba speaks French, English and Spanish.