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Sara Asalya

Founder and Executive Director, The Newcomer Students' Association

Sara Asalya is the Founder and Executive Director of The Newcomer Students’ Association, a grassroots, membership-driven organization working at the intersection of migration, education, and social justice, and a platform committed to promoting inclusion and equity for post-secondary immigrant and refugee students. In 2020, Sara led a transformational expansion of the Newcomer Students’ Association, enhancing civic engagement and political action for immigrant students, and developing a new gender-focused mandate to build the leadership capacity for immigrant women, amplify their voices, and centre their experiences. 

Born and raised in a war-torn country, Sara witnessed first-hand the impact of violence, displacement, and trauma on the lives of war refugees — which guides her work as an award-winning leader and human rights advocate. In addition to the establishment of a successful grassroots organization, Sara is also the Manager of the Sister2Sister Program at Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, where she builds leadership capacity among multicultural/multi-ethnic immigrant and refugee women. From promoting civic engagement to empowering women, Sara works to mobilize, activate and galvanize immigrant communities to take action for social change and impact.