CFN would like to extend a heartfelt and very prideful congratulations to CFN President & CEO Anila Lee Yuen for being named one of the Top 25 Women of Influence for 2021. Our leader in both our collective efforts and spirit, Anila stewards the CFN team with an impassioned work ethic, striving not only to steer the Centre for Newcomers, but the greater Calgary community towards establishing a foothold of strength for newcomers and disadvantaged Canadians, while upholding human rights, and safeguarding an inclusive and open community, ensuring human dignity for the most vulnerable populations of our great city every step along the way. This award has filled us all at CFN with pride and the recognition of Anila's impactful and empowering efforts could not be more deserved.
During Alberta’s first COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Anila oversaw an ethnic food hamper program for marginalized communities, providing 6468 clients with “culturally comforting” food. She also spearheaded and is leading the Calgary East Zone Newcomer RAPID RESPONSE for Covid-19 — a collaboration by government and frontline service organizations to respond to various issues by newcomers related to the pandemic.
In addition to the ethnic food hampers, the coalition is offering addiction and mental health services, employment and training, poverty reduction, and income support (including for those who aren’t eligible for government assistance). The efforts aimed to meet the needs of vulnerable Calgarians — in their community, and in their language (English and 23 others, to be specific).
With 25 years of experience in the settlement sector, Anila has spearheaded programming ranging from volunteer-led refugee supports to Indigenous solidarity for newcomers, and continues to lead in the settlement sector through volunteer roles as the Co-Chair of the Calgary Local Immigration Partnership (CLIP) and is the Vice Chair of the Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies (AAISA).
The the annual Top 25 Women of Influence. awards recognize the extraordinary accomplishments of Canada’s self-identified women and gender-diverse role models. The recipients have all left their mark over the past year: contributing to the greater good through their initiatives; using their influence to drive positive change; or reaching inspiring heights on a global stage. From athletes to activists, corporate leaders to up-and-coming entrepreneurs — their unique achievements are impossible to compare against each other, which is why we’ve designed these awards as a celebration, rather than a ranking.