Ketty Nivyabandi

As part of the Activist in Residence Interview Series, The Department of Law and Legal Studies’ Activist in Residence, Rehana Hashmi, and Feminist Advocate and Educator Donna Johnson, interviewed poet and human rights defender Ketty Nivyabandi to learn more about her activist journey.

About Ketty Nivyabandi

Ketty joined Amnesty International Canada (English Section) as Secretary General in October 2020. She is the primary spokesperson for the Branch and holds responsibility for the development and delivery of Amnesty International’s human rights work in Canada. A global human rights activist and advocate, Ketty holds in-depth and lived expertise on refugee issues and the intersections of gender, race, democracy, and human rights. Prior to seeking asylum in Canada in 2015, she faced police violence as a leading organizer of women’s peaceful protests for democratic change in her country, Burundi.

Watch the interview to hear Ketty Nivyabandi speak about her experiences mobilizing a group of women for peaceful protests in response to the 2015 Burundi constitutional crisis, the consequences of state repression and exile, the role of women’s liberation in countering oppression, and the importance of human rights activism.

About the Activist in Residence Program

The AiR Program is an initiative to host a human rights activist in the Department of Law and Legal Studies each year. The AiR Program is designed to recognize the important role activists play in advancing the goals of protecting and fostering human rights.  The program provides an intellectual home for a human rights activist, while also providing our students and faculty members the opportunity to learn from someone with on the ground experience fighting to protect human rights. Learn more about the program and interview series.