Join us in welcoming Lidia Abraha, the recipient of the 2020 Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship.

Abraha is a freelance journalist based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in VICE Canada, NOW Magazine, The Canadian Press and Exclaim! She has also managed digital projects for the UN Refugee Agency. She has a journalism degree from Ryerson University and writes about social justice, politics, arts and culture. 

Abraha’s fellowship will focus on  stories of her community with an anti-oppressive lens, and in her time at as the Jack Layton fellow will focus on some of the issues most urgently affecting racialized and marginalized communities, notably racism in the criminal justice and policing system.

“This fellowship provides the unique opportunity for young journalists to take a critical lens on social justice issues. As a young woman of colour, I rarely find room for these stories in mainstream media. Racism in the criminal justice system is a complex issue that deserves thorough research and reporting. As the 2020 fellow, I look forward to further exploring these issues, while shining a light on how Black Canadians in conflict with the law are treated in our criminal justice system,” says Abraha. 

“At rabble we’re committed to holding space for social justice and anti-oppression journalism and are thrilled to bring you this important new series through the fellowship,” says acting editor-in-chief Matthew DiMera. 

Named after the late former leader of the federal New Democratic Party who inspired people by example, the fellowship was established in 2017, in partnership with the Institute for Change Leaders. Jack Layton demonstrated that working together for social and economic justice is possible and achievable. The fellowship supports emerging writers and journalists who are passionate and engaged in developing unique voices in social change reporting. 

It is a unique opportunity to strengthen media democracy in Canada, while offering mentorship and growth for new voices.

Look for Abraha’s series in the coming weeks, and sign up now for our weekly summary email — — to be the first to read her articles.

You can support the Jack Layton Fellowship, either as an individual or organization. You can donate at: or contact [email protected]