A day after her latest accolade, former Red Deer College student and human rights activist Chevi Rabbit said there’s more work to be done in the field of human rights.
Rabbit was recognized by Premier Rachel Notley as one of the 25 most influential human rights activists at the Alberta legislature Monday. The Human Rights Day at the Legislature, an event that recognizes efforts of human rights advocates, started in 2014. It was initiated by Canadians For a Civil Society, a group based in Edmonton.
In November, Rabbit was also recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40, by Edmonton’s Avenue Magazine, for actively advocating against hate crimes and helping others feel comfortable in their skin.
Rabbit, 32, who is in transition to becoming a transgender woman, said she was surprised by the honour.
She said the recognition, which is based on merit, provides validation to her work.
Rabbit said her hope for the next LGBTQ generation is to not be discriminated against. In 2012, she was a victim of hate crime while living in Edmonton.
She turned that experience into a positive one – by creating an annual Hate to Hope diversity walk event that raises money for Edmonton non-profit organizations
While growing up in Ponoka, Rabbit saw her family involved in politics.
Now Rabbit, a make-up artist, wants to do the same by eventually entering into municipal or provincial politics.
“To me, that was normal when I was growing up so this is second nature to me,” said the hopeful future politician, referring to her social work and advocacy.
She recently started a Maskwacis Two Spirit Society in Maskwacis, north of Ponoka. The group, which is still in the initial planning stages, will be help the Indigenous LGBTQ population by listening to issues, spreading positive sex education and teaching about self care.
Currently living in Edmonton and helping out various organizations in that city, Rabbit said she has seen a ripple effect take place when somebody steps up and helps out. For example, helping the LGBTQ community also helps with homelessness because a lot of those people are homeless, she said.
In 2014, she received the Justice Minister Award for Hate Crime Awareness.
Rabbit attended RDC from 2006 to 2008 where she studied Hospitality and Tourism Management.