Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah (She/Her)
Debbie Owusu-Akyeeah (“Oh-woo-suu” – “Ah-CHEE-Yah”) is a first-generation Ghanaian-Canadian cisgender queer woman who is dedicated to the liberation of all her communities. She is currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity and based in Ottawa. Debbie has deep roots in program and project management, gender-based analysis, feminist foreign policy and international affairs. She completed her graduate school studies in International Affairs, specializing in International Development Policy at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (Carleton University).
She has worked at Global Affairs Canada as a policy analyst responsible for strategic advice on child protection, gender equality and broader sexual and gender-based violence issues, with a particular focus on adolescent girls and the girl child. Prior to CCGSD, she was Campaign and Outreach Officer at Oxfam Canada, responsible for developing public engagement strategies to advance gender justice. She has also been a Board member and Chair of several organizations, including the Platform and Harmony House Women’s Shelter. Debbie is currently Co-Chair of Dignity Network Canada’s Advocacy and Government Relations Working Group and she is also involved in assisting coordination globally around opposition to the anti-LGBTIQ bill in the Ghanaian parliament.
Who are some of your influential authors or books to read?
I am obsessed with bell hooks’ feminist literature. Her love trilogy (All About Love: New Visions, Salvation: Black People and Love, and Communion: The Female Search for Love) has completely changed the way I view love. Her work on love has shifted the way I show up as a Black feminist activist, a community member, and a person.
What are you most proud of accomplishing?
I am proud of the instrumental work I have contributed to influencing 2SLGBTQ+ rights and gender justice.
What’s on your playlist right now?
Lots of Meshell Ndegeocello! My favourite song from her is, “Long Song #3”