Canadian Students Stand Up for Human Rights at Speaker’s Idol

May 4, 2022

Media Release

Speaker's Idol 2022 finalists and judges

Earlier this afternoon, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) hosted its annual Speaker’s Idol public-speaking competition, featuring 12 inspiring student finalists who shared their speeches on human rights issues and how they envision creating positive change in the world. Topics ranged from racism and discrimination to residential schools and Indigenous rights to mental health and domestic violence. The finalists and their speeches were selected from 254 submissions from Canadian students. This year’s finalists hail from Ontario, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador.

A big congratulations to the winners and runners-up of this year’s Speaker’s Idol!

Elementary school category (grades 6-8)

1st: Erica Li

2nd: Jaeda White

3rd: Isla Mason

4th: Ethan Luo

5th: Emmanuel Adewale

6th: Mahaara Bhimani

Secondary school category (grades 9-12)

1st: Deema Abdel Hafeez

2nd: Nevaeh Pine

3rd: Faith Aborode

4th: Crystal Zhu

5th: Sofia Rathjen

6th: Johnna Pike


An immense thank you to:

Albert z"l and Evelyn Krakauer and Family for sponsoring the event.

The event judges, Matthew Gottlieb, Dr. Toni Zhong and Ellin Bessner, who had the very difficult task of selecting this year’s winners.

The Speaker's Idol Committee, Ricky Brooks, Michelle Glied-Goldstein and Tracie Graff, for their ongoing support and leadership in the growth and development of the program.

Our Speaker's Idol Review Committee members who dedicated their time to reading the more than 250 speeches that were submitted for consideration.

Want to be inspired by today’s young leaders? Watch a recording of Speaker’s Idol 2022 below!

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