Spotlight on Priya Ramdehall: Joining ICCA Changed my Outlook on Life
Written by Rebecca Dass
Sunday January 1, 2023
Priya Ramdehall, 21, is a fourth year McMaster University student studying Political Science. Born in Canada to parents from Guyana, Priya is no stranger to volunteering, spending her early years fundraising and giving back to her community at Mandir. As she got older, she started looking for opportunities for herself to stay close to her roots and give back to her community - that’s when she stumbled upon the Indo-Caribbean Canadian Association (ICCA).
Priya has helped ICCA accomplish many of their goals through multiple initiatives since first joining in February of 2022. She is a member of VOICE (Voter Organization for Indo-Caribbean Engagement), has helped tremendously with the Books for Back Home Campaign, and is the Chair of the Research Committee.
“It made me feel like I was making a change”
As a Political Science student, ICCA’s VOICE initiative stood out the most to her. While doing the work for VOICE, not only has she been able to experience the political atmosphere more than she has ever had before, but she also emphasizes the people she has met through this opportunity. As an early professional, she now has many mentors to learn from. “[I’ve] met people who have helped [me] gather insight on what my career could be,” she says, “[they’ve helped] me with my political journey.”
In October 2022, she also had the chance to speak to the media on behalf of ICCA advocating for the Respect Diwali Campaign. “It made me feel like I was making a change.” She spoke to Brampton Guardian and was also contacted by Yahoo. On her experience, she said, “Posting things on Instagram and sharing things on your page only reaches a certain amount of people, whereas news and media outlets reach out to so many different types of people.” She was proud of the awareness that was raised and is hopeful that initiatives like this will become even more impactful as ICCA continues to push forward.
“I encouraged him to do it for the betterment of himself, it makes me feel happy that he's around people that would make him feel like part of a community ”
For Priya, everything always comes back to her family and community. She spoke about the time she encouraged her brother to join ICCA’s Star Bhai program, which she calls a “great opportunity for young Indo-Caribbean men that is not really seen outside of the temple.” She touched on how in touch her brother is with his Canadian identity and felt it was a great opportunity for him to learn more about his Indo-Caribbean culture. “I encouraged him to do it for the betterment of himself, it makes me feel happy that he’s around people that would make him feel like part of a community that provides him with great opportunities.”
Moreover, Priya encourages others to join ICCA as well. “ICCA helped me break out of my shell and make my voice heard,” she says, “more people [should] join and get involved in the work that we’re doing, there’s lasting effects even after us.” When she’s not in school, work, or volunteering for ICCA, you can find Priya binge-watching The Office and Parks and Recreation or listening to Pop Smoke, Machel Montano, Shenseea, or Patrice Roberts!
About the Author
Rebecca is an aspiring digital marketer, writer and photographer based in Toronto. With a BA in Sociology and a minor in Caribbean Studies, she joined the Indo-Caribbean Canadian Association to continue her interest in researching and writing content about Indo-Caribbean history and culture.
Fore more information visit: rebeccadass.wordpress.com