Kristi Pinderi, DIVERSEcity’s LBGTQ+ support worker and a human rights activist in BC and his home country of Albania is a finalist in the 13th annual Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards!
The Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards, a national awards program presented by Canadian Immigrant magazine, will be given to 25 inspirational immigrants, who have made a difference to Canada, whether they are a community advocate, a successful entrepreneur, an artist or a volunteer. We can all vote online at canadianimmigrant.ca/top25.
Originally from Albania, Kristi Pinderi was forced to leave his country in 2017, together with his partner because of his activism for gay rights, co-founding both ProLGBT and the Alliance Against Discrimination, the two major LGBTI organizations in Albania. He co-launched with his partner, Erjon Tela, an online news portal dedicated to human rights that remains the main source for human feminism and LGBT issues in Albania.
On September 2014, he co-founded STREHA, a residential shelter for homeless LGBTI young people, the first service of its kind in southeastern Europe. He is the author of a documentary on the history of the LGBT movement in Albania, while he has published a memoir called 1997, detailing violence endured while coming of age.
Today, as a new Canadian, he leads Together Now, a peer support group for LGBTQ+ newcomers in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland and offers one-on-one support services to LGBTQ+ newcomers, as part of a unique service launched by DIVERSEcity and supported by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
He sits on various boards, steering committees and working groups on LGBTQ+ issues in British Columbia, and is an outspoken defender of the rights of refugees in Canada. He is often invited to speak as an advocate for refugees. In a recent event organized by University of British Columbia and other organizations he spoke about borders and how they can be reimagined in a more human-centered way. He was also recently featured in the documentary film, After Arrival, which showcases the incredible journey of three LGBTQ+ refugee claimants who have become leaders in our community.
Vote for him and other finalists at canadianimmigrant.ca/top25 until September 17, 2021.