Pillar's Mariam Waliji Moves into VP Impact, Equity & Governance Role

Cameo photo of Mariam Waliji in a snowy scene with a text banner reading, "PILLAR'S MARIAM WALIJI MOVES INTO VP, IMPACT, EQUITY & GOVERNANCE ROLE"

LONDON, Ont, May 2, 2023 – It is with great pleasure that we announce Mariam Waliji's appointment as the Vice President - Impact, Equity & Governance for Pillar Nonprofit Network. 

A dynamic and engaged community member and leader, Mariam joined the Pillar Nonprofit Network in late 2020 as a part of the WOSEN (Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network) project where she played an integral role in co-creating accelerators for women, genderqueer, and non-binary social entrepreneurs. She then took on the position of Social Enterprise Program Manager and Coach and has been instrumental in designing and delivering on the various social enterprise supports offered by Pillar. This has included restructuring the Libro Social Enterprise Incubator to include a heightened equity lens and connections back to Call to Action #92, developing resources such as the Pollinating Purpose Podcast, and ensuring active conversations with underserved and underrepresented communities inform her work.

Mariam's contributions to the organization have been remarkable. She brings a relational way of working, an intersectional environmental and equity lens, and an unwavering commitment to shifting the paradigm of how we navigate intent and impact in the social purpose sector. Her experience and leadership as a Director of Urban Roots London have uniquely equipped her with the knowledge and skills required to understand nonprofit governance, social enterprise models, and community development work. Mariam's expertise will undoubtedly prove even more invaluable to Pillar Nonprofit Network in her new role.

“We are thrilled to have Mariam step into this crucial leadership position, and we look forward to seeing the meaningful impact she will have on Pillar Nonprofit Network,” wrote Interim CEO Maureen Cassidy in an email to the Pillar community.

Mariam credits her approach to leadership, community development, and community care to the exceptional people who have influenced her throughout her life. While she acknowledges that there are far too many to name individually, she would like to acknowledge the roles Rachel Berdan and Mojdeh Cox have played in shaping her perspective on this work.

“Rachel’s heart-centred approach to leadership is something I will carry with me always. Her unique ability to put the people first while still ensuring the work moves forward with intention and care is something I am grateful to have learned from.”

Mariam has been aware of Mojdeh Cox since her work with the United Way. “I am honoured to have had the opportunity to learn from and alongside Mojdeh. During her time at Pillar she deeply informed my approach to our strategic plan and equity work at large. She leads with the capacity to inspire the best from those around her. The influence of both Rachel and Mojdeh informs so much of the work that I do, and I believe that what I am able to offer the community is better because of it.”

Mariam is excited to be taking on her new role and deepening the work of Pillar Nonprofit Network. She believes that her career and work are in service of supporting the communities that have created a place for her in London; she intends to work toward making the network a more welcoming and better place - both for the current community and those who want to be a part of it.

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