Mrs. Wahida Valiante – Chair, Islamic History Month Canada

Mrs. Wahida Valiante – Chair, Islamic History Month Canada

 

Wahida Chishti Valiante is a social worker specializing in family therapy. She holds a BSW (Hon) from York University and an MSW from the University of Toronto, as well as a diploma in Family Mediation. She is trained in Brief Solution Focused Therapy; Trauma, Loss, Grief and Post Traumatic Stress Disorders; and Race Relations Leadership. She is the recipient of several awards, including from the Rubina Willis Counseling Centre for her outstanding work in the field of violence against women and children.

Wahida has presented major academic papers at several national and international conferences, focusing on contemporary theories of family therapy and on the development of alternative treatment models based on the Qur’anic concept of human personality, relationships and emotions. She is a pioneer in the field of further developing therapeutic interventions for treating family conflict, domestic violence and intergenerational issues, particularly for integrating Qur’anic teachings, Muslim traditions and contemporary practices in psychotherapy. She has also made numerous presentations and given training seminars to national and international academic institutions and professionals, on the role of religion in therapy and in the development of human personality.

Wahida is a published author of South Asian Family, Domestic Violence and Social Work Interventions; and Muslim Families and Brief Solution Focused Therapy from an Islamic Perspective. She has also published several papers on the methodology of providing culturally, racially and religiously appropriate social work intervention to families who have experienced domestic violence, child abuse, intergenerational conflict and sexual abuse.

Through out her career,Valiante has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to many levels of health, social and community issues, and has initiated many health-related counseling programs for women and children. She is a founding member of the Social Club for Muslim Women and a longtime political and social activist who sits on several organizational committees whose focus includes the alleviation of child poverty and implementation of social reform.

She regularly writes articles and editorials for several international publications — including the World Media Monitor and the Canadian Islamic Congress Friday Magazine — on social and religious issues, including gender equality, social justice, family and domestic violence, politics and issues of national and global importance.

For several years she has been a regular television panelist helping to promote interfaith dialogue on ethical, moral and social issues from an Islamic perspective. She is regularly invited to speak at Mosques, Islamic centres and Muslim conferences, as well as on television, radio, and for the print media.

She is past chairperson of the communications committee of Al-Shura, the Consultative Committee of Greater Toronto, and a past member of the South Asian Consultative Committee of Metro Police in Toronto. She is a past board member of Griffin Centre and the Coalition of Agencies serving South Asians; a founding member of the task force on Shirly Samaroo House for Battered Women; and past member of the advisory committee of the Barbra Schlifer Clinic for the training of Cultural Interpreters for victims of domestic violence.

Mrs. Valiante is a founding member and past president of the Ontario School of Islamic Studies in North York, which was that region’s first Islamic school. She is a founding member and former National President of the Canadian Islamic Congress, as well as a cyber-counselor with Islam on Line and member of the Christian Muslim Liaison Committee.