Bilqees is a researcher, writer and social work professional. She is passionate about youth justice, community safety and bridging the gap between research and community engagement.
In her past work with the United Way Greater Toronto, she supported FOCUS Toronto initiative by conducting research on systemic barriers impacting effective collaboration of wrap-around supports at multi-sectoral community tables. Bilqees has also worked with Social Planning Toronto’s, Coalition for Alternatives to Streaming in Education, where she engaged the provincial government on policy changes to eliminate academic streaming which impacting Black and low-income elementary and high school students.
Her professional experiences have led her to England and New York with Ryerson University, where she worked on social innovation projects that documented how youth serving agencies navigate systemic and operational challenges while meeting needs of most vulnerable youth. More locally, she was a 2020 Muslim Youth Fellow at Mayor John Tory’s office and has supported the Mayor and his team with stakeholder engagement on issues of anti-Black racism, gun violence and Islamophobia.
Bilqees’ current work at Wellesley Institute is focused on a mixed-methods case study on the impact of evictions of communities in North York from anti-Black racism lens. She is currently supporting the EGAP (Engagement Governance Access and Protections) project.