Participant Profile: Jessica Whitbread (Canada)

Every once in awhile somebody comes along and changes the way we think about a critical issue of our time, adding new layers and helping foster new solutions. 

Jessica Whitbread is such a person. 

Her open, constructive, no-holds-barred approach to HIV/AIDS and sexual and reproductive health advocacy is a refreshing change to those in the field.  

Having conquered Canada, the 29-year-old activist is now taking her message to Rwanda and beyond.  The self-described poster girl for youth HIV issues in Toronto, Jessica is also looking forward to finding out what Africa has to teach her. 

“I want to see what the effect of HIV looks like in a post-conflict society,” she said.  “I’m hoping that being a white, female, HIV-positive Canadian will allow me to share my experience and learn from others who are there.” 

After participating in the UNESCO Chair and Institute of Comparative Human Rights Intergenerational Youth Forum in Connecticut earlier this year, Jessica knew she wanted to do it all again in Rwanda. 

“Being in Connecticut was one of the most interesting weeks of my life.  I don’t think I’ve ever had that much personal growth in that short amount of time.  It’s so inspiring to meet others who are doing such amazing things in their communities and at a global level.” 

She’s counting down the days until she can do it all again.

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3 responses to “Participant Profile: Jessica Whitbread (Canada)

  1. Ohh nice blog!!!!

  2. YAY Jessie! Wonderful blog. Can’t wait to join forces in Rwanda!

  3. very cool blog! so sorry I can’t be there with you…;-)

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