Bana Teklai is a member of the Ontario College of Teacher. Born to two Eritrean parents, she has always had a genuine interest in providing youth (especially first-generation youth living in the Diaspora) with the necessary programming and resources to support their academic and creative endeavors. Bana has served as the Executive Director for the Eritrean Youth Collective, a not-for-profit organization that provides Eritrean youth and their families access to resources to help them achieve their goals academically, professionally and creatively.
A believer in the transformative power of the arts, Bana uses writing, spoken word poetry and acting to address the stigma associated with discussing mental health issues within the black community, especially immigrant communities. Bana understands that there is a lot of mistrust and misunderstanding when it comes to mental health services among racial minorities. Experiencing first-hand what neglecting mental health can do to an individual, a family, and a community, Bana is eager to become a part of the solutions through mental health promotion, advocacy and awareness. Bana will be releasing a documentary entitled “My Father Went Through It, So I Wouldn’t Have To” at the end of 2015.