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Sally Armstrong

Human Rights Activist | Journalist | Author

Sally Armstrong
Interview: TVO's The Agenda
Idea City 2010
Sally Armstrong
Interview: TVO's The Agenda
Idea City 2010

Sally Armstrong is a renowned journalist, humanitarian, and author who has covered stories in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia to Somalia, Congo to Afghanistan, Iraq to Guatemala, her eyewitness reports have earned her the Amnesty International Media Award four times over, as well as global acclaim. Armstrong shares her experiences reporting from the frontlines. Her speeches on the complexities of conflict provide audiences with valuable insights into the role we all play in seeking peace.

Armstrong is the author of several books, including Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan; The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor; Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: The Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan’s Women; Ascent of Women: A New Age is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter; The Longest Revolution; and Rebel. Her forthcoming book, Outspoken, which tells the story about what really happened in Afghanistan and to Afghan women, will be available in February 2024.

In 2019, Armstrong delivered the renowned CBC Massey Lecture series, traveling across the country to discuss how improving the status of woman globally is crucial to our survival. Her lectures are available as a published book titled Power Shift: The Longest Revolution. She also delivered the Judy LaMarsh Lecture at Victoria College in 2020, the same year she was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women of Influence.

Throughout her career, Armstrong has received numerous awards and accolades including the YWCA of Toronto’s prestigious Women of Distinction Award, the Gold Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation, the Achievement Award for Human Rights for Women from Jewish Women International, the Calgary Peace Prize, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation, among many others.

An Officer of the Order of Canada, Armstrong is a former member of the International Women’s Commission whose mandate was to assist with the path to peace in the Middle East. She is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees and one honorary diploma.

Speaking topics

Presentations listed below include in-person and virtual keynotes, as well as workshops, fireside chats, and other presentation formats.

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Client reviews

  • Having Sally Armstrong as a keynote speaker on the Friday night of our conference was a huge success! We filled the room to capacity and the venue staff were running for more chairs as we began. Sally was wonderfully gracious and she complimented our organization, personally mentioning one of our founders who was in attendance. Every single conference evaluation mentions Sally as a highlight of our weekend! We did an exercise the next day to have people recall what inspired them about Sally’s address – people had retained exact quotations which is a sign that Sally is both a good speaker and a good teacher! Sally is passionately committed to her work as a journalist, author and advocate for girls and women. Her ability to tell stories in an interesting and down to earth way, to offer insightful analysis of how the world is changing and to inspire the rest of us to ‘get on board’ for positive change is really inspiring!

  • Sally is a most engaging speaker and her optimism and mission to help women and children is contagious. Not only did Sally share a most compelling narrative, but she was also very easy to deal with. She always promptly replied to all correspondence, offered her time for book signings and a board dinner the night before the event. Most helpful was a call to discuss who we are (Impact 100) and what part of her message mapped over to ours. This access to Sally gave us the opportunity to tailor her message to our message and enhanced our success.

  • On behalf of the CGFNS International, I wish to thank you for your contribution to the success of the symposium, Building Global Alliances: The Challenges of Migration for Health Professional Women. The articulate and passionate stories of your experiences in Rwanda, Somalia, and Afghanistan and the women with whom you came in contact, were at once disturbing, heart rendering and heart warming. You painted touching and realistic pictures that provoked insight and context for the following day that served as a foundation on which all of the subsequent speakers could build.

  • She was the absolute perfect speaker for our event. She took the time to research and take in the event and artfully wove together our YMCA Peace Medal recipients and their personal stories with her message. It was the perfect message for our event and the people we were honouring and I so appreciated her time and care she took in preparation for the speech to make it so personal to our community.

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