Sue Croweagle is from the Piikani First Nation in southern Alberta. She is a two spirit female who enjoys singing and dancing. She came to Toronto in 2010 and reestablished a female aboriginal drum group called the Eagle Woman Singerz. She has been facilitating drum circles thru out the GTA and has done many events.
Dr. Alok Mukherjee
Alok Mukherjee is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University, Toronto. He served as Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board from 2005 to 2015. With his focus on promoting effective and affordable community-based policing under civilian oversight provincially and nationally, Dr. Mukherjee was actively involved in Ontario government’s Future of Policing Advisory Committee as well as in other police governance forums across Canada. He is frequently called upon to speak and write on policing issues for a variety of audiences. He brings a unique perspective to law enforcement issues from his experiences in a highly multicultural and multiracial environment. Dr. Mukherjee has worked as an educator and a consultant. He has written extensively in a variety of areas including diversity and inclusivity, employment equity for racially visible and aboriginal people, and anti-racist education.
Ardath Whynacht is a Doctoral Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program at Concordia University and a Lecturer in Sociology at Mount Allison University. As an artist-scholar, her research creatively explores notions of trauma, violence, and healing through collaborative, community-based projects. She works with inmates in Federal prisons in Atlantic Canada, using poetry and performance to understand the ways in which institutionalization impacts our ability to heal from trauma. She is a founding member of Phin Performing Arts and is a poet and community organizer with the Word Iz Bond Collective in Halifax. Her work has been featured in festivals, (New Music West, Canada Dance Festival, Zebra Berlin, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word) in print (Understorey Magazine, Quattro Press, Girlhood Studies) and on film (Afcoop Cinepoetry Project, HUFF, Visible Verse).
Young was born in South Korea, and her family moved to Boston Massachusetts when she was 7-years- old. She began studying music (viola) at the age of ten, attending New England Conservatory Prep School and Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Oberlin College, she pursued further studies at University of Michigan, receiving her Master’s degree, and co-founding SAFMOD (now based in Cleveland, OH). Since joining Raging Asian Women Taiko Drummers in 2007, Young has taken on a leadership role in the group. She was the project director of the Toronto Taiko Festival in 2012, and currently the managing director of RAW and lead coordinator for the group’s educational outreach programs. She has led RAW in producing two full-length concerts (2013 & 2016) as the production director.
Dr. Peter Dawson
Dr. Peter E. Dawson has taught at York University since acquiring his Ph.D. in 2002. Dr. Dawson is well known for his commitment to Experiential Education. Dr. Dawson has been involved in Human Rights activities since he was a child growing up in South Africa. A strong proponent of non-violent dispute resolution, anti-racist programs and activities Dr. Dawson has been active with the American Indian Movement and the African National Congress. Dr. Dawson worked by the side of one of the founders of AIM, the late Russell Means on the protracted Yellow Thunder land dispute in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Dr. Dawson has been directly involved in land disputes with Indigenous peoples and NGOs in Honduras, Canada, the United States and South Africa. Dr. Dawson is an outspoken activist and advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and is involved in combating violence against women and children in numerous countries.
Dean Barnes is the Principal of T.A. Blakelock High School in Oakville, Ontario. Dean has been a school administrator for 14 years and is a Ph.D. graduate of the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. His thesis was entitled: “Restorative Peacemaking Circles and other Conflict Management Efforts in Three Ontario High Schools” explored implementation approaches of pro-active and post-incident restorative circles. Dean’s leadership focuses on promoting high student achievement through healthy school-wide and classroom initiatives, such as increased physical activity and wellness, mindfulness, co-curricular activities, restorative practices, school-community partnerships, and relationship building interventions. He will speak about the impact of restorative justice circles in the classroom and the positive impact they have on the wellness of students.
Jeff was a computer engineer briefly, then a teacher of math, physics, computer science and communications technology longingly. Since 1999 he has supported a variety of areas at the district level as instructional program leader including assessment, eLearning, mathematics, technology in the classroom. He is currently supporting applied learning, with a passion for social-emotional learning and mindfulness, in the Halton District School Board.
Melanie Panitch holds the John C. Eaton Chair in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University. She first came to Ryerson in 1999 to develop the proposal and then to build the Disability Studies Program as its founding Director (1999 – 2011). The exhibit which she co-curated, “Out From Under: Disability History and Things to Remember” started as a class project and is now permanently in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. She received (with a faculty team) the J W McConnell Curricular Innovation Award (2007). She initiated a unique program at Humber College for intellectually disabled students, which spread to other Ontario community colleges and for which she was awarded College Innovator of the Year (1989). Melanie holds a B.A. from the University of Manitoba, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education from the University of London, and a Masters in Social Work from Carleton University. She completed her graduate work at the Hunter College School of Social Work, receiving her Doctorate in Social Welfare from the City University of New York Graduate Centre. Melanie’s book/Disability, Mothers and Organization: Accidental Activists, /is a gendered history of activist mothering in the Canadian Association for Community Living (Routledge, 2008).
Russ Ford has been the Executive Director of LAMP Community Health Centre for the last 15 years. Under his direction LAMP has dramatically expanded its programs and services in Toronto and Mississauga and has won some awards for its work with youth. Russ founded the Brendan Ford Memorial Scholarship which annually provides money to youth who are in financial need and have exhibited a commitment to social justice. Prior to working at LAMP, Russ founded the Stonegate Community Health Centre. He has also been involved in the founding of many other social agencies or advocacy organizations in the city. Russ has spoken at some provincial and national conferences on issues relating to poverty, social exclusion, and health, and is a regular speaker for the United Way and has acted as a national policy advisory on community health. Internationally, Russ helped establish a health center in Maroontown, Jamaica. Russ is a member of Humber’s advisory committee on its proposed Community Development degree program. He holds a Masters degree in social policy and Bachelor’s degrees in social work and journalism.
Ahmeda Mansaray-Richardson, Youth Advocates of Ghana
Ahmeda Mansaray-Richardson is a hope-filled voice that seeks the realization of human rights for every child. Ahmeda is an accomplished academic, a volunteer Advanced Medical First Response team member with St. John’s Ambulance, an amateur obstacle race competitor, a pilot in training, and a proud wife and mother of four sons. Ahmeda funnels her various skills and experiences into her service as founder and leader of The VOICES (Voices Of Inspired Children Engaging Society) Global Collective, a rights-based youth empowerment organization. With a BSc. from McGill University and a Masters in Public Health from Lakehead University, alongside a postgraduate certificate from the Coady Institute, Ahmeda is consumed by her vision of a world where young people are valued participants in knowledge creation and not merely seen as consumers of research. Most recently, she held the position of advisor, volunteer researcher, and co-moderator in the creation of the 2013 United Nations Youth World Report. Ahmeda Mansaray-Richardson is also co-founder and research analyst for the African-based global think tank, The Songai Institute, on the Board of Directors for the advocacy organization, C4C Kaleidoscope and a volunteer facilitator at The Toronto-based organization The Gatehouse.
Melisse Watson, the RAWHIDE project
Artist & Founder – I am a Black, Cherokee, adopted mixed-settler, who occupies a non-binary gender identity and as such, face violence on a daily basis. I do have many privileges that have allowed me the opportunities, education, and space that I occupy. I have not experienced the mental health or the criminal justice system as a participant. Through personal experience – one experience of many – unresolved interpersonal conflict has affected my confidence, self-esteem, safety and supportive resources. Isolation has hindered my ability to reach out and form meaningful, healthy relationships and has resulted in a difficulty to understand my personal value. My background in Restorative and Transformative Justice, knowledge of the Canadian Criminal Justice system and a passion for healing and building through creation and the arts has lead me to and drives me through this work to create a new kind of less-violent, living reality for many.
Harriet Badua-Baffoe, the RAWHIDE project
Years ago, Harriet watched her parents be instrumental players in the opening of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Montreal. This is where for the first time she saw what collective change looks like and the power a community can have. The association brought people together and help them with their conflict as well as their adjustment into Canadian society. From then she committed herself into helping members within her community and others to overcome their obstacles. Harriet is a graduate of the Community and Justice Services at Humber College and hopes to help youth through programming find alternative ways to deal with their struggles. She is a former dancer that sees the arts a good way for youth to express themselves when words are too hard to find. “ I don’t believe in bad apples I believe she must help the crop grow better.”
Tharshiga Elankeeran, ANBU – Abuse Never Becomes Us
Tharshiga Elankeeran is a Registered Psychotherapist that holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology from York University (Toronto, ON 2009) and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from McGill University (Montreal, QC 2013). Tharshiga is a Women’s Substance Abuse Counselor at Addiction Services for York Region where she works with pregnant and or parenting women who have suffered extensive trauma and are striving to heal themselves. She has facilitated trauma groups with survivors of childhood sexual abuse at the York Region Abuse Program and currently facilitating a trauma, group at Black Creek Community Health Center. With a strong commitment for eternal learning, she continues to seek out opportunities for mental and experiential growth. A survivor of childhood sexual abuse herself, she believes in holistic healing. The body remembers trauma and she passionately seeks alternative forms of healing that incorporate the whole. She obtained Reiki training and aspires to continue practicing and mastering this form of cleansing and balancing of energy within the body. She is also a certified Acudetox Specialist with NADA that can provide Auricular acupuncture to reduce stress, anxiety, cravings and increase relaxation and cleansing.
Jenny Starke, ANBU – Abuse Never Becomes Us
Jenny Starke M.S.W., R.S.W. completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at York University (Toronto, ON 2009) and her Masters in Social Work at the University of Toronto (Toronto, ON 2012). She is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. Jenny is a German Tamil Canadian woman that allows her intuitions to guide her to live a life of purpose. Jenny is a woman of many identities that has and is embracing her personal struggles and sharing them to create awareness, challenge normative ideologies and inspire self and political transformation. She is a Geriatric Social Worker at Humber River Hospital and a Peer Group Facilitator for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse at The Gatehouse. Due to her own personal experiences of trauma within the Tamil community, her passion and what she truly believes is the purpose to her life has been to work with survivors of childhood sexual abuse. With A.N.B.U., she hopes to create a voice for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and shed light, build capacity, strengthen awareness and compassion within the Tamil community and across many communities.
Lacey Ford, Full Circle – Art Therapy Centre
Lacey Ford was born in rural Prince Edward Island, Canada. Lacey is a self-taught artist and began showing an interest in art when she was only seven years old and started out by doodling cartoon characters she saw in children books. However, due to financial constraints she was unable to fully explore her interest in art until high school, where free art classes were offered. During her adolescence, Lacey experienced a great deal of emotional distress caused by the negative effects of trauma, which she responded to by acting out. Fortunately, when she began taking art classes, she was able to express her feelings in a safe way and organize her thoughts, from this point visual arts became a regular therapeutic outlet for her. In 2012, Lacey obtained her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). Immediately after completing her undergraduate degree at UPEI, Lacey moved to Toronto to study art therapy at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Lacey has recently launched a grassroots non-profit organization with her friend and business partner Pearl Lee, called the ‘Full Circle-Art Therapy Centre.’ The aim of the organization is to deliver art therapy services throughout Toronto and making mental health services more accessible to those who cannot afford private services.
Pearl Lee, Full Circle – Art Therapy Centre
I was brought up in Hong Kong and Malaysia. I never thought I had the ‘artistic skills’ or ‘techniques’ to make any art. I always failed my art classes. During my high school years, I became more interested in graphic designing. I took Art as one out of the six subjects I have for my International Baccalaureate diploma. In the beginning, I measured every single angle in my artworks. Until one day, I was given a 72” x 72” canvas to make a piece of artwork. I no longer have that mathematical patience and just ran with it. That piece was the beginning of my therapeutic journey through art. From a young age, I have learned to put up a strong mask and conceal my emotions. During my International Baccalaureate course, I was supposed to make a series of painting circling one theme. Through that process, I was able to find the right expressions for my concealed emotions and begin to discover, explore, learn and heal. I moved to Toronto when I was 19, went to York University, obtained my B.A Honors in Psychology. When my dad passed, I thought back about the times I used to spend in the art room, the effect it had on me. I decided to follow my gut and pursue a career as an art therapist and applied to the Toronto Art Therapy Institute. Now, here I am, perusing the vision of free mental health services for all through the way I know how- Art Therapy, to promote the importance of mental health and self-awareness.
Nga Dinh, Full Circle – Art Therapy Centre
Nga Dinh, of Vietnamese descent was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada when she was only two years old. Her love and passion for sports and art became her allies that have enabled her to pursue a successful and happy life. She is also a free-lance artist and painter. She completed her B.A. in Kinesiology and B.F.A at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has worked and volunteered at Street Haven Women’s Shelter, Meals on Wheels, Curated the student/staff show at Wilfrid Laurier University, WWF, Toronto Flying Tigers Volleyball Club, Toronto District School Board and had made appearances on several television and movie productions through BCAST. After working six years in broadcasting, she knew that it was time to use her skills to assist others towards a fulfilling emotionally healthy life. She enrolled and had completed her coursework at the Toronto Art Therapy Institute and is currently completing her thesis. Currently, she is involved with the Blue Jays Care Foundation, volunteers at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Student Representative on the TATI Advisory Board and is the Director of Events for the National Association of Asian American Professionals Toronto Chapter.
In my experience, recovery from child sex abuse is an inner/outer journey of re-relating to self and the world. My journey began in 2011 and was triggered by the arrest of my son’s teacher on child pornography charges. The greatest thing I have learned since is that the stress and anxiety I had lived with for over 30 years was a predictable symptom…of a crime committed against my most vulnerable child self. I still have challenges, but now I have this information, I am emancipated. Voice and storytelling are at the heart of humanity. And that’s why I use my skills as a filmmaking instructor to empower marginalized, oppressed and racialized people in using technology to tell their own stories. To keep things real, I’m also sharing my own story in a documentary film, Picking Trauma’s Pocket. To date, I have filmed empowered survivors in Canada, the US, Guyana, Bolivia, and Taiwan. My goal is to highlight the scale and impact of child sex abuse; the prevalence of it in local communities everywhere on the planet.
Jessica Horak is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, addiction, and eating disorders, who has gone through the experience of navigating the social service system first hand. She knows the challenges and frustrations that can come with wanting to get help and having no idea where to find it. She is passionate about creating a better opportunity for others who come after her and support them in their journey of creating change in their lives and healing from their adversities!
Ubah Idle, #SaveOurSomaliYouth
Ubah Idle is a 20-year-old Somali-Canadian who was born and raised in Toronto. She found her niche when she would post personal stories on social media as well as spoken word pieces and get a big response. She has been a very vocal person when it comes to social justice and has recently started a grassroots initiative called #SaveOurSomaliYouth.#SaveOurSomaliYouth sees its existence due to a pre-existing need to create a social platform for Somali youth. This grassroots collective uses social media to build support in the Somali community and spark social change and justice in young Somali community members. Ubah has been interviewed for Integration TV (a Somali-English TV network) as well as radio interviewed twice on AM530 Multicultural Radio. Her initiative movement has a sister branch out in Ottawa, Canada, as well while also garnishing attention from other cities nationally. Currently, she is involved in creating summer programs catered to Somali youth in the city. She is working with other organizations and collectives of people to help bridge resources to these youth and their families.
Marcia Brown founded Trust 15 Youth Community Support Organization in 2011.
She started her career with the Toronto District School Board as an Educational Assistant in 2005. She has been working diligently to educate, mentor and inspire the young men and women in her community ever since. Marcia recognized that there was a significant need in her community for a place where youth could come and feel safe and accepted, and receive much-needed support. So she decided to walk from door-to-door in the neighborhood asking parents if they would allow their children to participate in this enriching after-school program. Earning the trust from the community and the 15 girls that showed up on the first day the program started, led to the name, Trust 15. Marcia has started four amazing programs in Etobicoke, that has reached the potential of our youth. They are Ladies on the Rise, Men of Distinction, Girls on the Rise and Boys of Excellence. Marcia was awarded the Premier’s Award of Ontario for Teaching Excellence Support Staff (2011), Urban Hero Award for Education (2011), Aroni Award for Education (2011) The Women of Honour Award (BBPA) (2012), Rotary Club of Toronto-Youth Impact Award (Individual Category) (2015). Brilliant Minded Women Award- (2015), International Women Achievement Award (2016), Humber School of Social & Community Services for Trust 15 – Agency of Distinction (2016).
Natalie Wood, MA, Co-founder of the Social Innovation Hub, George Brown College
Natalie is a full-time Professor teaching in the SSW Program at George Brown College. Her areas of interest are Community Development, Community Economic Development/ Social Purpose Enterprise, Research and Proposal Writing, Communication and Interviewing, Values and Ethics, and the use of the Arts as a tool for research and empowerment of marginalized communities. For over 20 years she has worked in a variety of positions both managerial and front line in the social services field with marginalized communities such as, adults with dual diagnoses, women with concurrent disorders, trauma and abuse survivors, and women with mental health issues who are living in long-term poverty. She is also a community researcher, working as an art consultant on projects related to homeless women and trans-women and new immigrants and their experience of work, with the Arts and Social Work Research Institute at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. She has co-written a number of articles and presented nationally at conferences related to community-based and arts-based research in the social work field. Selected awards include a Community-Based Research Award of Merit, from the Centre for Urban Health Initiatives & the Wellesley Institute 2007, the New Pioneers Award for contribution to Arts and Culture, 2006 and the City of York Civic Recognition Award for using the Arts to work with marginalized communities, 1997.
Robyn Zaragoza, Mancave Project
“Men today are faced with numerous problems that can range from poor self-image, mental health issues, and emotional distress. These problems are often caused by how restricting and narrow the definition of what a “real man” is supposed to be. Most men know this but culturally we are not supposed to talk about it because it is unmanly to just “talk”. Talking about your feelings, emotions, family, love, weakness are all taboo topics. So what ManCave tries to do is to create a safe place where guys can challenge and redefine what it means to be a man, by utilizing workshops and discussions centered around the topics of gender identity we hope to promote positive masculinity and communication.”
Shelley Charles, MandawKwe
Shelley Charles is a member of the Chippewa’s of Georgina Island First Nation. She has worked extensively in First Nation communities across Canada and the US. She works with youth, teachers and aboriginal artists with a commitment to preserving cultural knowledge and language. Shelley is the Elder Advisor on Aboriginal Relations at Humber College. Her passion is to provide Aboriginal students with the support and guidance through their educational journey in a post-secondary environment. She has her Master’s Degree in Indigenous Philosophy. “According to the teachings of the Midewewin faith-keepers, the language of the Ojibway Anishinabe people is written on the land. All of the plants and the waters have names that reflect our human relationship to creation. Before every ceremony or gathering we send out our songs that carry our prayers of thanksgiving for our first mother, the Earth”.
The Transformative Dimensions of Social Justice Work At the heart of transformative social change and transformative justice rests a deep and abiding commitment to being in relation and acting with others equally committed to a vision of society free of traditional systems of oppression. Our being together, however, can quickly become swamped in the drama that inevitably ensues when we come together to do this work. In our zeal to rid our social contexts of external forces of oppression, we often lose sight of our inner demons. In this presentation, I will focus on the transformative learning that such work requires. As we focus our energies and lives on the work “out there,” we must also recognize and learn from the inner demons that this work can evoke. Discerning what is “out there” and “in here” represents an important focus of transformative learning in social justice work.
Atiya Jaffar is a first generation immigrant from Pakistan who was driven to climate justice work after first-hand experience seeing climate change impacts in the Global South. She is a digital organizer for 350.org and has been responsible for developing the digital strategy for 350’s operations in Canada. She was part of the team that organized the historic March for Jobs, Justice and the Climate this July. Atiya’s also a recent graduate from the University of Guelph where she completed a thesis that focused on the relationship between the Indigenous sovereignty and environmental movements. While at Guelph, she had the opportunity to work on the fossil fuel divestment campaign on campus. This December, Atiya will be raising a voice in support of climate justice as part of the Canadian Youth Delegation at the international climate negotiations in Paris.
Maria Shallard is Penelakut First Nation and European ancestry and grew up on Lil’wat territory in Pemberton, British Columbia. Currently, she is the Coordinator, Aboriginal Programs, Office of Intercultural Affairs in the Student Life Department at the University of Guelph and resides on the traditional land of the Attawanderon people. Maria holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria with a double major in Environmental Studies and Canadian history with a minor in Indigenous Studies. Recently, she has finished a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Guelph where she completed a thesis that focused on ocean governance, human well-being and Indigenous sovereignty. In past experience she has worked in First Nations communities with youth driven by a passion to provide opportunities to navigate between divergent worldviews through experiential and out of classroom opportunities. While at Guelph she sits on a Truth and Reconciliation Committee and supports Indigenous advocacy and awareness through various community events. Her main focus is to ensure that there are a range of programs offered for Aboriginal students to learn, grow and experience on their academic journey. Maria believes in “nuts’a’maat shqwaluwun” (working together as one) (with one heart/mind).
Yusra Khogali Ali
Emily Duron, BA, BEd is the Director/Founder of The ACE Approach (Awareness and Consciousness Education). After teaching in Toronto private schools for many years, she realized the importance of developing the Social and Emotional skills of students. Through transformative and reflective practices, The ACE Approach nurtures self-awareness, self-responsibility and peaceful problem solving by teaching students meditation, breathing techniques and emotional literacy. The ACE Approach offers a potent combination of three key educational methods that current research has proven are most supportive of student growth: Social and Emotional Learning, Mindfulness/Awareness and Inquiry-Based Experiential Education. The ACE Approach Classroom and Professional Development programs provide a full spectrum of practical tools to enable students and teachers to connect in healthy, communicative and peaceful ways. The inspiration of The ACE Approach has its roots in the teachings of Yogini Mangala Anshumati, creator of Hridaya Yoga – Yoga of the Heart and AHIMSA -Artistic Harmlessness in Mind Speech and Action. These two organizations are committed to teaching non-violence to people of all ages. Emily has been a student of Hridaya Yoga for five years and is devoted to a life of learning and self-discovery.
Sunny Dhillon is a Researcher and Program Evaluator with the Centre of Research, Policy & Program Development. He joined the Centre in 2014. He is involved in the evaluation of a variety of local office programs, and provides support to current research projects. He has completed an MSc with Distinction in Criminology and Criminal Justice Research Methods at the University of Oxford, as well as an MA in Criminology and Sociolegal Studies at the University of Toronto. He has also worked as a Senior Statistics Officer for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services. During his graduate studies he focused on the operation of the criminal justice system, access to justice, and emerging methodologies in criminological research.
Steve Wineman’s social change activism dates back to the 1960s. He has participated in efforts to achieve peace and disarmament, racial and gender equality, workplace democracy, and ecological sustainability. He retired at the end of 2013 after more than 30 years working in community mental health. Steve is the author of The Politics of Human Services and Power-Under: Trauma and Nonviolent Social Change.
Cameron Reid is a community activist and recent graduate of Humber’s SSW program. He has served as the co-chair of the Toronto Harm Reduction Worker’s Union Organizing Committee (IWW 610), and is a member of the Toronto Harm Reduction Alliance, a local advocacy and activist organization. His experiences living with clinical depression since his early teens and his later journey through self-medication with drug use form the basis for his commitment to advocating for peer-driven solutions, community empowerment, and reformation of drug policy.
Vanessa Gray is a 23-year-old Anishinaabe kwe from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, located in Canada’s Chemical Valley. Vanessa, a former youth Green Teens community organizer, has worked with community members to bring awareness to the health issues due to the toxic surroundings. She is an organizer with ASAP, Aamjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines and continues to raise awareness about environmental racism.
Margot Van Sluytman
Margot Van Sluytman is an award-winning expressive writing teacher, mentor, restorative justice advocate, and public speaker. She is invited to teach and give talks and workshops about how expressive writing is a rich process of healing and transformation, by reclaiming, respecting, and living our precious voice. Her books include: Sawbonna: I See You, A Real Life Restorative Justice Story; The Other Inmate: Mediating Justice-Mediating Hope, Poetry and Writing Workbook for Restorative Practices (English and French); Layers of Possibility: Healing Poetry from The Members of The National Association for Poetry Therapy, Foreword by Dr. Robert Carroll, NAPT; Dance With Your Healing: Tears Let Me Begin to Speak With My Pen; and, Wild Self Real Self: Write Your Voice of Healing and Strength. She has been interviewed by media around the world. Margot is the Founder of The Sawbonna Project for Living Justice and a Member of The National Association for Poetry Therapy.
Sarah Scanlon is a queer feminist organizer based in Guelph, who has spent over a decade involved in gender-based violence struggles within Ontario. Sarah’s involvement in the VAW (Violence Against Women) movement led her to working with the Children’s Aid Society as a Child Internet Exploitation Project Coordinator, as the Co-Coordinator for the I Know Someone Campaign, as the Community Mobilization Project Manager, and for OPIRG Guelph as the Coordinator of Organizational and Policy Development. Sarah deepened her analysis around alternative models to community healing and harm accountability in her role as the Public Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Sexual Assault Center of London. Her passion for working with boys and men, and the role they play in ending gender-based violence, was fostered through her work as a group facilitator for Changing Ways Men’s Group and Youth Perpetrator Project. Sarah currently manages, and will be speaking about, the Gender Bullying Project focused on engaging boys with issues of masculinity and sexual violence through transformative justice and bystander intervention models.
Leah is a queer-crip-femme-witch who spends a lot of time working, writing and thinking about community accountability and transformative justice. She supports and develops community accountability processes in her communities. She is a white, settler, who is a community organizer based on the stolen and colonized land of toronto, ontario, that has spent over a decade involved in struggles for justice within apartheid canada. Leah’s involvement in the environmental movement lead her to supporting Indigenous communities in the struggle for Sovereignty and Self-Determination. Leah has also been part of building communities that fight for justice for queer and trans people, women, low- income, disabled and racialized people. She has worked with groups across Turtle Island on fighting sexism, homophobia and transphobia and in solidarity with the movement for migrant justice.
Elizabeth Correia: No Stranger to survival, Elizabeth empowers young women to live life with purpose through her memoir ‘If You Played In My Playground’; a disturbing, shocking, hopeful and inspiring story detailing her life as an abused child in and out of foster care, a survivor of domestic violence and a teen mother. “Elizabeth teaches women and girls how to push through their story.” Elizabeth is the founder of The D.e.v.a In You Group – a personal development and leadership company for women and girls. She provides life development workshops and programs through her speaking and life coaching practice. Through her transformational work, Elizabeth passionately helps women and girls to build resilience and make healthier choices in order to fulfill their destiny. https://www.elizabethcorreia.com/
Louis March: Louis March, has been a community activist and advocate in the Black community for over 30 years. His work has primarily focused on youth and education issues from a social justice perspective. Most recently, Louis March is the founder of the Zero Gun Violence Movement, a collaboration of over 40 different community organizations, agencies and programs across the City, committed to addressing entrenched structural and socio-economic conditions that contribute to gun violence. March states that, ‘we already have zero gun violence in the City….but only for certain postal codes and certain people’. The ZGVM is an awareness and advocacy initiative that works across the City to engage people and organizations that are truly committed to being a part of the solution to gun violence and to saving lives of our young people. The engagement strategy includes working with victims of gun violence and also people who have had contact with the criminal justice system in addition to youth workers and other individual stakeholders who have an interest in working with ZGVM. Louis March recently graduated from the Public Administration and Governance program at Ryerson University.
Zya Browne, Think 2wice: Think 2wice is an organization that provides trauma-informed, culturally sensitive programing and supports to youth from at risk communities as well as young people who are incarcerated and reintegrating back into society. Think 2wice gives priority to individuals who are incarcerated in a Federal Institution and serving time for a range of gun or gang related charges. Think 2wice assists in building positive leaders and role models who youth that are specifically involved or high risk of gun involvement will receive and relate to. Think 2wice’s prevention and intervention initiatives addresses unhealthy behaviors and negative mindsets and assists young people to think twice before making decisions that may negatively impact them and communities. To date, Think 2wice has evolved into a collective of communication, spiritual and art techniques. http://v1.think2.org/
Dia Mamatis: Dia is a Health Policy Specialist and Heather is a Health Research Specialist with the Healthy Public Policy directorate of Toronto Public Health. Their team addresses a range of issues, with particular attention to the social determinants of health. Dia’s background is in community psychology which takes an ecological approach to understanding well-being and promoting social justice. She has worked on research, policy, and evaluations related to healthy child, family, and community development. Recently, she has worked on a plan to address intimate partner violence, and, in collaboration with the Wellesley Institute, on a project focussed on identifying strategies for enhancing social inclusion in the city through reducing systemic barriers to building connections, social capital and civic engagement among residents and communities.
Heather Rilkoff: Heather has a background in epidemiology, and her recent work has focussed on violence prevention, mental health, and injury prevention. Over the past two years, she has worked with city stakeholders and mental health experts on interventions to prevent suicide in public places. Prior to this, she conducted research and policy-related projects on pedestrian and cyclist collisions in Toronto. Heather has also worked in public health in low-resource settings, including environmental health surveillance in Nunavut, and neglected tropical disease prevention and treatment in Uganda.
The Cycle Ends Now – Founded by Meshanda Phillips, Anna-Lori Stennett-Thomas, Nadel Dolcy and Tonya Lyttle; all third-year students in the BSS- Criminal Justice Program. https://www.cycleendsnow.org/
Cycle End Now is an organization the seek to help women and their children that have been affected by domestic abuse by offering programs and services to help them navigate the second phase of their lives.We are different from other organizations in that we offer restorative justice to perpetrators who lack the understanding of their actions; factors beyond their control and we give them tools they need to break the cycle.
Meshanda Phillips, The Cycle Ends Now: Meshanda is a mother to two boys and she is determined to raise them while defying society’s code of masculinity. Her mother was a victim of domestic abuse in a country that normalized it; Jamaica. Her passion is to create a world where words and hands are no longer use as weapons but as way to speak and show love.
Anna-Lori Stennett-Thomas, The Cycle Ends Now: Being brought up in a single parent household Anna was able to realize the unique experiences that women face, such as being economically independent or being the strength that everyone depends on. The unique experience and roles that women are forced into have become normalized, Anna is passionate about eradicating these harmful normalizations to create a better future.
Nadel Dolcy, The Cycle Ends Now: Nadel’s advocacy began in high school when she joined the Women’s club. Ultimately, her goal along with her members is to bring a light of positive energy to the eradication and improvement of the lives of women and girls (including boys and men) within Canada and hopefully on the global scale.
Tonya Lyttle, The Cycle Ends Now: Tonya is an international student- originally from St. Vincent. She recognises that it can be difficult for victims of IPV to leave such relationships as they may be worried about navigating day-to-day life without whatever support their partner provided. Her aim is to eradicate IPV by addressing the needs of both parties involved; and children-if any.
Aboriginal Resource Centre, Humber College: We welcome all students and staff who are interested in learning about Aboriginal Peoples. The Aboriginal Resource Centre works in partnership with regional Aboriginal communities to ensure Aboriginal students are supported and connected to their learning environment- academically, culturally and socially. We assist Aboriginal students in making the transition and adjustment to the challenges of college life while creating an awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal culture and history in the greater campus community. http://humber.ca/aboriginal/