A community organizer and an elementary teacher with the Toronto District School Board in Rexdale, Nigel is a Board member of the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic, Board Chair of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, and a member of the Good Jobs For All Coalition. He was the interim-treasurer of the Ontario Alliance of Black School Education (ONABSE) and a former Co-Chair of the African Heritage Educator’s Network (AHEN). Nigel’s activist work focuses on quality public education, good green jobs, and a more just society for all inside and outside the classroom. His efforts have been recognized through a number of community service awards including the 2011 Urban Heroes Award, the 2012 JS Woodsworth Award and the 2014 Jack White Service Award from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. He holds a Masters’ degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Gary Pieters is an educator who lives in Toronto. He has 25 years of professional experience in the education sector as a teacher, vice-principal and principal. He is also a member of the Ontario Ministry of Education, Minister's Advisory Council on Special Education (MACSE); and a Member of the Toronto Islands Residential Community Trust Corporation. His extensive knowledge base and experience are leveraged through community building, youth engagement, equity, inclusion, and diversity.
Mohammed is a senior organizer for Toronto’s Labour movement and active leader in Muslim community advocacy. A graduate of the University of Toronto, he has been involved with many of the campaigns that have promoted equity and pushed back against Islamophobia. His work with the York and Peel District School Boards helped shape a greater understanding of Islamophobia and deepened commitments to strive for greater equity. Mohammed’s commitment to strengthening democracy and inclusion led to hosting the first Iftar at Toronto City Council Chambers.
He also helped create the first fellowship for Muslim youth to deepen their commitment to public service by building bridges for access to working at Toronto City Hall. His work in politics and labour has been well recognized and he has played leading roles in many campaigns that protect public services and help get progressive city builders elected.
Emily is a trained researcher, writer, facilitator, teacher, and registered social worker with nearly two decades of experience leading diverse groups. She has been on the UARR board since 2016. Her work teaching adult ESL, particularly at Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto, and her more recent study of Black and Indigenous history and culture in Canada, inform her interest in how—and for whom—this country has been constructed. She has worked with Community Living Toronto, CultureLink, COSTI Immigrant Services, CAMH, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), and the Wellesley Institute to improve supports and services for immigrants and refugees to Canada. She holds an honours B.A. in English literature from Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In 2016, she received her Master of Social Work with a specialization in social justice and diversity from the University of Toronto, and also completed the Collaborative Graduate Program in Ethnic and Pluralism Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs.
Sanaa is a community organizer and researcher with several years of experience challenging systemic racism and Islamophobia. Through her work, Sanaa aims to improve access to resources and power for racialized communities.
Currently a researcher with Milieu Strategy and Consulting, Sanaa has previously worked in the philanthropic sector, managing and redesigning programs for young and emerging Indigenous and Muslim leaders, as a political staffer, where she was instrumental in designating a Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia at the City of Toronto, and at OCASI, where she led the first phase of a province-wide capacity building strategy which trained over 700 settlement workers across Ontario.
Sanaa's journey as a human rights advocate began during the 2015 federal election, where her project, aimed at shifting how young Muslims interact with electoral politics, planted the seeds for the Muslim Youth Fellowship. Sanaa holds an MA in Development Studies from York University and an HBA from the University of Toronto.
Brittany Andrew-Amofah is the Senior Policy and Research Analyst at the Broadbent Institute where she is responsible for setting the research and policy direction ofthe organization, and for managing the Broadbent Institute’s Fellow Program. She also provides regular political commentary to CBC News and other media outlets. Brittany’s work focuses on engaging those who’ve been excluded and disenfranchised from the Canadian political systemdue to system racism, colonization and the concentration of power. Most recently, she was on the policy team at the Maytree Foundation where her work focused on researching various pov- erty reduction strategies. A former Program Manager at Harmony Movement, she also served as a constituency assistant to Councillor Janet Davis, and worked six years in Toronto’s homelessness and housing sector. Brittany holds a BA with honours in Social Policy and Equity from York Univer-sity and a Master’s in Political Management from Carleton University.
Working in the social work field in Toronto since 2006, Zenia has experience in community health centres, family shelters, a drop-in centre for women, non-binary & trans folks and has worked with youth and their families in London, England. Her work has focused on women’s mental health, homelessness, poverty, gerontology, volunteerism and community engagement while aiming to do this work from an anti-racist, anti-oppressive and intersectional lens. Her interests are in community-based work, the social determinants of health, racial justice initiatives and increasing access to services. She is a registered social worker who obtained her Psychology, Social Work and graduate Social Work degrees at York University. Currently, she works as a counselor in a community agency.
Reshma Dhrodia is a trauma-informed social worker, educator, and social justice advocate whose professional interests are in anti-oppressive practice, disability, equity and wellness training, and gender-based violence prevention. She has worked and volunteered with the Scarborough Women’s Centre, the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre, West Park Healthcare Centre, and the University of Toronto. Between 2012 and 2014, she managed a community-university project to engage post-secondary students to prevent gender-based violence at U of T Scarborough. In 2014, she delivered a TEDx talk on age discrimination called, “The Trouble with Aging”. Reshma has worked in student services at the U of T St. George Campus since 2015. Her work on the downtown campus has included co-designing and facilitating equity trainings to build skills in allyship among students and staff. She has been with U of T Accessibility Services working to support students with disabilities since 2016 and served as the Chair of their Equity Committee since 2019.
Nora Hindy is Vice Principal with the Peel District School Board. She holds a Masters degree in Public Policy, Administration and Law. As a Director of Urban Alliance on Race Relations, Nora has worked with unions and advocacy groups to help bring the voices of marginalized communities to the forefront. As a community organizer, she co-founded NCCM’s Stronger Together campaign, a democratic engagement campaign aimed at ensuring legislation and policies are reflective of Canada’s diversity. For the 2015 federal elections, along with Laidlaw Foundation, Unifor, United Steelworkers Canada, DawaNet and NCCM, Nora led and organized a nationwide election debate for racialized your aimed at improving the strength of democracy in Canada. Nora has spent many years working and advocating for Special Education students. Most recently, she co-founded the Muslim Youth Fellowship, a program that places youth from marginalized communities in City of Toronto council offices. Nora is a change agent who continues to be a strong advocate for students in the public school system in Ontario, facilitating workshops and presentations on topics rooted in Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression, including presentations at the University of Ottawa and York University.
S-Quire has been developing and implementing social justice focused pro- grams and initiatives within community agencies, for-profit businesses and educational institutions since 2012. Sourcing anti-racism/oppression frameworks, popular education techniques and multi- media resources, his work showcases his passion for diversity and inclusion, cultural identity aware- ness, empowering youth voices, and strengthening healthy families. He has conducted numerous anti-oppression and anti-racism presentations for the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto, where healso serves as Community Advisory Committee Co-Chair. As a facilitator at Harmony Movement, a diversity education organization, S-Quire has developed and delivered engaging programs for stu- dents, teachers and administrators in the education sector focused on equity, anti-racism and healing through storytelling, and has traveled extensively to deliver workshops and has also trained private and public sector professionals. S-Quire has served as the Program Coordinator at Young and Potential Fathers, a culturally responsive family service agency that operates Ujima House, the first and only father-focused family resource centre in Canada. He has studied Administration and Information Management at Ryerson University, and holds a Certificate of Facilitation.
Christine is the Human Rights Director for Unifor and the first Vice President of Unifor Local 195. In addition to organizing multiple roundtable discussions on Islamophobia and ra- cism, she has coordinated many campaigns on temporary foreign workers, gender, employment equity, challenging racism, and homophobia. This followed her earlier position at FCA (Fiat ChryslerAutomobiles) Windsor where she assumed responsibility as Women’s Advocate, human rights in-vestigator, local executive board member, facilitator for the national education department, and ultimately as one of two equity coordinators. In 2015, Christine was one of 250 leaders selected for the Governor General Leadership Conference. She is currently working with unions in the United States to create programs to challenge supporters of white nationalism.
Kirk Mark is a recent retiree as Senior Coordinator of the Community Relations Department in Toronto Catholic District School Board (Ontario, Canada), the largest Catholic School Board in the world with 92,000 plus students, 14,000 plus staff and 200 plus schools. He has been involved in diversity programmes in corporations, communities and schools for over thirty-five years with extensive travel to and consultation within the Caribbean, Europe, The Continent of Africa and the United States of America. His areas of expertise, while residing in the Provinces of Quebec and Ontario, are: Systemic Change Management, Development of Boards of Directors, Professional Learning, Equity and Inclusive Education, Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy, Student-Athletic Development, Parent and Community Capacity Development. Mr. Mark has presented his work, as an author and educationalist, to local, national and international audiences such as: the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), Cheikh Anta Diop Conference, and The University of Toronto’s De-Colonizing the Spirit Conference, and various boards of education.
As a community volunteer, he shares his expertise, currently, as a member of the Board of Director and President of The Canadian Alliance of Black Educators, The Urban Alliance on Race Relations, and The Toronto Basketball Association to name a few. Some of his past Board experiences involved the development of the Willowdale Community Legal Clinic, Secretary – Caribbean Cultural Committee, Caribana, Secretary - The West Indian Volunteer Association, Etobicoke, and President - Basketball Ontario. In addition to being listing in Who’s Who in Black Canada (2002, 2006, 2010 Editions), as well as receiving numerous accolades. A few of his awards include the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Education, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Ft. Worth Chapter Education Award, the UMOJA Award for Outstanding Community Service (Quebec), the Human Rights and Race Relations Centre Gold Medal Award (Ontario), the Hispanic Canadian Alliance of Ontario Appreciation Award, the Toronto Basketball Association Award of Excellence,x` and the Canadian Samaritans for Africa Award.
Naseem Mithoowani is a passionate advocate of refugee and newcomer rights. She graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2007, and has been practicing law exclu- sively in the areas of immigration, refugee and human rights with Waldman & Associates since 2010. In this role, Naseem has defended the rights of women to wear religious coverings at citizen- ship oath ceremonies, and the rights of Muslim men held under draconian security certificate re- gimes. Naseem is a 2018 DiverseCity Fellow and is currently involved in pilot project to create a le- gal clinic focusing on the needs of Muslim-Canadians in the GTA.
Ainsworth is a dynamic trade unionist who is currently serving a three-year term as Vice President at the Canadian Labour Congress Representing Workers of Colour. He is passionate about defending workers’ rights and the promotion of fairness and equity. Ainsworth is a strong advocate of making the labour movement more inclusive and diverse. His vision is to see more workers of colour and those from marginalized and disenfranchised communities attain more leadership roles. He is a leader and an activist on many fronts, such as being on the Toronto and York Region Labour Council Executive board and Co-chair of the Equity Committee. Ainsworth continues to educate and raise awareness on issues of human rights and equity to improve our workplaces, the labour movement, and our society. He is an emerging political activist having actively campaigned for the NDP during the 2014 and 2018 provincial elections and the federal election in 2019. Ainsworth is a Social Justice Capacity Builder at SEIU Healthcare—one of Canada’s largest Healthcare unions. In this role, he is responsible for designing programs and campaigns that advance social justice for all equity seeking groups. A focus is on racial and economic justice, which include strategies to close the wealth gap.
Jared A. Walker is an organizer, activist, writer and communications professional, presently working as Principal Speechwriter and Media Relations Coordinator for the Leader and Caucus of Ontario’s Official Opposition NDP. Prior to this, he was Speechwriter to the Leader, Parliamentary Leader and Caucus of Canada’s NDP. He also served as Communications Director on Jagmeet Singh’s historic NDP leadership campaign.
Jared has worked on national and regional campaigns – both partisan and issue-based – in the US and Canada, including most notably serving as the New York State Coordinator of Students for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election.
He has also worked in communications, fundraising, and community development for a variety of nonprofits and charities in the Greater Toronto and New York areas.
As a speaker, Jared has engaged audiences around the world on a wide range of issues including youth mobilization, community building, racial justice and engaging men to end gender-based violence.
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