Equity Symposium 2019

Workshop Presenters

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A descendant of the Annishinabe (Salteaux) originally from Manitoba. Eileen is currently a PhD student at the University of Alberta specializing in Indigenous Peoples Education. She holds a MEd from the University of Calgary, and a BEd from the University of Calgary. In her 20-year career, she has worked in Treaty 6, 7, and 8 community schools in Alberta. Her passion has been to incorporate Indigenous epistemology into her teaching methods. Eileen continues to pursue her passion by mentoring new teachers to understand the importance of implementing First Nations curriculum into their programs. She is a strong advocate for elders, community members and parents. Eileen’s research interests focus on the establishment of professional development and information-sharing sessions for staff and education stakeholders, to include First Nations, Métis and Inuit perspectives in curriculum.

Assistant Professor

Department of Education, Mount Royal University

Eileen Clearsky

Ixchel Bennett--PHOTO--WORKSHOP A01 & B0

Ixchel Bennett is Nahua and Zapoteca ancestry, born in Tenochtitlán, México City. She is an Elementary school Teacher with the Toronto District School Board for over 14 years. Her passion as an educator has provided her with a vast wealth of experience in the areas of Special Education, English as a Second Language, and interweaving Indigenous education into the curriculum and schools. She is seconded to the Faculty of Education at York University where she teaches courses Indigenous issues, anti-oppressive and anti-racist work. Ixchel has also written curriculum for Read, Listen, Tell:  Indigenous Stories from Turtle Island, Nelson, and AQ courses. Ixchel has a Master of Education in Urban Aboriginal Education from York University. She explored ways of integrating Indigenous education for all into the classrooms, schools, community and at the board level.  For the past three years, she has been the co-chair for the Summer Insititute at York University that hosts a two-day conference to address current issues in education. She is now a York University Ph.D. student with the Indigenous Education, and her research focus is on Indigenous relationships of Turtle Island, knowledge sharing, and spirituality.

Course Director,

Faculty of Education, York University

Ixchel Bennett

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This thought-provoking workshop will be led by Terry Daly who is an Innovative & solution-focused Senior Human Resources Executive Consultant with extensive experience and a solid track record of achievements within government, public, not-for-profit, social services & telecommunications environments.  She is the founder of Terry Daly & Associates, a firm that values fairness, inclusivity and transparency.


As the former Director of HR for the Catholic Children's Aid Society of Toronto for many years, she was able to apply her energy and knowledge in leading innovative programs for the CCAS, a role which contributed to the organization being named for multiple awards including Canada's Best Diversity Employers for 3 consecutive years, Best Employers for 50 plus Canadians, Striving for Cultural Competence Award (CWLA), Progressive Employer of Canada and Top 100 Employers in Canada, Top GTA Employers and Top Family Friendly Employers for over a decade. She led major initiatives and change processes for developing a transformative Equity framework at CCAS.

CHRL, CHRP, Principal, Terry Daly & Associates

Terry Daly


Dr. June Ying Yee is Associate Professor Ryerson University, School of Social Work. June’s research focuses on anti-oppressive organizational change in the human services.

Dr. Gary C. Dumbrill is an Associate Professor at McMaster University School of Social Work. Gary’s research and teaching focus on anti-oppression in the child welfare sector.


June and Gary have worked extensively with human service agencies implementing anti-oppressive organizational change. They recently co-authored “Anti-Oppressive Social Work: Ways of Knowing, Talking and Doing,” by Oxford University Press, Canada (tinyurl.com/app-book-canada)

Ryerson University

Dr. June Yee

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Dr. Gary C. Dumbrill is an Associate Professor at McMaster University School of Social Work. Gary’s research and teaching focus on anti-oppression in the child welfare sector.


Dr. June Ying Yee is Associate Professor Ryerson University, School of Social Work. June’s research focuses on anti-oppressive organizational change in the human services.


June and Gary have worked extensively with human service agencies implementing anti-oppressive organizational change. They recently co-authored “Anti-Oppressive Social Work: Ways of Knowing, Talking and Doing,” by Oxford University Press, Canada (tinyurl.com/app-book-canada)

McMaster University, School of Social Work

Dr. Gary C. Dumbrill

Carl E. James holds the Jean Augustine Chair in Education, Community & Diaspora at York University, Toronto, where he is also the Affirmative Action, Equity & Inclusivity Officer. He teaches in the Faculty of Education and in the Graduate Programs in Sociology and Social and Political Thought. James’ research includes: examination of how race, ethnicity, gender, class and citizenship/immigrant status intersect and affect accessible and equitable opportunities and outcomes in education, employment and well-being for marginalized/racialized people.

Faculty of Education, York University

Dr. Carl James


Tamar Myers’s career spans 35 years in the public sector, including almost 20 years as a leader in equity, diversity and inclusion and human resources planning in education. Tamar has wide-ranging experience in program and policy creation and assessment, strategic planning, employee surveys and more. In her current role as Director, Research, Planning and Assessment in the Office of the Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion at Ryerson University, she oversees the employee and student Diversity Self-ID programs, including survey design; and collection, analysis and reporting data. The information produced is critical to inform decision making at the university, pinpoint issues, develop initiatives and monitor progress in advancing equity, diversity and inclusion. The diversity self-identification program at Ryerson University is recognized as leading practice in the MUSH sector – municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals - and Tamar is contacted regularly to consult.   

Director of Research, Planning and Assessment
Office of the Vice President, Equity and Community Inclusion, Ryerson University

Tamar Myers

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Nicole brings 15 years of experience in child welfare in Ontario, including senior leadership roles at the Peel Children’s Aid Society and the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. Most recently, she spent two years as Director of Diversity, Equity and Community Development at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto where she supported the strategic implementation, alignment, and integration of equity frameworks in all areas of the organization. Nicole’s other involvement in the sector includes (Acting) Executive Director of the Peel Children’s Aid Foundation, Co-Chair of the OACAS Equity Council, Member of the OACAS Human Resource Committee, and Reviewer of the Provincial Curriculum for Equity Training. A published researcher on Anti-Black racism in child welfare, she has also been a consultant/trainer to several Ontario School Boards and has taught at post-secondary institutions in Canada and abroad. 

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Social Work and a Master of Social Work, along with a Human Services Counsellor Diploma (Major in Mental Health). She has been honoured with numerous awards and accolades, including a 2018 global Women Worth Watching® award from Profiles in Diversity Journal for her innovative leadership and work at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.



Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS))

Nicole Bonnie

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Lorraine Gale (she/her pronouns) MSW, has developed the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto’s capacity to provide affirming and equitable services for gender and sexually diverse children, youth and families for over 20 years, through education, consultation, policy and celebration. She is also currently leading a provincial child welfare project to increase inclusive, responsive and equitable service delivery for LGBT2SQ children, youth and families across Ontario.


Lorraine authored CAS-Toronto’s Out and Proud Affirmation Guidelines: Practice Guidelines for Equity in Gender and Sexual Diversity, using a strength-based, anti-oppressive approach. She also designed and facilitated workshops for parents of LGBTQ youth through Skylark Children, Youth and Families (formerly Delisle Youth Services). Other published works available.

Out and Proud Program

Children's Aid Society of Toronto

Lorraine Gale

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Charlotte is a performing artist and educator originally from St. Thomas, Ontario. She came to Windsor and fell in love with the diverse, vibrant community which she now calls home.


In her early career, Charlotte facilitated arts-based empowerment programs for youth in Windsor and Detroit, Michigan. As Artistic Director of Windsor Feminist Theatre, she provided a platform to explore issues which impacted women both locally and globally. Charlotte also helped to establish an accessible theatre venue inside the Downtown Mission. As a public educator, Charlotte presented to over 100,000 children on the sensitive subjects of personal safety and child sexual abuse.


In her current Diversity Outreach role at the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, Charlotte works to promote equitable outcomes for families through organizational change and community capacity building.

Diversity Outreach Coordinator

Windsor-Essex Children's Aid Society)

Charlotte LeFrank

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André Fontaine (he/him/his pronouns) is originally from Saskatchewan area and has moved to the Ottawa area since 1992.  André has fostered pre-teens and teenagers for 11 years and has adopted his son at age 16 years old.  Due to his life experience, advocacy, and work in the adoption field, in 2011, he received the North American Council on Adoptable Children - Adoption Activist Award. He is currently working at The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa as a project management coordinator, overseeing equity initiatives. He is a facilitator with the OACAS’s Out and Proud, Anti-Oppression Practice, and Equity in the Child Welfare Sector as well as a provincial CIECYR facilitator of the Courageous Leadership Equity Training curriculums. André received degrees at Saint Paul’s University in Theology and Missiology, and University of Windsor in Social Work.  André has over 25 years of experience working in the community development and social services field.  André has worked overseas as well as here in Canada with children, youth, families and seniors.

Project Management Coordinator,

The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa

Andre Fontaine

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Kristin Roe is the Manager of Equity, Inclusion and Community Development at the Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton where she oversees initiatives and practice around anti-oppression, equity and work in the Hamilton community. She is a facilitator with OACAS’s AOP and Equity curriculums.


Kristin has earned graduate degrees in Adult Education and Social Work however it is the

through the lessons taught to her within grassroots social justice movements that has been the most profound in her knowledge and understanding of inequities in systems and structures.


Kristin navigates the world through much privilege but also through the lived experience of Bipolar disorder. She is committed to sharing her lens of anti-stigma towards mental illness and in her commitment as an ally with marginalized identities.

Manager of Equity, Inclusion and Community Development

Hamilton CAS

Kristin Roe

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Aseefa is the Executive Director of Across Boundaries:  An Ethnoracial Mental Health Centre, a unique organization that provides mental health and addictions services for racialized communities in Toronto.  These services are centered in equitable, holistic, anti-racism/anti-oppression and resisting Anti-Black racism frameworks. 


Aseefa has been working in the field of mental health for over 16 years.  Her experiences and interests are in programming for adults, youth, and families, whose lives intersect with various systems (criminal justice, homelessness, immigration, etc) and is committed to systemic change through advocacy. 


Aseefa has served on various boards and committees, local and provincial, including Connex Ontario, Cannabis and Mental Health Expert Advisory Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and member of the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council of the Ministry of Health.


Aseefa enjoys volunteering as a mediator for workplace and individual conflicts and has recently completed her MA at University of Guelph in Leadership and Management.

Executive Director

Across Boundaries an Ethno-Racial Mental Health

Aseefa Sarang

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"Sookie has gotten really comfortable being large and in-charge (of a room) over the course of more than fifteen years as an educator. Sookie is an OCT certified secondary school teacher and a graduate of Options for Sexual Health B.C.’s Sexual Health Educator Certification program. She holds undergraduate degrees in Studio Art, Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, English and Education, and a master’s degree in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory. She is passionate about collaborating with others to unpack and unlearn together so we can all feel comfortable and affirmed in the wholeness of the wonderful people that we all are!"


Shame free Sex and Relational Health Education

Sookie Bardwell


Savitri Persaud is a PhD candidate in the graduate program of Social and Political Thought at York University. Her SSHRC-funded research and dissertation examines discourses of mental health & madness; disablement; and violence in Guyana, the Caribbean, and its diasporas. Specifically, Savitri’s work analyzes how mental distress is read and understood, and the competing and complimentary discourses, aetiologies, and diverse practices employed by Caribbean communities to address and ease distress. Her research was featured in The Guardian and in Al Jazeera’s The Stream. Savitri has worked with disabled communities in Toronto and women’s groups in Guyana for over ten years, and firmly believes that theory, policy, and practice must intersect to foster dynamic and relational understandings of our world.

Ph.D. Candidate

Social and Political Thought, York University

Savitri Persaud

Jeewan Chanicka is the Superintendent Equity, Anti-Racism & Anti-Oppression at Toronto District School Board. His work is focused on embedding an anti-oppressive approach through structures that impact student achievement and well-being. As an instructional leader in schools, he has worked to develop culturally responsive social justice inquiry for classrooms and schools. He has also spent much of his career working with students identified as being "at risk" and re-engaging them in schooling. He has consulted with the United Nations University of Peace, and was a Torchbearer for the 2015 PanAm games. He has been a speaker across North America and Europe as well as a community organizer and activist over the past 20 years.


 Jeewan is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee award for his work in Education and Community Service and most recently in Nov 2017 the Mary Samuels Educational Leadership Award. Jeewan also currently serves on the Community Advisory Group for the Ontario Human Rights Commission and sits at the Anti-Racism Directorate's Provincial Roundtable on Islamophobia. 

Superintendent Equity, Anti-Racism & Anti-Oppression


Jeewan Chanicka

A self-described life-long learner, Mohamed Hamid is a Superintendent of Education with the Durham District School Board who is committed to Equity and Inclusion. He has spent the last 23 years creating innovative learning culture, and is currently most passionate about the work he is doing to support the diverse communities of Durham.
As an immigrant to Canada turned Educator, Mohamed has developed a unique perspective when it comes to education and marginalized communities. Influenced by ongoing conversations with Knowledge Keepers and Elders, his aspires to bring multiple ways of knowing into schools and classrooms.
While education is his primary job function by day, Mohamed also enjoys spending time with his family and finding mountains and waves to ride.

Superintendent of Education

Durham District School Board

Mohamed Hamid

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Camille Logan is a Superintendent of Education in the York Region District school board serving 19 schools (K-12). Prior to her appointment, Camille was a centrally assigned principal who led Inclusive School and Community Services and then transferred to Leadership Development. Her career has included secondments at a Faculty of Education and the Ministry. Camille is often called upon to provide expertise at a various levels of education to support the development of policies, guidelines and professional learning. Camille has also authored/contributed to the development of Ministry of Education resources (e.g. Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Monograph). In collaboration with professors at OISE she designed and delivered an innovative leadership program developed to mentor Indigenous and racialized aspiring leaders.

Camille has been recognized for her work across the province and has been invited to deliver professional learning internationally. Known for her expertise in education and longstanding involvement with community, Camille has been honored with community awards and most recently the Harmony Movement National Leadership in Education award.

Superintendent of Education


Camille Logan

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Maria Y.M. Yau is an educational researcher with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), and formerly Toronto Board of Education, for over 30 years.  Her research covers a wide range of educational issues related to equity and diversity.  One of her major portfolios is the TDSB’s Student and Parent Census, which she has helped pioneer to collect system-wide data on student demographics and well-being.  This periodic Student and Parent Census has played an instrumental role in advancing the school system’s equity agenda, and has indeed been recognized as a model for the province’s educational and health sectors in collecting identity-based data.

Educational Researcher

Toronto District School Board

Maria Yau

Robert S. Brown (Toronto District School Board) has worked in applied research for over thirty years, in media research, market research, and education research. After a master’s in Communication Studies at the University of Windsor, he completed his doctorate in education at the University of Toronto. A Past President of the Association of Educational Researchers of Ontario, he is a Research Co-ordinator in the Toronto Board of Education and Adjunct Professor at York University, in the Faculty of Education and in Critical Disability Studies. His areas of study include the time structures of schools, including absenteeism; secondary achievement; special education needs; postsecondary student pathways; longitudinal tracking studies; and socio-economic and demographic patterns. He has authored or co-authored works in a number of fields including education, psychology, sociology, and medicine.

Research Co-ordinator

Toronto District School Board

Rob Brown

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Jean Samuel has worked in the Diversity field for over 20 years, and in the child welfare sector since 2002. She is currently the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, where she works to develop equitable supports, programs, and services for children, youth and families.  She is a trained change management professional as well as a trained facilitator of anti-racism and anti-oppressive practice.  In 2018, Jean co-developed an Equity Training Curriculum for individuals working within the social services profession.


Jean is currently the Chair of the Equity of Outcomes Strategic Council for Child Welfare in Ontario, where she works with individuals across the sector to develop inclusive and equitable initiatives for all children and families. 


In her spare time, Jean works as a consultant for leaders in the education, healthcare, and legal systems, driving them to better understand their role in creating organizational change and in supporting the development of equitable and inclusive work environments. 


Jean is a graduate of the University of Toronto and was one of the first individuals in Canada to be designated as a Certified Canadian Inclusion Professional (CCIP™) by the Canadian Centre for Diversity & Inclusion.  Jean’s passion is social justice and she brings a unique perspective to understanding how unconscious and conscious biases contribute to the marginalization and oppression of individuals in society.

Director, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS)

Jean Samuel


Christian Hackbusch worked in a number of capacities within the child welfare sector for 28 years. He was a member of the group that founded the AO Roundtabe and was integrally involved in numerous AOAR initiatives. He taught within the Police Foundations and Victimology programs at Algonquin College and the Faculty of Social Work at Carleton University. Mr. Hackbusch has developed curriculum and facilitated training and development programs as a private consultant for many human service agencies within Canada for over two decades. He holds masters degrees in social work and theology from Wilfrid Laurier University

AO-AR/Equity Consultant


Christian Hackbusch

Kike Ojo is a speaker, facilitator, and strategist for social justice and systems change. She is the Principal Consultant for The Kojo Institute. The Kojo Institute is an Equity consultancy specializing in achieving equitable outcomes for public and private sector organizations through the frameworks of anti-racism, anti-Black racism, anti-oppression, and diversity & inclusion. Kike is responsible for leading One Vision One Voice, Changing the Child Welfare System for African Canadians; an Ontario-wide project funded by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, to address the over-representation of African Canadian children and families. Kike is also the Senior Facilitator for the provincial independent review of street checks (carding) conducted by Justice Michael Tulloch (the reviewer).


Kike’s work and volunteer efforts earned her the Lincoln M. Alexander Community Award for extraordinary leadership in eliminating racial discrimination in Ontario in 2000. As well, Kike is the recipient of the Black Community Action Network’s (Peel) award for Excellence in Service and recently Kike was named a 2018 recipient of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women award along with several other awards and recognitions. 


Kike’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in International Justice and Human Rights from McMaster University, a Master of Arts in Sociology and Equity Studies in Education from OISE/ University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education also from the University of Toronto.  Additionally, Kike is an alternative dispute resolution mediator, certified by the University of Windsor.


The Kojo Institute

Kike Ojo

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Sharon McLeod is a multifaceted professional with a longstanding clinical presence in the field of Addiction and Mental Health. As a Social Worker and full-time lecturer, she remains a keen and insightful observer of both the political and cultural milieu that necessarily inform and affect her work. Her training as a broadcast journalist, allows Ms. McLeod to bring informed perspectives to ongoing critical debates, issues and developments. Currently she serves as CEO of her own social entrepreneur venture, Walk Good Art House.


A native of Toronto, Sharon was born to immigrant parents of African-Caribbean ancestry. Raised in the Christian faith, she lives for the values of dignity, liberation and social justice. Her faith, devotion to spiritual health, recovery, diversity and inclusion has led to a serious examination of and a strong dedication to social issues. Devoted to traditions of Black-Intellectual thought and history, Ms. McLeod is an ambassador for persons living with complex intersections, concurrent substance use and mental illness, grief and loss, poverty and spirit injury who situates her theoretical understandings in Anti-Oppressive Practice. One who draws keenly from AOPs umbrella with strength from structural, Anti-Colonial, Anti-Native and Anti-Black racism, feminism and critical disability.


Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from University of Toronto, University College, 1993 and a Master of Social Work from Howard University, 1995.  Sharon is a self-described lifelong learner whose fascination for people keeps her watchful and reflective.


Sharon lives in York Region.


Ryerson University

Sharon McLeod

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Jennifer Clarke’s research interests are in the areas of:

  • Anti-racism and equity issues in schooling.

  • Institutional ethnographies of schooling with ethno-racial minorities, particularly Black youth and families.

  • Educational policies, including "zero tolerance" policies in schools.

  • Community organizing and resistance to racial profiling in schools.

  • Education reform.

  • Alternative models of education and community service learning in pre-service teacher education.

Clarke’s teaching includes social work theory and practice, anti-oppression and human diversity, and power, resistance and change.

Assistant Professor

Ryerson University

Jennifer Clarke

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I am an Algonquin mother, sister, daughter and aunt.  I am a helper, a social worker and a leader for Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services.  I was raised by a very strong Anishinabe Kwe, who was always proud to be Algonquin and taught me what she knew.  My mother is a very spiritual being; she taught me how everything is interconnected, about intergenerational trauma, about wellness and about healing.  Over the past 30 years I have been actively seeking and learning about how to be the best Anishinabe Kwe I can be.   Given my family history of trauma and resilience my passion has been to assist others in finding their way towards understanding and wellness.  In my current role as the Director of Service for Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child & Family Services, I strive to lead by example and work hard to be humble, accountable and trustworthy. My gifts to share are kindness, sharing and helping others find their peace. 

Director of Services

Dnaagdawenmag Binnoojiiyag Child and Family Services

Sally Rivers

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Since 2010 Alyx’s work has focussed on equity and inclusion across the country, with a strong focus on LGBTQI2S safer schools and communities. Their work as an equity facilitator leaves participants of all ages feeling empowered & educated to create safer and more inclusive communities for people from all walks of life.

Alyx’s work is rooted in their ever-evolving attempts to understand themselves in context and they recognize the many ways in which they benefit from systems of privilege operating around them. Understanding and leveraging this privilege, while teaching others to do the same, is a key element of their work in communities across the country, as well as in their life at home. 

As a genderqueer, multi-ethnic, and pansexual person they’re also compelled by their own experiences of invisibility, discrimination and marginalization to push the limits of normative social institutions. Alyx enjoys encouraging everyone to consider how they can make their community safer and more inclusive for each and every complex and dynamic individual. 

Alyx uses “they/them/their” pronouns, and asks others to use these pronouns in reference to them.

Equity & Inclusion Educator

Challenge Accepted Collective

Alyx Duffy

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Aasiyah Khan has an extensive community development and research background that is grounded in inclusion and anti-oppressive practice principles. She recently led a research project that captured the narratives of young Muslim women in the GTA; with a specific emphasis on Islamophobia and resilience. Aasiyah has a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Toronto and has a Master’s in Social Work (MSW). In her role as Education and Outreach Coordinator Aasiyah has led over 100 workshops around Diversity and Inclusion and continues to support school boards and organizations nationally.

Education and Outreach Coordinator

National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM)

Aasiyah Khan

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YouthSpeak was inspired by lived experience within Una’s own family. YouthSpeak has reached over 200,000 youth, parents, educators and other caring adults in its fifteen of providing services. Giving value and meaning to life’s challenges is a founding principal behind this work – it brings to light strengths that are often unseen and empowers people to create a new path for themselves.

Youth Speakers are passionate about sharing their stories in order to make a difference in the lives of other youth and the adults who play an important role in supporting them. They are trained in public speaking and facilitation skills to share their messages from a strength-based place, and in a way that is respectful, hopeful and inclusive to all.



Una Wright

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