Adaoma completed her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Windsor and has more than twenty-five years progressive experience in the not-for-profit and public sectors. She is currently Manager – Poverty Reduction and Community Engagement in the Human Services Department at the Region of Peel, responsible for leading the implementation of a multi-year poverty reduction strategy and supporting initiatives that increase community safety and well-being for residents in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon. Her work involves creating awareness among residents and local politicians about poverty in Peel, advocating to various levels of government for investments, influencing policy and program changes to social services initiatives, and, working with the community to implement actions related to social inclusion, affordable transit, food& income security and economic opportunities.
Since 2016, Adaoma has been President of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA), a 58 year-old organization serving the Jamaican, Caribbean and African-Canadian communities in the Greater Toronto Area. As part of her current mandate, she is focused on increasing the involvement of youth and young adults in all aspects of the organization, building new partnerships, and ensuring the sustainability of the organization and JCA Centre, located in North York.
Ahdri Zhina Mandiela is an award-winning poet and theatre artist, well-known for her innovative theatre practice in Canada. Since the late 70’s she has worked as a
performance poet with readings, lectures and workshops around the world. As
dramaturg or director of countless play scripts, performance pieces, mainstage and
touring productions, and especially as the founder/artistic director of a current
performing arts, she has profoundly influenced and nurtured new and seasoned
artists; particularly young women artists.
Mandiela introduced the ever-evolving dub theatre form with her seminal performance work: dark diaspora… in dub, b current’s inaugural production in 1991. During her tenure as artistic director (up to 2013), she established the prestigious Aiz’n the sun training program (1999), and the much buzzed rock.paper.sistahz festival (2002). Both projects have since spawned and nurtured at least two new generations of artists of colour in Toronto, and paved the way for a lot of the non-traditional forms many Canadian artists now use in creating theatre plays.
Aisha is a seasoned professional with twenty-five years of diverse leadership and business experience across the pharmaceutical, marketing, community and non-profit sectors. Called upon as a thought-leader, creative visionary and prolific speaker, Aisha has a gift of connecting narratives, experiences and ideas seamlessly with structure and strategy to energize, motivate and inspire purpose-driven action and achievement.
Aisha is the founder and executive director of Project: Restore FIBI (Families Impacted by Incarceration), a charity that has created a safe and supportive space for families to heal, grow and thrive after being disrupted by a family member’s involvement with the criminal legal system.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Adv.) in global political economy. She completed a thesis entitled “To What Extent Does Resilience Theory Influence our Understanding of the Mental Health Outcomes of Refugee Youth Coming to Canada”, which explored the mental health experiences of young Syrians refugees resettled across the country. Additionally, she studied Australian politics and socio-legal studies at the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.
Akosua is a policy and program analyst with the Government of Manitoba in the department of municipal relations
Angela Simmonds is the daughter of the late Junior Sparks and Joanne. She is from Cherry Brook, Nova Scotia and resides in North Preston.
Angela is a graduate of Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. She is the Managing Lawyer of the Equity & Access Office at the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, where she is responsible for managing initiatives that promote cultural competence, equity, diversity and inclusion addressing access to justice.
Angela has been able to use her legal knowledge, community background and grass roots approach to address racial inequities; anti-black racism, gender and socio-economic inequities; discriminatory policies and practices within this province. Angela travelled to the United Nations, and presented recommendations about justice, housing, land title, education and recognition for African Nova Scotian people and communities. For
Having the opportunity to meet and collaborate with young change-makers from around the world, inspired her to create tangible change back home in Canada. Drawing from her own experiences, Apefa continued to speak out about the barriers and micro-aggressions she faced as a young Black woman, collaborating with businesses and local organizations to create programming and advise on policy to support women and youth. Using her experiences at the U.N. as a ‘spring point’, she committed her focus to advocacy, gaining the opportunities to collaborate with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the British Council, the University of Waterloo, Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre, WE DAY and many other organizations to create opportunities and build the capacity of young Canadians, while completing her undergraduate education at the University of Toronto.
Beth earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree (English Literature/Family Science) and her Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of British Columbia. She earned a Master’s in Educational Practice and Research (Advanced Curricular Studies) from Simon Fraser University. Through Teacher Inquiry, Beth researched the effects of applying Anti-Racist pedagogy in public schools.
Beth taught in the Burnaby School District for 14 years. In 2001, she left teaching to start her own business. She opened the Panorama Learning Centre which she ran for two years before successfully selling her tutoring store front. She returned to public education and became an English Department Head. Beth worked on Literacy projects, such as helping to develop a Reading Recovery program for adolescents. In 2007, Beth created the first Black Student Committee (Public School) in Western Canada.
For over 25 years Bev worked tirelessly as a Social Services Worker at the City of Toronto where she organized job fairs, community and social events, assisted people in need by preparing them for the job market, with resumes and interview techniques. She also conducted workshops to motivate and encourage youths to be the best they can be.
Always a strong advocate for youth and seniors, she still continues to volunteer in the community with the YMCA and Malvern Family Resource Centre, where she teaches exercises and is an active member of the Senior Advisory Committee. She also teaches English as A Second Language to Newcomers and is resourceful in providing information as part of her broader effort to make their transition to Canada less stressful. Bev is passionate and resourceful and is well known and respected in her Scarborough Community of Malvern.
Beverley Rodrigues, CTDP, MSc. Learning and Development, Research and Resource Mobilization Consultant, was born in Essequibo, Guyana, South America. She is the Founder and President of Bevor Consulting and Training Services. A business she established in 2009, combining over 30 years of expertise in training and consulting in community, international development, agriculture and trade facilitation.
Beverley researches international trade and delivers projects in strategic planning, resource mobilization, program development and economic planning. Over the past five years, she designed and facilitated training for civil society leaders and business owners in Canada, Latin America and Africa (Ghana, Eswatini and Madagascar).
An advocate for continuous learning – Beverley is currently pursuing a Master of Education (MEd) at Ontario Tech University. She holds a Master of Science Degree (MSc) in Agriculture Economics from Hugo Kollataj University in Cracow, Poland (1991); a Diploma in Agriculture from Guyana School of Agriculture and a Certificate in Adult Education and Training from Seneca College, Canada and postgraduate accreditations in International Development from Open University, UK. Since 2012 she has been accredited Certified Training and Development Professional (CTDP) by the Institute for Performance and Learning, Canada.
Brenda Elizabeth Williams was born and raised in Freetown Sierra Leone, West Africa, by parents Isaac and Georgiana Jones. She migrated with her family to Canada in 2008 as a qualified with a Permanent Resident status. She is a mother of two beautiful children, Christel and Joshua who mean the world to her.
She is the Founder and Executive Director of New Life Project Incorporation, a Non-Profit Organization, registered in Canada, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, and the USA with the goal of inspiring, educating, and empowering women and children through effective support systems such as empowerment forums, workshops, education and relief programs.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in French and International Relations from the University of Sierra Leone Fourth Bay College Freetown, and a BA in Translation, from the University of Quebec in Montreal Canada. Brenda equally hold Diplomas in Administration and Business Management from the British College of Professional and Cambridge International College respectively.