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Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee is a team of knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers who provide advice, support, and strategic direction to the Positive Spaces Initiative.

We seek representation on the Committee from all seven OCASI regions, including from OCASI member agencies, LGBTQ+ serving agencies, ethno-specific agencies, Francophone-serving agencies, youth-serving agencies, and LGBTQ+ newcomers themselves. Advisory Committee members are actively involved in:

  • Identifying welcoming, positive spaces for LGBTQ+ newcomers in Ontario
  • Providing strategic directions for enhancement and delivery of training
  • Feedback on the development of training tools
  • Developing opportunities for dialogue across sectors on service delivery models
  • Communications (consultation, dissemination, marketing and promotion)
  • Sharing information on the immigrant and refugee serving sector in Ontario, including good and best practices, policies, and documents
  • Serving as contact persons in their local regions, and providing support in the development of regional networks
  • Contributing to the assessment and evaluation of the Positive Spaces Initiative on an ongoing basis.

The Advisors of the Committee

Individual & Family Therapist, Educator, Consultant
Network for Therapeutic Alliances

Deborah is the Principal Associate of Network for Therapeutic Alliances, an individual and family therapist, trainer/educator, organizational consultant and community activist. She specializes in working with and teaching about the intersectionality of client issues in areas such as sexualized trauma, abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual/gender identity, family re-unification/settlement, and workplace trauma. She provides training/consultation in mental health, conflict, inclusion and organizational change. Deborah has a deep commitment to equity and using cross cultural practices to create safer spaces for people of different identities, backgrounds and experiences. Deborah is a founding member of PSI.

Public Educator, Mental Health Promotions
Canadian Mental Health Association - Toronto Branch

Laura Guerrero is a freelance journalist and media producer. Currently, Laura is the Public Educator with the Mental Health Promotion Program at CMHA Toronto, where she works as a Curriculum Developer and Public Educator. Laura is an LBGTQ activist and has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity.

Supervisor, Community Connections
Griffin Centre

Tess Vo is the Supervisor of Griffin Centre’s reachOUT Program. During her 15 year career, she has worked in various LGBTQ and AIDS Service Organizations in Toronto and New York City and co-written a number of journal articles focusing on sexuality, HIV, settlement and community health, incorporating community-based approaches to research. Tess is also the producer, director and co-writer of Our Compass, a short documentary that was created in collaboration with LGBTQ youth labelled with intellectual disabilities.

Mental Health Counsellor for GLBTTQ Youth
Centretown Community Health Centre

Ernie Gibbs is the openly gay Mental Health Counsellor for GLBTTQ youth at Centretown Community Health Centre in Ottawa since 2001. Ernie brings passion about Equity and Inclusion to clinical activities, as well as organizational and system change. He has a keen interest in trans health and working with GLBTTQ newcomers from an ally perspective. Member of the PSI Advisory Committee since 2009.

Coordonnateur de projet

Carlos Idibouo vit au Canada depuis 2006 où il a occupé les postes d’Assistant de Recherche au Comité SIDA de Toronto(ACT), d’Agent de liaison au Collège Boréal, de Coordonnateur de projet à Francoqueer la seule organisation qui représente les communautés Gaie, Lesbienne, Bisexuelle et Transgenre francophones de l’Ontario. Après une propédeutique de Maîtrise en Psychologie Sociale et Communautaire à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Carlos a travaillé comme Coordonnateur/Formateur sur le programme ‘’Créer des écoles et des communautés plus sécuritaires pour les personnes LGBTQ’’ à Égale Canada.
Carlos Idibouo est également Président d’Action Positive VIH/SIDA, membre du Conseil d’Administration de Francoqueer, co-animateur du groupe de parole des nouveaux immigrants LGBTI et membre modérateur du Conseil Canadien pour le Réfugiés et les Immigrants.

Community Health Worker (LGBTQ+ Newcomer Initiatives)
Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services

Ranjith Kulatilake has been a PSI Advisory Committee Member since May 2010. He works as the Community Health Worker (LGBTQ+ Initiatives) at Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services, in Toronto, Ontario. Ranjith also volunteers as the Equity Coordinator of the Rainbow Health Network, Toronto.

Junior Consultant
Cathexis Consulting

See the Champions Team