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Champions

The Positive Spaces Regional Champions are a diverse team of carefully selected, well-qualified, enthusiastic, and dedicated volunteers from all seven regions across Ontario.

The Champions contribute their time, energy, and local expertise and connections to reach out, build networks, and coordinate events in support of LGBTQ+ newcomers and service providers in their home regions. The Champions are responsible for:

  • Performing outreach and referrals within their region. This includes promoting the OCASI Positive Spaces Initiative and its tools, resources, and training opportunities to local and regional immigrant- and refugee-serving agencies.
  • Maintaining lists of community resources for LGBTQ+ newcomers and service providers within the region.
  • Coordinating regional events to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ newcomers, and to bring people together for greater resource-sharing and collaboration.
  • Stay tuned to the Events section of the Forum and join the PSI Mailing List to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your region!
  • Establishing informal networks within the specific regions. This may include coordinating online and offline meetings, mobilizing LGBTQ+ and newcomer communities at the local level, encouraging volunteerism, and stimulating community interest and engagement.

If you would like to get involved in your regional Positive Space network, please contact PSI Project Coordinator Alexandre Inkingi (ainkingi@ocasi.org) and she can put you in touch with Champions near you!

Your Champions Team

El Hannaoui
Majda
Toronto

J’ai grandis dans la ville de Casablanca au Maroc et j’ai fais des études en marketing dans une école de commerce. J’ai commencé ma vie professionnelle dans la vente avant de passer au marketing. J’ai travaillé dans différents secteurs d’activité, mais là où j’ai passé le plus d’années d’expérience est le domaine médical. Ma passion c’est la lecture les voyages pour se détendre et découvrir d’autres cultures. Je suis une personne toujours à l’écoute d’autrui et prête à apporter mon aide en cas de besoin.

Berry
Georgelie
West

Georgelie Berry est gestionnaire, originaire d'Haïti. Étudiante au programme relais en Leadership et Management au Collège Boréal de Windsor et Championne bénévole à l’initiative des espaces positifs de l’OCASI. Elle possède d’excellentes compétences en marketing et ventes. Elle est reconnue pour son sens de créativité, leadership, et son engagement à lutter contre le harcèlement et la discrimination fondés sur les caractéristiques personnelles en particulier sur l’identité et l’expression de genre. Elle s’est toujours engagée de travailler de façon harmonieuse et productive avec différents collaborateurs pour développer de nouvelles façons de faire, des concepts inédits ou des projets communs sous diverses formes.

Ghent
Cameron
North

Cameron Ghent (pronouns: they/them) is a queer, trans, settler currently residing in the traditional territory of the Nipissing First Nation (North Bay, ON). They hold a Bachelor's degree in Social Justice and Philosophy. Cameron has developed and facilitated workshops and educational content regarding the needs and experiences of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, gender-based violence and sexual violence.

Abdallah
Nona
West

Nona Abdallah is an Arab, Muslim, transgender woman, and a Queer and Trans rights activist. She was born in Canada after her parents arrived in the 1990s as refugees escaping the Lebanese Civil War. She studied Mathematics at the University of Windsor, and is currently studying Child and Youth Care at St. Clair College in Windsor. After a long struggle facing the backlash of publicly coming out, her focus as an activist and organizer is on others facing the same problems of balancing queer and racialized identities, and the material struggles they face in poverty, public housing, and abusive situations. She volunteers supporting refugees and immigrants and founded a peer support group in Windsor called ‘NAFS.' This group is intended for people who are from the Arab, Middle Eastern, North African, and Muslim communities in Windsor who also identify as queer and trans. In the past, she has given presentations on the struggles with faith and sexuality, and about the intersectionality of being an Arab who identifies as transgender. She also has been an activist for many years supporting Palestinian human rights, and is currently involved in urban and community farming.

Sequeira
Ki
Toronto

Ki Sequeira is a Latinx, non-binary, queer advocate, having immigrated to Canada in the early 90s due to political and civil warfare. They have a diploma in Child and Youth Work and are currently employed at West Neighbourhood House as a Youth Newcomer Settlement Worker, as well as at YMCA Sprott House, a 2SLGBTQ+ transitional housing program for youth in Canada. Ki’s educational journey took them to the West Coast to pursue a degree in Child and Youth Care, and ultimately came back with a better understanding of navigating systems and institutions of power and how to better create spaces for intersecting identities for marginalized and vulnerable communities. Ki comes with a diverse experience of over twelve years in the social justice sector working with newcomers, youth at risk, early childhood, individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities, case management, residence, schools, violence intervention programs, community building, advocacy, wrap-around supports, and has facilitated professional development workshops around gender and sexuality, anti-homophobia, anti-transphobia, anti-racism, harm reduction, and how to be an effective ally versus performative allyship. An over-thinker by nature, Ki consistently and continuously works on how to better improve services to newcomers, particularly working with LGBTQ+ newcomer youth and their intersecting identities.

LeFrank
Charlotte
West

Charlotte LeFrank is a Canadian-born performing artist, activist and educator with a long time passion for social justice. As Artistic Director of Windsor Feminist Theatre, she provided a forum for women to explore issues that impacted them both locally and globally. She also helped to build a theatre in the Downtown Mission to help provide income to the mission and affordable space for local artists. Charlotte is a provincial facilitator (and continual learner) in the areas of Anti-Oppression, Gender & Sexual Diversity and Equity. She was appointed to the City of Windsor Committee of Council for Diversity, and held the position of chair in her final year. She was also honoured to receive the YMCA Canada Peace Medal for her work in violence prevention. Charlotte has the pleasure to work with many diverse and intersectional communities in her current role as a Diversity specialist in the child welfare sector. As a performer, director and mentor, Charlotte maintains her passion for the arts as a powerful tool for social change and empowerment. She is also an avid music lover and self-described nature nerd.

Lynes
Josh
South

Josh comes from a multi-cultural background with Caribbean and European roots. He is an outreach and engagement leader and community activist who has had the privilege of working with people at all levels of society. Josh has the diversity of experience, knowledge, and determination not only to his lived experiences, academic progression, and work history but also to his volunteer experience with the Niagara Folk Art Multicultural Centre and the Out Of the Cold- Start Me up Niagara. His professional background is in case-management, immigration policies, and legislation. These collaborations have led him to several volunteer opportunities and community leadership roles. He is a Community and Justice Services student at Niagara College with an aspiration for traveling and understanding different cultures of the world.

Abdumajidhu
Semakula
Central East

Majid has over 3 years of experience in web development and machine learning research. He has achieved a Bachelor of Information Technology and is a certified .NET developer at Humber College. Semakula has a solid foundation in machine learning classification algorithms and artificial neural networks. He has worked with LGBTQ+ organizations in Uganda, primarily as a developer, as well as events coordination for 3+ years. He has presented several Machine Learning and Deep Learning scientific research papers at top tech conferences including NeurIPS. He currently lives in Toronto.

Badua
Denice
Central West

Denice Badua is a lesbian first-generation Filipinx settler born in the Middle East who has more than ten years of experience as a Program and Events Coordinator, Youth Facilitator, and Music Director. She has developed, managed, facilitated, and evaluated several local, regional, national, and international youth leadership initiatives. Growing up in a predominantly white suburban town in the Halton Region and a conservative Catholic upbringing has made her familiar with the need for support for LGBTQIA+ newcomers, immigrants, and refugees in her region. Primarily an artist, entertainer, music producer, and audio engineer within the LGBTQIA+ community, she is now extending her reach as an OCASI Positive Spaces Champion to support her fellow LGBTQIA+ folk with her skills and lived experiences as a lesbian immigrant in Canada.

Godet
Felcia
Central West

Felcia Godet is originally from the Bahamas and has been in Canada now for just a year, having fled the Bahamas with her two children, where she was unable to live her life and love who she wanted to love. While there, she lived in fear and shame of her sexual orientation. She has always been driven to speak the truth and to stand up for justice for people who are unable to stand up for themselves. She is currently pursuing her passion for Astrology at the Rasa School Of Astrology located in Etobicoke, Ontario. She feels as though she is a lifelong learner, on a venture to better understand the ways in which to help people like herself, newcomers to Canada, which she feels starts with them understanding themselves better. She is confident that this is where her life purpose lies, helping people fall in love with themselves so that they are capable of loving others, and being of service to their fellow humans.

Ahmed
Shawn
Toronto

Shawn’s non-profit career began in Bangladesh over ten years ago. At a time when international charities almost always portrayed Black and Brown aid beneficiaries as objects of pity (perpetuating the white saviour narrative), Shawn leveraged social media to let communities speak for themselves. His efforts helped to raise millions of dollars for community-led projects. Over the past decade, Shawn has worked with organizations such as Save the Children, YMCA, and the Red Cross. His work has been recognized and honoured by organizations such as The World Economic Forum and The Webby Awards. As a queer Muslim with non-visible disabilities, Shawn is a strong advocate for leveraging technology to make non-profits more accessible. This includes encouraging non-profits to use proper closed captioning in videos, alt-text/descriptive text in images, use of inclusive and gender-neutral language in automated forms and text scripts, and accessible web and graphic design.

Wasswa
Paul
Toronto

Paul is an experienced Administrative and Communications professional with a combination of skills in business administration, program management, and community engagement, developed through enthusiasm and dedication to supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Originally from Uganda, where he established and coordinated development and community projects in collaboration with several agencies and international non-profits, as well as serving a number of roles in various churches there, he worked with refugees, homeless communities, and other minorities. Paul relocated to Canada in the 2000s, and in 2015, Paul moved to Toronto where he has been involved with various Newcomer Resettlement programs and services, including the City of Toronto’s TYPE Program for Newcomer Youth. Paul loves music, dance, and drama, as well as creative writing and photography. He has performed live music at various community events around Toronto, as well as has been involved in various other community engagement projects. He holds a University degree in Business Administration Marketing, a University Diploma in Management, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Projects Management, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Community Development, as well as a Certificate as an Office Professional. Paul lives by the motto, “invest in people’s hearts”.

Jilitovich
Joseph
West

Joseph Jilitovich is currently employed as a Settlement Counsellor with the Orientation Services for Newcomers team at the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre (LCCLC). He immigrated to Canada in 1994. At that time, he commenced his employment in the settlement sector with LCCLC on a part-time basis and later advanced to a full-time position in 2002. His position enables him to advocate and provide information/orientation pertaining to issues concerning newcomer settlement. He also delivers anti-homophobia trainings within the newcomer population and ESL/LINC schools as well as provides LGBTQ+ awareness training in collaboration with other agencies who serve newcomers. He has accomplished many things since emigrating to Canada. Some accomplishments include sitting on two Advisory Committees for both the Positive Spaces Initiative and Accessibility programs (both run by the Ontario Council of Agency Serving Immigrants, OCASI). During the round table events focusing on LGBTQ+ Refugee issues, he took part in the Envisioning Global LGBTQ+ Human Rights project. Lastly, he was nominated for the ‘I Am London’ social media campaign in 2013 as a result of his inspiring story of arrival and settlement.

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