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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

Garziz
Sinda
Youth Program Facilitator
Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO)

Sinda Garziz has a Bachelor in Psychology completed in 2012 from “L’institut de Sciences Humaine de Tunis” in Tunisia with a focus on education and child psychology, and a Bachelor in Conflict and Human right studies completed in 2016 from the University of Ottawa with the focus on immigrant and refugee rights.

Sinda Garziz is an African, Berber, Arab immigrant in Canada and a migrant justice activist. Born and raised in Tunisia, from 2011 till 2013 Sinda organized within different European and Tunisian grassroots groups. Notably, she’s worked with the transnational network Afrique-Europe Interact advocating against borders, visa regime and providing support for migrants and refugees in south Europe and North Africa, and for No One Is Illegal – The Berlin Chapter, and started organizing with a group of Sub-Saharan and west African refugees who fled the war in Libya, had been denied the refugee status and ended up undocumented in a refugee camp at the southern Tunisian Libyan borders.

Sinda worked with the initiative Watch the Mediterranean Sea advocating against the left to die policy in the Mediterranean Sea of migrants and the militarization of European borders. In 2013, Sinda moved to Canada, Ottawa as an economic migrant, to start her second degree and joined No One Is Illegal – the Ottawa Chapter and since then she has been involved in different committees and campaigns such as The End Immigration Network and The Sanctuary City Network. She is also part of Refugee Welcome – the Ottawa chapter.

Muratis
Kathy
Newcomer Group Facilitator for the Promise of Partnership Project
Carizon Family and Community Services

Kathy Muratis (she/her) has been working for Carizon Family and Community Services since 2016. She started as a Youth Navigator working out of the Community Services department and gradually shifted into the role of Newcomer Group Facilitator for the Promise of Partnership Project. Prior to working with Carizon, Kathy spent most of her career working in the social service sector gaining a deep understanding of the barriers that vulnerable populations face. The majority of her previous work has been frontline, working with folks to identify barriers, advocacy and community engagement using a harm reduction and strength based approach. She is especially passionate about social justice and empowerment of marginalized populations. What she loves most about her work are the wonderful folks that she gets to meet every day. Kathy is both honoured and humbled to share in their stories of resiliency and be a part of their settlement process. In her free time you can probably find her at the Kitchener Market on a Saturday morning, catching a flick at the Apollo, or strolling through Victoria Park.

Crosby
Joselynn
Coordinator, Intake and Needs Assessment
Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women

Joselynn Crosby is the Coordinator of the Intake and Needs Assessment programme at The Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate program in Women’s Studies, Social Justice, and Political Science. She is an activist and an advocate for race and gender equity. Her passion and commitment drives her to be a part of groups far and wide. She has worked on advocacy and equity within her community for the past 10+ years, having started off working with her local Pride community, and extending that reach to her Western Regional role as a Positive Spaces Initiative Champion and Advisory Committee Member. She has been on various committees as well as presented and facilitated at various forums. Some of these include; Accessibility Advisory Committee(4 years), PSI Advisory Committee(1 year), Transforming Justice Trans Legal project Advisory Committee(1 year), PSI Champion(4 years), moderated a table on Race at Equity, Inclusion and Racial Justice event for Colour of Poverty locally, facilitated online webinar on PSI training for Managers, ED’s and Board Members, facilitated Diversity Training: Immigrant & Refugees at Family Services Windsor, hosted Trans Legal Needs Assessment locally, and Co-presented of Anti-Oppression workshop for Ontario College Teachers.

Jilitovich
Joseph
Settlement Counsellor
London Cross Cultural Learner Centre

Mr. Joseph Jilitovich is currently employed as a Settlement Counsellor with the Orientation Services for Newcomers team at the London Cross Cultural Learner Centre. Mr. Jilitovich 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. Mr. Jilitovich’s 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. Mr. Jilitovich 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, Mr. Jilitovich took part in the Envisioning Global LGBTQ+ Human Rights project. Lastly, Mr. Jilitovich was nominated for the I Am London social media campaign in 2013 as a result of his inspiring story of his arrival and settlement in London, ON.

Thibeault
Miranda
Mental Health and Addictions Nurse (School Program)
North West Community Care Access Centre

Miranda is a registered nurse. Her areas of specialty are Mental Health & Addictions, Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence, and Cardiology. She is currently the Board Chair for Thunder Bay and area Victim Services, and is also a part of the Thunder Bay Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force. She enjosy playing team sports and hunting, and her favorite pass time is camping and fishing with her partner and their pug, as well as spending time with her family and friends.

Marin
Jason
Treasurer
Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women

Jason Marin (he/him) loves connecting people, animating ideas, and nourishing civic life. His mantra is to build the world that you want to live in. Born and raised in Costa Rica as a Jewish cisgender man, Jason moved to Toronto in 2004 to pursue his B.A. in Political Science and has subsequently worked in higher education, youth entrepreneurship and child welfare. His superpower is non-profit governance, and has served on the boards of Access Alliance, the Wellesley Institute and the Windsor Youth Centre. Jason is currently Treasurer of the Windsor Women Working with Immigrant Women, and lives in Windsor, Ontario.

Ghent
Candace
Positive Spaces Research Coordinator
North Bay & District Multicultural Centre

Candace Ghent is a queer, trans, settler who currently lives in the traditional territories of the Nipissing First Nation. Candace is a Social Justice major at Nipissing University and was the Director of the student led Equity Centre for two years. During their time at Nipissing University, Candace has worked to create positive and safer spaces for all students, through initiatives such as: the Inclusive Washroom Project, creating and facilitating anti-oppression workshops, and sexual and gender based violence prevention work as a peer educator.

Candace currently works as the Positive Spaces Research Coordinator at the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre as the lead on the new Positive Spaces Research Project; a community based research project aimed at determining what LGBTQ2S+ communities need to receive safe, inclusive, and meaningful services in North Bay.

Awwad
Mona
Setttlement and Refugee Support Worker
Afghan Women's Organization

Mona Awwad is a graduate of French Language and Literature. She has background experience in journalism and political research and is currently working as an Arabic speaking settlement and refugee support worker at the Afghan Women's Organization, as well as a Research Assistant at York University's Centre for Refugee Studies 

Ramore
Meg
Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Coordinator
North Bay & District Multicultural Centre
North

Meg Ramore is the Local Immigration Partnership (LIP) Coordinator for the North Bay region. Working closely with the North Bay & District Multicultural Centre Meg develops programming for newcomers and works with local employers, agencies, and schools to deliver social justice and anti-oppression workshops. Meg volunteers in the feminist and LGBTQ communities and structures her work through an inclusivity framework.

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