Emma Asiedu-Akrofi is committed to community development. Graduating with a degree in Political Science & Sociology from the University of Toronto, Emma’s professional experience includes project management, risk and insurance, governance, budget management, program development & evaluation, and strategic planning.
As the Executive Director of the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment (April 2016 – present), Emma has been dedicated to supporting young women in South Etobicoke and the Greater Toronto Area. Working from within an anti-oppressive, inclusive framework – Emma’s career path has given body to a resume that reflects a deep commitment to celebrating gender equality, empowerment of self-identified females, and youth-based programming.
Outside of work Emma enjoys travelling to learn about different cultures and communities.
Rachel Reesor is a driven and determined person when it comes to social justice and empowering youth. Rachel graduated from Nipissing University with a Bachelor of Arts and Education before moving to the Northwest Territories to teach for four years. Within these four years Rachel’s passion became focused on Indigenous justice, empowering youth and providing youth with the opportunity to excel in life. After this experience Rachel moved to Toronto to obtain her Masters in Immigration and Settlement studies. Afterwards, she became a Life Skills worker at a homeless shelter before receiving this job. Outside of work, Rachel loves to explore the outdoors and go hiking and camping. Rachel is excited to be a part of a dynamic and driven team at the Jean Augustine Centre for Young Women’s Empowerment.
Hon. Jean Augustine
Jean is the first African-Canadian woman elected to the House of Commons. She was elected in the riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore in 1993 and sat in Parliament until 2006. She served as the Fairness Commissioner for the Government of Ontario advocating for Canadians with foreign credentials from 2007-2015. Dr. Augustine led the motion that allowed for the placement of the Famous Five statue on Parliament Hill and the motion that created Black History Month in Canada. She has received honorary Doctor of Law degrees from six universities and has been recognized by having the Jean Augustine Girls’ Leadership Academy, Jean Augustine Secondary School and the Jean Augustine Chair in Education at York University.
Marsha is a social justice advocate, philanthropist, and client service practitioner who has over 20 years of experience with case management and developing programs for marginalized youth and adults. She has worked for YWCA Toronto, YWCA Shelter Services and Toronto Community Housing. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor’s in Social Work.
Joan is a retired principal in the Toronto Catholic District School Board. She is currently principal at Madonna Catholic Secondary, an all-girls secondary school located in Downsview. Joan has also been an administrator in North York, Etobicoke, Rexdale and Scarborough. She has her Master’s in Education from York University and has been an educator for over 32 years.
Karen is a retired educator, and is an avid community builder. She received her teaching certificate for Ontario in Technological Education from the University of Toronto after a 12 year career as a cabinetmaker. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education in the USA, while her other certificates from U of T, Humber College and George Brown College indicate an ongoing quest for knowledge. She has worked as an educator in China and Africa. She is also a member of the Board of Directors at Urban Arts, Rexdale.
Elizabeth is a retired professional with a background in Human Resources and Corporate Management. She is an accredited member of the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) and worked for a national food company as a Director of Human Resources. She graduated from the Personnel & Industrial Certificate Program at the University of Toronto-Woodsworth College.
Linda is a former international runway model, actress, and commercial spokesperson. She wrote, produced, and directed a documentary entitled The Making of a Judge, highlighting the story of her father, the Honourable George E. Carter, who was the first judge of African descent in Canada.
Delta is passionate about women and girls empowerment. She is an active community member with a strong background in social services. Her professional experience within the community and residential settings have focused on the governance, development, and evaluation of programs geared towards children and youth. Currently, Delta works as a Case Lead at For Youth Initiative, providing wrap-around support services for youth. Delta continually promotes equity and anti-oppression for women and female youth within her community.
Mary is an educator who has provided visionary leadership to create inclusive learning environments in Toronto and abroad. She has developed key partnerships with social services, mental health agencies, and shelters to enhance services for diverse students and families dealing with crisis, domestic violence, abuse, and newcomer experiences. She has facilitated professional development for teachers and staff locally and internationally. Currently, she is an instructor for graduate students within the Johns Hopkins University’s faculty of education.