OUR TEAM

EMMA
ASIEDU-AKROFI
Executive Director

CHANEL ROGERS
Marketing & Communications

HELENA
BANDAYREL
Office Administrator

OUR BOARD

HON. JEAN AUGUSTINE
President

     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 BROWN
Vice President

     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 TSCHERNOW
Treasurer

     Joan is a 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 LAWRENCE
Secretary

     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.

LISA ROGERS

     Lisa is a former model and is a guest consultant for Fashion and Image, Health and Wellness, and Interior Design on City TV’s Cityline. She is the Executive Vice-President of Design for Dunpar Development.  She has shared her expertise with Canadians through her appearances in Canadian Living TV, Image TV, Flare TV, and the Shopping Channel.

ELIZABETH PATON

     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 Nestle Canada as a Director of Human Resources. She graduated from the Personnel & Industrial Certificate Program at the University of Toronto-Woodsworth College.

LINDA CARTER

     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 SWEEN

     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 GROGAN

     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.

JULIEN DI CIANO

     Julien is a proud public servant of Etobicoke-Lakeshore. He sits on several boards including Franklin Horner Community Centre and the County Day School. He works in the construction and business development.