Executive Director's Message

A New Deal for the Immigrant and Refugee Serving Sector

January 2023 / Toronto

It is the fourth day of Kwanzaa as I sit down to write this first blog of the new year, three days before the first day of 2023. Kwanzaa is a Pan-African diasporic holiday celebration created in 1966 by African-American Maulana Ron Karenga. It celebrates history, community, family and culture. And the seven principles celebrated over seven days (December 26th to January 1st) are grounded in the Swahili language, one of the most commonly spoken African languages across the continent.


November 2022 / Toronto

There is disruption in the air. Disruption to the status quo, to the usual. This may turn out to be both good and bad.

My thought this past first weekend of the month as we hit mid-twenties temperatures- “even mother nature is in a disruptive mood.” This thought brought about by the freakishly warm weather mother nature has served up here in Ontario in November, signaling the direction our planet is headed, as we continue to tinker around the edges of climate change. Worrying even while we enjoy the warmish winds.

Autumn Reflections

October 2022 / Toronto

On the eve of the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation - Orange Shirt Day, I had an interesting exchange with a colleague. She shared that there was a critique emerging of organizations who did nothing but share lists of things to do for this second year of what I call ‘truth-telling’.

Moving The Needle

September 2022 / Toronto

Community organizations working with 2SLGBTIQ+ communities have been advocating for many years to be recognized in federal government priorities, plans and funding. Finally, the government of Canada has introduced a national plan with funding. But it falls short in many areas including the exclusion of im/migrant and refugee Queer folk. I've invited my colleagues from OCASI-PSI to share their thoughts in my blog.

Personal Reflections

August 2022 / Toronto - It is a sunny but cool morning as I sit to write this monthly blog in my messy backyard. There is a sense of peace as the cats lay about, lazily watching the squirrels go about their food gathering, all three of us listening to the wind softly rustling the leaves of the box elder maple tree overhead and the birds twittering as they call to each other flitting from tree to bush to tree.

Show Us the Money

Show Us the Money: Equitable Compensation in the Ontario Nonprofit Sector

July 2022 / Toronto - We are halfway through the year and the discussion at every sector meeting eventually turns to the worsening human resources situation in the non-profit sector and particularly in the immigrant and refugee serving sector, including women’s services. Organizations- non-profit and/or charities are having a hell of a time recruiting and retaining qualified staff in all areas of our agencies from admin to program; tech to finance. And within HR itself. 

Forward Ever

June 2022 / Toronto

I slept through it. TV on full blast at 3:00 am when I was awoken to hear CBC reporting what was by then old news. The Ford government had not only won a majority as predicted by media and other pundits, but he had a super majority. Didn’t really take it all in at that bewitching hour of the early morning; the time when our ancestors and angels whisper truths to us. I turned off the TV and went back to sleep a dreamless sleep.

The Time to Act is Now

May 2022 / Toronto

“Happy Mother’s Day to the moms separated by violent borders and imperialism”* was a tweet that crossed my screen early on Mother’s Day as I prepared to visit my own mother, ever thankful that my own separation from the woman who birthed me was a short three years, though as a child it felt like a lifetime. The tweet was from a feminist, anti-racist Black mother of a Black son whose community has experienced war, displacement and migration.