Executive Director's Message

Hell No – We Ain’t Going Back

September 2020 / Toronto - About ten years ago, the OCASI staff had a heated argument during one of our monthly all staff meetings about shifting most of our offerings to the membership online. We were split into two fractious camps. The in-person is always better crowd and the get with the program, technology is the way forward crowd. Luckily we had a few thoughtful souls in the middle who didn’t get what the argument was about since they held a vision where mixed modes of information transfer, training and professional development, policy and advocacy and public education exist.


July 8, 2020 / Toronto

The tears may flow all night, but joy will come in the morning. A paraphrasing of an oft repeated phrase of my mothers and grandmothers steeped in the teachings of the Black Church. For me this phrase is not only a message of general hope, but a message with specificity about resistance, about the coming of the day of liberation for our people held in centuries-long bondage. A message of hope for all people who have been excluded and violated.

In Search of Rainbows or Fix the Goddamn Systems Already!

May 2020 / Toronto - I have spent the last month or so looking for the ‘blessings’ or ‘silver linings’ of this pandemic as the Council and the Sector shift-shaped ourselves into this new normal - a term that is quickly becoming contested (What is normal? For whom? Who defines?) as progressives dream and plan and organize for a near future that will be responsive to those who are marginalized and made most vulnerable by our economic and social systems.

On Becoming A Woman…

Toronto / March 2020 - On the same day that the provincial budget watchdog reported that the province had underspent by $2B, three quarters into the fiscal year, the Attorney General informed Ontario’s network of sexual assault centres that the $1M in additional funding they received this fiscal year would not be coming for the 2020 fiscal year. This $1M was extended only after much advocacy by the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC), and it represents only a quarter of the top-up funds promised by the previous government.

Uhuru Freedom

February 2020 / Toronto

“We are not there yet. Not yet Uhuru. Uhuru meaning freedom. We see it every day with our children in school. The trials and tribulations that they go through. We are not there yet. My work is for that. My work is for us to reach that promised land”.