Meet Our Board Members

Suzanne Nurse

Co-Chair

Co-Chair

A passionate advocate for public education, Suzanne Nurse has been a Trustee with the Peel District School Board since 2006 and the Vice Chair of the Board since 2010.  The married mother of two has called Brampton home for over 20 years.  In addition to being Co-chair of BCAN, Ms. Nurse sits on the Board of Directors for Rapport Youth and Family Services, Curriculum Services of Canada, and Carabram.  

Parent engagement and student success are two key motivators that drive Suzanne Nurse to excel in her work and role as trustee for the Peel District School Board. Over the past eight years, Suzanne has been active in maintaining her passion in preparing students to achieve academic success in post-secondary education, the workforce and in positively impacting their communities.

As a Brampton resident for over 15 years, Suzanne has been committed to making a difference in the Peel board. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in food and nutrition and a minor in marketing. For 10 years, Suzanne worked as a project manager in the private sector. After the birth of her second child, she decided to stay home to provide a solid foundation for learning and the development of her two children. In 2006, driven by her passion for education and motivation for student achievement, Suzanne successfully ran for school board trustee.

Suzanne is passionate about her family, community and using her voice to make a positive difference. As a self-described problem-solver and mediator, Suzanne feels no issue is ever one- sided and there is always a solution where everyone can be heard and feel supported—particularly with students.

Suzanne volunteers in her church and various community groups. She has worked with the United Achievers, United Way Peel Region, Rapport Youth and Family Services, Brampton As basketball team, local residents group in Heart Lake and Brampton NorthWest Connects. ​

 

Ann Norris

Co-Chair

Co-Chair

Ann Norris is the Outreach Coordinator of the Brampton West-Mississauga Ontario Early Years, one of CDRCP’s many programs serving thousands of diverse families at the main site and 3 satellites. She teaches Infant Massage to OEYC parents and is an instructor for the Roots of Empathy Program in a local school. She sits on Peel's OEYC Outreach Committee, The Health and Racism Committee and the Black Community Action Network Committee.

As Outreach Coordinator of the Brampton West-Mississauga Ontario Years Centre, Ann works with her team to promote the Early Years to Peel's diverse community by setting up displays, doing presentations/interviews, connecting with other services and agencies in the community, meeting with faith leaders, etc.

Ann has been an involved member of the Peel community for over 20 years.  At her local church, she supports various programs that support youth. Her other community involvements also included volunteering as a committee member and vice-chair for the Peel Police -11 Division Liaison Committee, and mentor for the YMCA Peel Black Achievers Program - which has earned her the Outstanding Mentor of the Year award in 1995.

Ann Norris is an adult national scholar of the Garfield Weston Merit Scholarship, chosen because of her community involvement and leadership.  Ann is a graduate of Sheridan College with an Honours diploma in the Community Worker-Outreach Development Program.  She has a certificate in Infant Mental Health and is also in her 4th year of Bachelor of Arts in the sociology program at York University.

Ann’s mission is to leave the world a better place than she found it, by making a positive difference in the life of each person she comes in contact with.

Sophia Brown Ramsay

Manager - Community Development

Manager - Community Development

Sophia Brown Ramsay began her career in the criminal justice system, working with young offenders and women. For the past 15 years, she has worked within the field of community development and engagement, advancing an equity agenda to address services to marginalized peoples. She is a community development and engagement strategist with a demonstrated track record of building sustainable solutions within diverse communities in Peel region, including bridging connections between various ethnoracial community leaders, non-profit agencies, government, the grassroots movements. Currently, Sophia is the Manager of Community Development for the Black Community Action Network, a network of organizations and allies with a mission to promote equity-focused systems change and community empowerment through advocacy, community organizing and development, leadership development, community education and research. Sophia led the 2015 launch of the BCAN report, Pathways and Prevention of Disproportionalities in the Child Welfare System, which examined the roots of the over-representation of African Canadians in child welfare, and put forward a series of recommendations, and subsequent actions aimed at prevention and service improvement through inter-sectoral systems change.  As the principal consultant, Sophia facilitates empowerment workshops both in Canada and the US through SBR Inspires Inc (formerly SBA Success Training), a personal and business development company that specializes in leadership development and team management via corporate training, seminars, workshops and consulting. Collaborating with its partners, SBR INSPIRES uses ‘pure communication,’ to educate clients on how to find clarity while focusing on the their goals in order to achieve their desired outcomes.

Sophia is the past Chair of BCAC (Black Community Advisory Committee - United Way of Peel), and the current Vice Chair of REAC (Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committee) for Correctional Service Canada; a committee that advises the the Commissioner on issues affecting the diverse populations within the institutions across Ontario. Sophia’s community work earned her the Role Model Black Canadian Award, the JunCtian Excellence in Diversity & Community Impact Award, the Legacy Award for Dedication, Vision and Leadership in Community. At her core, Sophia believes that we are all ‘#StrongerTogether!’

 

Julian Hasford

Board Member

Board Member

Dr. Julian Hasford is an Assistant Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University.  His research interests focus on issues of empowerment, anti-racism, and community-based prevention, with a particularly emphasis on African Canadian youth and families.  Dr. Hasford holds a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, where his doctoral research examined African Canadian youths’ experiences of racism and empowerment in the workplace.  He has over 18 years of experience as a youth worker in various settings, including child welfare (group care and foster care), and parks and recreation (urban agriculture).  In recent years, he has been increasingly involved in anti-racist systems change advocacy through work on several steering committees, including the Black Community Action Network of Peel, the Ontario Association for Children’s Aid Society’s One Vision, One Voice project, and African Canadian Mental Health Strategy collaborative.  

Jeff Msangi

Board Member

Board Member

Jeff Msangi is one of the first founders of the Black Action Coalition Network (BCAN). For over 10 years he has worked in non-profit sector developing and coordinating newcomers programs specifically in the black communities across Ontario.

He is a firm believer in the idea of not only welcoming newcomers but also providing them necessary tools and support to succeed. He is a firm believer in the ability and need of societies solving social, economical and political issues collaboratively rather than single-handedly.

With the academic background in Law and Communication, Jeff, a pragmatic optimist cares deeply about justice, equality and fair representation for all in social, economical and political spectrum.

 

George Martin

Board Member

Board Member

George Martin has been a practising social worker in diverse settings and with people from all walks of life for over 25 years. He earned a B.A. Honour’s degree in Sociology from York University, a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and has provided Placement education for students from all three universities in Toronto. For three years, he conducted seminars, supplied counseling and consultation to the staff and English as a Second Dialect (ESD) students at T.L. Kennedy’s Secondary School in Mississauga.

As a board member of several organizations, he played significant roles in the planning and establishment of Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, Bramalea Community Health Centre and several other community service agencies. He has worked in the Regent Park, Lawrence Heights and Weston/  Mount Dennis regions of Toronto. He founded the Caribbean Youth and Family Services on behalf of the Jamaican Canadian Association in the Jane finch community where he received awards for services to individuals, families, school and community.

George has worked in the Child Welfare System, mainly as a family service worker, and this experience has enabled him to mediate a number of complex issues between parents, children and Children’s Aid workers. He visited young offenders while they were incarcerated and prepared them for life after detention. He has facilitated several teenagers who left their parents’ household and needed navigation in establishing themselves for independent living.

Seasoned in crisis intervention and case management with vulnerable youth, women living with domestic violence, socially isolated seniors and evicted tenants, he has worked intensively helping clients with childhood trauma come to grips with their disorder.

For ten years he was president of the Mississauga Caribbean Social and Cultural Association and the event co-ordinator for The Jamaican Pavilion at the Carasauga Multicultural Festival in Mississauga. During this time he represented his organization on the Peel Police and Race Relations Committee and at functions held by various multicultural and ethno-cultural organizations.

He is familiar with parenting experience having nurtured a child until he left home at the age of 24. He was a Big Brother for 5 years with a boy from the age of 10 and his 13 year old sister. He is knowledgeable of immigration and settlement issues, having co-ordinated services for hundreds of clients without health coverage and worked extensively with children who were separated from their parents for several years (Barrel Kids) before re-unification and its consequences.

George has extensive experience helping to develop and sustain a number of Black organizations in the GTA including The Black Community Action Network, and has always found time for anyone in distress whether professionally or in a volunteering or humanitarian capacity, utilizing frontline, managerial and group facilitation skills to bring about positive outcomes.