Meet Our Team

Sophia Brown Ramsay

Executive Director

Executive Director

Sophia works to advance an equity agenda to address gaps in services for marginalized people, by building connections between ethnocultural communities, non-profit agencies, governments, and other stakeholders.

She has been at the forefront of community-led efforts to promote equity for African Canadians and other racialized groups. This has included leading the launch of a transformative, multi-sectoral system change initiative in Peel region to address racial disproportionalities in the child welfare system, and serving as Chair of the Ontario Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committee (REAC), which advises the Ontario Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner of Correctional Services of Canada on issues affecting ethnocultural offenders.

She has been recognized for her community work with the Role Model Black Canadian Award (2014), the JunCtian Excellence in Diversity and Community Impact Award (2014), the Legacy Award, Vision and Leadership in Community (2015), the J.S. Woodworth Award for Human Rights and Equity (2017) and the Fierce & Fabulous Community In Action Award (2019). Sophia is an award-winning public speaker, and she is the consulting principle of SBR Inspires where she engages in facilitation, workshops and public talks that remind women, youth and families of the power of their voice, and the uniqueness that they bring to the world. Sophia began her career in the criminal justice system working with young offenders and women, and is currently the Executive Director at the Black Community Action Network of Peel (BCAN).

 

 

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.

Julian Hasford

Co-Chair

Co-Chair

Dr. Julian Hasford is an Assistant Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University, whose research focuses on issues of equity and empowerment through systems change and community-based prevention, with a particular focus on African Canadians. He holds a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and an M.HSc. in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto.

Presently, Dr. Hasford maintains an active program of research that includes needs assessments of African Canadians involved in the child welfare system, and evaluations of the Cross-Over Youth Project (a systems change initiative for youth dually involved in child welfare and youth justice systems) in various communities, including an a social network analysis of the Cross-Over Youth project in Belleville (funded by Social Science and Humanities Research Council).

His experience includes a three-year postdoctoral fellowship (funded by the Canadian Institute for Health Research) that examined the dissemination and implementation of Housing First (a supportive housing intervention for homeless people with mental illness) across seven Canadian cities. Over the last several years, Dr. Hasford has also been involved in anti-racist advocacy through work with organizations such as the Black Community Action Network of Peel, Tabono Institute, and the Ontario Association for Children’s Aid Society (One Vision, One Voice project).

Suzanne Nurse

Board Member

Board Member

Parent engagement and student success are two key motivators that drove Suzanne Nurse to excel in her work and role as Trustee and Vice Chair for the Peel District School Board. For over twelve years, Suzanne has been active in maintaining her passion for preparing students to achieve academic success in post-secondary education, the workforce and in positively impacting their communities.

As a Brampton resident for over 20 years, Suzanne was committed to making a difference in the Peel board. She has chaired and has been a contributing member of several board committees including Audit, Student Discipline, Staff Grievance, Budget Development, and French Immersion Review, just to name a few. In the fall of 2016, Suzanne introduced a motion to direct the Peel Board to conduct a student census, in essence to collect race based data, beginning in the fall of 2018. It was unanimously approved.

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 is the co-chair of the Black Community Action Network of Peel Region and has worked with organizations such as Carabram, Rapport Youth and Family Services, and local residents groups in Brampton North.

 

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.

 

Advisor

Advisor

Camisha Sibblis is an Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor in the School of Social Work.  She has taught at Sheridan College in programs: Child and Youth Work and Social Service Work. 

Her doctoral research uses spatial theory and discourse analysis to focus on the anti-Black racism, the politics of race, social identity, and marginalized youth in school expulsion programs and other spaces of exclusion. She holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and pursued her BSW, MSW, and PhD degrees at York University. Camisha has extensive experience working with ‘at risk’ youth as a school social worker in the Peel District School Board expulsion program and as a clinician/researcher assessing the effect of anti-Black racism on the lives of the accused/convicted for courts to consider upon sentencing. She counselled wards of the Children’s Aid Society as a mental health practitioner in private practice; and she is a clinical agent for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer.