There are eight members of the working group.
Virginia is a senior policy advisor with Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Previously, she was a management consultant on international development projects. Virginia has an undergraduate honours degree in gender and philosophy from the University of Toronto and a graduate degree in public ethics from the University of Ottawa. She is also the Secretary on the OSCA board and volunteers on the yard committee with the Hopewell Avenue Public school council.
Dr. Justine Joseph
Justine is a licensed clinical and forensic/correctional psychologist. Her research areas include multicultural issues in psychological assessment and treatment, and pathways to mental health care for immigrant, refugee, and ethnoracial communities in Canada. Dr. Joseph’s consultation activities center around mental health capacity-building in local and global contexts, and addressing racism as a public health priority.
Deb is passionate about human rights and community service and development. She currently works at Global Affairs Canada in the office of the Deputy Minister for International Trade, and volunteers with Hopewell Avenue Public School Council as co-chair. Deborah has many years’ experience working on governance, gender equality, human rights and child rights, from both a programming and policy perspective with the Federal Government, Ontario Government and Canadian and international NGOs. Deb is a trained facilitator, mediator and mother of two children.
Larry is a retired Human Resources professional, having spent 34 years within various departments and Crown Corporations with the Government of Canada. Recently retired, he continues to provide human resources consulting support to the not-for-profit sector and is a member of the OSCA Human Resources Committee. He is also a proud member of the Métis community, husband and father.
Saira works as a Director in Medical Devices at Health Canada. Saira obtained her Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University and her Master’s in Health Administration from the University of Ottawa. She has experience working in the provincial government, an NGO and at Sunnybrook Hospital. Prior to joining the Medical Devices Directorate, Saira led the implementation of plain and standardized packaging regulations and the development of new health labels for tobacco products and has presented on these topics at international fora including the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization. She has over 20 years of experience in program management, strategic and public policy, and stakeholder engagement. She is interested in multicultural issues and promoting diversity and inclusion, both at the workplace and in her community.
Neena was born and raised in the Outaouais region and has been a resident of Old Ottawa South for close to 13 years. She holds a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and currently works as the Chief People Officer for the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. Neena has been a lifelong advocate for marginalized groups and is presently the Board President of ABLE2 (formerly Citizen Advocacy of Ottawa), an organization that supports community members with disabilities. In her spare time, Neena enjoys being in nature, running with her 12 year old son, and spending time with family and friends.
Fatuma recently completed her final year of graduate school at Carleton University in Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies. She is fluently bilingual in both Somali and English with a working ability of French and Arabic. Her education path has led her to learn that there is a connection between all languages. She has worked at the City of Ottawa for over 10 years in various positions and locations including nearly eight years as a Customer Service Representative (CSR) at the OSCA community centre. She has also worked for the provincial government for almost four years as a constituency assistant to a local Member of Provincial Parliament. She has gained international work experience in Egypt, Cairo as an English and Social Studies teacher. Her volunteer experience began when she was a youth ambassador in her early high school years and extended to launching and creating her own fundraiser initiative (SRFG) which successfully raised funds to build a water well in Somalia.