Board of Directors

Maureen O'Reilly, Treasurer

Maureen is a former librarian at Toronto Public Library, the world’s busiest urban public library. Maureen holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration from the University of Toronto. She has long been interested in the intersection of public services and the community. A former president of the Toronto Public Library Workers, she led a campaign to prevent the closure of libraries and highlighted a deep commitment to her city. She worked tirelessly at the local, provincial, and national level in CUPE to show the negative impact of precarious work on not only workers but the health of their communities. She was a long-time labour representative with United Way Toronto and Chair of the Municipal Committee of the Toronto and York Regional Labour Council. Marueen is currently Recording Secretary for the Toronto Workers History Project and Book Club coordinator. Also sits on The Refugee Next Door Project at Labour Community Services.

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Melissa Jean-Baptiste Vajda

Melissa Jean-Baptiste Vajda is a community legal clinic lawyer who practices in downtown Toronto in the areas of Housing, Human Rights and Workers’ Rights. She is a dedicated advocate for social justice.

Melissa was born in Montreal but grew up in Toronto. She completed her undergraduate degree from McGill University, followed by law school at the University of Ottawa where she held positions on the National Executive of the Black Law Students Association of Canada.

Melissa ran for public office in the 2019 Federal Elections for the New Democratic Party in the riding of University-Rosedale where she finished second behind the incumbent.

Melissa is Canadian of Haitian descent and is fluent in French and English.

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Lisa Leinveer

Lisa is a practicing lawyer in Toronto, specializing in human rights and mental health law. In the course of her career, she has worked on a number of precedent-setting cases, always striving to advance equity and human rights principles in workplaces, compensation, and healthcare settings. She obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. Lisa holds a Master of Arts in Women's Studies and Feminist Research from the University of Western Ontario and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Queen's University. Prior to law school, she worked at a number of nonprofit organizations supporting people in accessing and maintaining safe and affordable housing.

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Michal Hay

Michal is the Executive Director of Progress Toronto, a not for profit that advocates and organizes for a more democratic, socially just, and progressive city. Michal was 2017 Campaign Director for Jagmeet Singh’s successful NDP Leadership Campaign. She is Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Broadbent Institute and a founding board member of The Urban Worker Project. She was one of Chatelaine's Top Women in Canada of 2017. For six years, she served as Chief of Staff to Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton, where she worked on a wide range of policy issues and city-wide campaigns. In 2014, she was Field Director for Olivia Chow'sToronto Mayoral Campaign. From 2008 to 2011, she worked at the Toronto Environmental Alliance. Michal has helped to train candidates and activists on organizing. Through work and activism, Michal has had leading roles on a number of issue-based and electoral campaigns at the municipal, provincial and federal levels across Canada. 

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Simon Collins, Secretary

For twenty years Simon has worked in non-profits and in the public sector to build activism and capacity. Half of that time was spent as a social worker. He currently works as a researcher for the Canadian Union of Public Employees. Simon has previously sat on the advisory boards of the CCPA-Ontario and Columbia Institute (Ontario). Of special interest is the preservation of public services and how the public sector can contribute to meeting the challenges of climate change and create a policy framework for improvement of the environment.

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Edward Xie, Chair

Edward Xie is an emergency doctor and assistant professor at the University of Toronto. He works with medical organizations and global health groups to improve health equity and social determinants of health, including issues of homelessness, addictions, chronic diseases, and humanitarian crises. Edward also serves on the board of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and is involved with projects that examine the health effects of climate change. He enjoys exploring all of Toronto's neighbourhoods by bicycle and public transit.

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Anjum Sultana, Secretary

Anjum Sultana is a policy professional based in Toronto engaged on issues of public health, gender equity and civic engagement. Currently, she serves as the Manager of Policy & Strategic Communications at YWCA Canada, the nation's oldest and largest women's serving organization. Anjum Sultana holds a Masters of Public Health from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. During her graduate studies, Anjum received the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, was accepted into the Public Health Policy Collaborative, and was a Junior Fellow at Massey College. During her graduate studies, she was Executive Co-Director of IMAGINE, the University of Toronto student-run interprofessional clinic and health promotion initiative that provides access to health care services for people without OHIP coverage. Anjum is Founding Advisor with Progress Toronto, a Board Member with the Regent Park Community Health Centre and Completed a Fellowship at the Wellesley Institute.

As a researcher, Anjum has been involved in projects focused on the health impact of social protection policies, mental health, sexual health, employment and working conditions, as well as citizenship and civic engagement. As an advocate and organizer, Anjum has been involved with campaigns focused on the $15 Dollars and Fairness campaign, reversing cuts to refugee health care, and promoting access to health care services to all residents in Ontario.

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Jin Huh

For over 20 years, Jin has worked and consulted in government and multiple non-profit sectors, including the immigrant and refugee serving sector, LGBTQ+ health, community arts, social housing and the environment. She holds two post-secondary degrees in environmental studies. As a consultant and senior manager, she has worked on strategic and systems planning initiatives, change management, program development, partnership/team building, staff learning and development, and conflict resolution. Currently, Jin runs her consulting practice while also working as a Program Director in a multi-service community organization located in northwest Toronto called North York Community House. Throughout all this work, she brings a passionate commitment to equity, anti-oppression, and social, environmental, and economic justice. Jin lives with her partner in east Toronto and spends most of her spare time chasing after her energetic toddler and her shy rescue dog. Her hobbies also include cycling, camping, reading, singing, and watching movies.

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Nour Alideeb

Nour Alideeb is a student at the University of Toronto Mississauga, completing a major in Economics and a double minor in Biology and Women and Gender Studies. There, she got involved in the Ministry of Environment where she helped create and implement green initiatives on and off campus. Nour went on to serve two terms at the University of Toronto Mississauga Students' Union as the Vice-President University Affairs & Academics, then as President. She is now the Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students - Ontario, representing over 300,000 students across the province. Nour is the official spokesperson for the organization and helps with the development and implementation of a wide variety of campaigns and services.

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