Confirmed Speaker Biographies

Sara Ahmed

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Sara Ahmed (she/her) is a Sociology student at Western University. She is a 20-year-old first-Generation Egyptian immigrant who identifies as a survivor of sexual and gender based violence.

Sara is the Co-Founder of The Red Zone Research Group at King’s University College. The Research Group aims to raise awareness about the phenomenon of the ‘Red Zone’ and lobby administration to provide more survivor-centric and intersectional support for survivors of sexual violence on campus. The red zone is typically defined as the first few weeks to months of school where most incidents of sexual violence on and related to campus takes place.

Sara is also the Chief Communications Officer of the King’s University College Student Council, the Vice President of Outreach of the Palestinian Cultural Club, and the Head Marketing Manager of the Arab Student Association. As for her work off-campus, she is a program facilitator with the Muslim Resource Centre in London, where she creates and leads community education workshops around the issue of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence. 

 

Sophia Ciavarella

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Sophia Ciavarella is a 30-year-old queer trans woman who is a white settler on the traditional territories of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. Sophia is the first generation of her family born in Canada, with her parents’ generation coming here from Italy after World War 2.

She is currently the Operations Manager at Peers Victoria Resources Society, a community organization by and for local sex workers. Sophia has always had a passion for social justice and peer-based support, getting her start co-founding a crisis support network for transgender youth in the United States. Sophia is currently completing her Master of Social Work at the University of Victoria and hopes to use this degree to continue helping others from a client-centered and anti-oppressive model of care.

 

Levi Clarkson

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Levi Clarkson is the Policy & Governance Coordinator for the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU), and is a white, queer, non-binary, mad, and disabled survivor. Residing in Mi’kma’ki, Levi began their work in 2017 as an active listener with the DSU Survivor Support Phone Line. They are a former student rep on the King's Sexualized Violence Policy Committee and President of the King's Students' Union from 2019-21, and have worked with several national organizations. In their free time Levi enjoys writing, music, and cat cuddles!

 

 

Kelsey Friesen

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Kelsey Friesen (she/her) is the Outreach Lead at Students for Consent Culture Canada. She is also a first-year Master of Science in Occupational Therapy student at the University of Alberta, located on Treaty 6 Territory.

She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Sociology at MacEwan University in 2019. Her thesis examined Canadian post-secondary sexual violence policies and campus community members’ knowledge of and perceptions of these policies, for which she won MacEwan University’s Ending Sexual Violence Research Award in 2020. During her time at MacEwan, she also served as a member and Student Vice-Chair of the unique group, University Students Offering Leadership on Violence Elimination (U-SOLVE). When she’s not doing anti-violence work or studying, you can find her in the mountains with her snowboard or with her backpacking gear!

  

David Garzon

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David Garzon is the Team Lead, Community Engagement at White Ribbon. He is responsible for the management and delivery of several key initiatives across White Ribbon, together with the program staff team.

David has worked in Bolivia, Guatemala, and Colombia delivering workshops and implementing projects on gender equity. David holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from York University and a certificate in Critical Reflections on Masculinities from the Center for Social Research, Technology and Capacity Building (CISTAC).

 

Tayler Glaspey

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Tayler recently completed a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science. Her goal is to further her education and work hands-on with vulnerable people continuing to advocate and ensure that all folks have equal access to education and other fundamental human rights. In January 2017, Tayler obtained the British Columbian Director’s Position for the National Education Association of Disabled Students (NEADS).

Through her role, she has been able to attend Government meetings including Women and Gender Equality Canada and Statistics Canada’s survey on understanding the rates of sexual victimization among post-secondary students. Furthermore, she was asked through Women and Gender Equality Canada to join the Advisory Committee on the Framework to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions. As of recently, Tayler joined Surrey Mobile Assault Response Team (SMART program) at the Surrey Women’s Centre.

In addition to her disability advocacy, Tayler is especially interested in women's rights specifically in prevention and support for domestic and sexual victimization. 

 

Marylise Habiyambere

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Marylise Habiyambere (she/her) is an Educator at the Alma Mater Society (AMS) Sexual Assault Support Centre, where she facilitates workshops, helps run the volunteer program, and creates fun educational content for their social media sites. She is also a Loran Scholar and fourth year psychology student at the University of British Columbia.

Previously, she worked as a Communications Intern at the National Association of Women and the Law and as a Communications and Outreach Intern at Engage Nova Scotia.  

Outside of her social justice work, Marylise writes poetry (IG: @marylisewrites) and helps make yoga more accessible through the UBC Yoga Club (IG: @ubcyogaclub).


Naomi Ibiama

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Ibiene Naomi Ibiama works as a Research Assistant for the RBC Futures Project Post-Doctoral Fellow in Black Youth and Education at the Imhotep Legacy Academy. Born in Nigeria and raised in Accra, Ghana, the constant inequality that afflicted women and girls was very visible in the news on a daily basis. Being a product of such an environment inspired Naomi to strive to empower and be a voice for women's rights and freedom. This passion, along with her interest in equal rights influenced her decision to pursue a BA Honours in Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Saint Vincent University.

 She had the opportunity to work with KelleyAnne while doing her honours, which led to her involvement with the CAPSAP project. Naomi worked on the CAPSAP project as a Research Assistant/Coordinator. Throughout the project, she facilitated the West African focus group. Being a part of this team and having the opportunity to create a student guideline for supporting survivors was an incredible opportunity. She considers herself extremely fortunate to be here, to help shed light on the gaps in the university's policies and to educate both students and faculty members on making well-informed decisions.

  

Gae Ho Hwako Norma Jacobs

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Gae Ho Hwako Norma Jacobs is of the Wolf clan in the Cayuga Nation of the Great Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Gae Ho Hwako is her Ongwehowe name. It means ancestral females holding the canoe before me, and it positions her in an ancestral line of great women of the Wolf clan. She has been given the responsibilities in the canoe of empowering herself, family, community, Nation and Confederacy. Her mother told her that it was important to know their cultural ways so she would be able to help explain them to people, and it is these experiences and responsibilities that she holds as Longhouse Faith-keeper; advisor to the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls; and Elder who has taught in universities, colleges and other institutions.

 

Gurmit Kaur

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Gurmit works as a career counsellor with the YMCA of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. She is an entrepreneur and a counsellor by profession. For more than a decade, she has worked with people from many backgrounds, including organizations, government agencies, and educational institutions, and she understands the need of having a sexual assault policy as well as the consequences of not having one.

While pursuing her MBA at Cape Breton University, she became associated with the CAPSAP (Culture and Perspectives on a Sexual Assault Policy) team as a Research Associate and has been a part of it since February 2020. Later, she worked as a facilitator for the CAPSAP team, representing the Indian population, under the guidance of KellyAnne (Principal Investigator at Mount Saint Vincent University). She feels privileged to be a part of the important work being done to ensure student safety on university campuses. Her passion is to assist others in making well-informed choices.

 

Seán Kinsella

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Seán Kinsella (ê-akimiht nêhi(y/th)aw/otipemisiwak/Nakawé/Irish) (they/them/he/his) is Centennial’s first Director, the Eighth Fire, a position that was envisioned and developed through the collaboration and leadership of Indigenous community members, Traditionalists and members of both the Aboriginal Education Steering Committee and Aboriginal Education Council.

Seán is migizi dodem (Bald Eagle Clan) and also identifies as two-spirit/queer/aayahkwêw and is descended from signatories of Treaties 4, 6 and 8. They were born in Toronto, on Treaty 13 lands and grew up in Williams Treaty territory. Seán has a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto (OISE) and previously served as a contract faculty member in what was called Centennial’s First Peoples stackable credential, in addition to working full-time in Student Affairs for 14 years.

Seán previously served as a Co-Executive Director for the Peel Aboriginal Network Indigenous Friendship Centre and in 2019 won an International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Award at the University of Toronto recognizing their work towards anti-racism in particular based in the use of land-based ceremonial learning opportunities for students, staff and faculty to disrupt usual patterns of learning about Indigenous history. Seán is also a traveled speaker and keynote and has presented internationally at conferences and served as a Board member and Chair for several professional organizations and Communities of Practice.

 

Dianne Lalonde

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Dianne Lalonde (she/her) engages in research and knowledge mobilization at the Learning Network. Her role involves the production and dissemination of issue-based newsletters, learning briefs, infographics, and related materials. Dianne's previous work has been with not-for-profit community agencies such as Kingston Interval House, London and District Distress Centre, and Laurier Students' Public Interest Research Group (LSPIRG).

Dianne is a PhD Candidate (ABD) in Political Science at Western University. Her research engages with the politics of identity and cultural studies. She is also currently a Lecturer at Huron University College.  

 

Naomi Martey

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Naomi is a Black and Ghanaian community organizer. She is focused on issues pertaining to Black identity, healing, and justice. This has led her to organizing around sexual violence, detentions, labour rights, and more. For work, she supports survivors and African/Black/Caribbean youth in their journey towards becoming.

 

 

  

Kate Mullin

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Kate Mullin (she/her) is a proud activist working with organizations ranging in topics such as gender-based violence, diversity and mental health support. This translates into her academic life, being a third year University of Alberta student pursuing psychology, as well as her career life, newly working within a psychology clinic.

Her dedication to advocacy comes from a personal place of her own healing from sexual violence where she learned this issue cannot be ignored. She holds multiple certifications to support survivors in their process of healing through disclosures, coming from a trauma informed and suicide prevention lens.

Along with volunteering within organizations such as Students for Consent Culture, Mental Health Co-Pilots, REES, It’s On Us, and PAVE, she started a project called RH&T whose goal is to bring resources and organizations together to help fight sexual violence (@r.healing.t).

 

Dr. Emily Rosser

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Emily Rosser (she/her) is a community-based researcher and writer, currently working in the nonprofit sector. Emily has a PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies from York University, and a long history as an antiviolence advocate in postsecondary settings. Emily's latest projects include leading consultations on sexual violence at post-secondary institutions for the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, and co-coordinating a multi-year research project on sexual violence and harassment by postsecondary faculty with Students for Consent Culture Canada. Emily's current research interests include disability justice, emotional labour, and community care in antiviolence work. Connect with her at emily.rosser@gmail.com


 

Dr. AnnaLise Trudell

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Dr. AnnaLise Trudell is a gender-equity consultant and the manager of Education, Training & Research at Anova, the gender-based violence shelter and sexual assault centre in London, Ontario. She brings extensive analysis of the causes and impacts of gender-based violence and of prevention programming through her doctoral and postdoctoral research at Western University.

As Manager at Anova for over a decade, she has overseen the facilitation, curriculum development and evaluation of youth anti-violence programming and professional trainings, including the development and scaling across 9 postsecondary campuses of the program ManMade. She is a seasoned public educator and facilitator with over 800 lectures and presentations engaging youth, professionals & post-secondary students through public education.

  

Tia Wong

Tia-Wong-web.pngTia Wong (she/her) graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health & Community Services from the University of Victoria (traditional territory of the Songhees, Esquimalt, and WSÁNEĆ peoples), having previously attended Carleton University for Global & International Studies. Tia currently resides in Ottawa (traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation), where she works as a web and print designer for companies in the climate science sector.

Within SFCC, Tia has served as Education Lead and is currently Co-Chair. She is passionate about creating a culture of consent through peer-led education, building capacity within student communities, and strengthening the student movement against sexual violence across so-called Canada.