Meet our Safe Harbour facilitators. We are proud to work with this team of engaging and experienced facilitators who bring passion and integrity to their work.
Kat joined AMSSA as the Safe Harbour Program Coordinator in June 2015. She brings a longstanding passion for diversity and inclusion work, delving into this field and community development when she completed a Masters of Arts in Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia. She now teaches a course at UBC titled “Interculturalism, Health & Physical Activity” which fuses her two passions in life: diversity work and physical activity. Kat is an engaging, skilled facilitator who brings contagious energy and passion into her workshops. She works hard to connect workshop content to the needs of participants by engaging them in meaningful discussions that are relevant to the work that they do.
Diversity and facilitation have been part of Andrea’s career since she began working in the social service sector 15 years ago. Her facilitation style is dynamic and interactive. Whether in work or play, she is known for building inclusive and equitable communities. Her path to diversity work began when she was ten and moved with her family to Papua New Guinea. Being uprooted to a new way of life and in a school with peers from diverse backgrounds had a lasting impact. She experienced people getting along, respecting differences, and recognizing multiple ways of doing the same thing. Today, Andrea designs and implements innovative diversity, anti-racism, inclusion, and community engagement projects part-time for Richmond Multicultural Community. She is also a counsellor with expertise in conflict resolution, relationship building and self-esteem growth.
Koyali is a passionate researcher and practitioner of diversity and inclusion with a background in community engagement and capacity building. For over eight years, she has worked in these fields in Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Her work includes publications on community development, global citizenship, and gender-sensitive development planning. She also specializes in needs assessment and program evaluation. In addition, Koyali has created a model for social change and inclusive engagement which several agencies, institutions and municipalities have implemented. Her inspiration comes from working with different cultural groups. She has facilitated many community dialogues, including the City of Vancouver’s Dialogue Circles between First Nations, Urban Aboriginal and Immigrant Communities. Since 2009, she has facilitated Safe Harbour trainings with over 100 organizations in the non-profit, public and private sectors. Koyali holds a Masters of Arts in Adult Education from the University of British Columbia.
Laurie is a long-time resident of Prince George and passionate about inclusivity as a means to positive community growth. She has more than 25 years of experience as a community leader through a variety of roles. She has coached and managed youth and adult sports teams, organized Community 4-H Clubs, and served as a team development leader and wellness fits facilitator for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Prince George Relay for Life. Laurie’s passion for sports and community has also led her to work as a leadership team member for revenue generation with the 2015 Canada Winter Games Committee, as a board member with the BC Indoor Soccer League, and as a volunteer with the Prince George Women’s Soccer Association. Currently, she works as a settlement practitioner for the Prince George Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society where she coaches clients seeking engaging and meaningful employment opportunities within BC’s northern interior region.
Evelin has worked in the field of education for over 25 years at various levels—elementary, junior and senior high school, college and university. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from the Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany. Her interest in cultural issues comes from first-hand experience living and teaching in Germany, Finland and Canada. In 2001, she received her Certificate in Intercultural Studies from the University of British Columbia. She has worked as the diversity program coordinator for the University of Calgary’s Cultural Diversity Institute, and for the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary as the diversity project coordinator. While working in this latter capacity, the Club received the Organizational Diversity Award of Distinction presented by the Calgary Immigrant Aid Society in 2006. More recently, Evelin has delivered AMSSA’s Safe Harbour: Respect for All training through the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society. Married with three children and three grandchildren, she enjoys reading, hiking and gardening.
Kamilla was raised to value social justice work and the oneness of humanity across ethnic, religious and cultural differences. This upbringing has influenced her life choices, from studying education and geography to volunteering on anti-racism and welcoming-communities projects. Her background includes a PhD in Urban Services/Education from Old Dominion University in Virginia where she studied curriculum design, teacher education, multiculturalism and culture. She has worked in the field of education generally for over 15 years and diversity education specifically since 2009. A calm and welcoming facilitator, Kamilla is able to tie different ideas together and help groups come to a common vision. She’s passionate about emotional engagement and transformation through diversity issues, believing that change includes personal transformation as well as new directions from leadership and institutional changes. A few of her many other passions include respectful parenting, children’s literature (reading and writing it!), food-waste reduction, and jigsaw puzzles.
Steven brings passion, a sense of humour, as well as a background in secondary education, human rights and community development to Safe Harbour. He currently works as the community development coordinator at the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, where he connects people and organizations from diverse backgrounds around common goals and projects. Previously, he worked with the BC Human Rights Commission for 12 years and on human rights initiatives in Australia and Mexico. With mixed Mexican and Eastern European ancestry, he grew up in Southern California and moved to Vancouver Island with his family as a young adult. Upon arriving, he worked several odd jobs before earning a Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria. In addition to teaching at a secondary school level, Steven has facilitated workshops on anti-racism, multiculturalism, diversity awareness, immigration and human rights. When working in a culturally diverse context, he believes it’s important to treat each relationship as unique, to listen, to be patient, and to cultivate understanding.
Danica’s bio is coming soon.
Balbir is a registered nurse with a doctorate in Education from the University of British Columbia. Today, she is a member of the Faculty of Health at KPU and teaches a fourth year course on social and organizational change and a course on nursing research. She has been honoured with the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia and the NISODS Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Texas. Balbir is the founding editor-in-chief of Transformative Dialogues: Teaching and Learning Journal, which aims to improve teaching and learning in post-secondary education. She is also the facilitator for the Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships, a community action group. She continues to speak up for equity in all spheres. A passionate educator and change agent, Balbir believes our actions are influenced by history as well as context, that educational experiences need to be grounded in reality, and that educators need to translate academic knowledge into community actions.
Jorgina’s bio is coming soon.
Kusum works as a coordinator in the Centre for Indo-Canadian Studies at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). In 2014, she received the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from UFV, in part for her work with Mission Community Services Society developing engaging and compassionate programs for adults, newcomers, and seniors. Kusum has a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Biophysics from Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. An experienced researcher, she served as faculty in the Department of Physiology at the Christian Medical Hospital, Ludhiana, where she taught undergraduate medical and dental students as well as post-graduate nursing students from 1998 until 2003. Kusum specializes in reproductive health and her research advocates for men’s participation in reproductive health programs. Since coming to Canada with her family in 2003, she has appeared in media to create awareness about social and family issues related to reproductive health. She is a consummate advocate for women’s rights, youth empowerment, programs for seniors and immigrants, diversity initiatives, and community engagement across all sectors. She is a long-time facilitator with Safe Harbour and a recipient of the program’s Best Community Organizer Award in 2013.
Barb is a long-time resident in the Okanagan Valley and has worked in the Learning and Development field for the past 15 years. She manages the training and development for a staff of 140 at a local credit union, and in that role has championed numerous initiatives that focus on preparing the credit union staff and managers to work with people of diverse needs and backgrounds. As a certified facilitator through the Institute for Performance and Learning, Barb uses her knowledge of adult learning principles to deliver the Safe Harbour material. She is an engaging, thoughtful facilitator who values creating a safe, inclusive environment in order to allow everyone’s voice to be heard in her sessions. A core focus is to ensure participants connect the content to their everyday experience and identify ways in which they will put the concepts into practise when they return to their own work environment. Outside of work, you will find Barb volunteering for various non-profit organizations that share her same passions, or engaging in various outdoor activities in our beautiful Province.