Board Of Directors
Sonya Aslan Chair
For over a decade, Sonya has dedicated her professional career to developing strategic synergies between the community, government, corporate and social sectors. As Administrator of Operations at Albion Neighbourhood Services, Sonya has successfully developed her expertise in nonprofit management. Her leadership-to-impact approach helps improve efficiency and demonstrate outcomes. Her experiences with strategic development have yielded effective governance, human and financial resource management.
Recognizing the value in interdisciplinary studies, Sonya obtained her B.A. Hons. Double Major in Law & Society and Sociology at York University and then pursued a MA degree in Immigration & Settlement Studies at Ryerson University. Whereas her academic background has provided a theoretical understanding, her working experiences have enabled her expertise in the practical application of nonprofit management skills.
Sonya’s frontline and managerial experiences includes a portfolio of municipal and provincial projects that involve public education, community engagement campaigns, stakeholder relations, social responsibility and fundraising. Her professional successes illustrate a passion, driven by purpose. A commitment to making a difference and having an impact continues to fuel her efforts at becoming a change-agent within the sector.
Annie Ayn Secretary and Policy Development
Annie Ayn is a public policy professional with a passion for advancing equity through municipal and social policy. She has a Masters of Public Policy Degree from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy as well as a Bachelors of Arts in History and English from the University of Toronto. Currently she works for Children’s Services at Halton Region as a Program Analyst on the Early Years and Child Care Funding team.
Annie's policy interests include education, immigration, and policies impacting marginalized and diverse communities. This is demonstrated by her experience working on policies, programming, and evaluation for the Black Youth Action Plan with the Ontario Ministry of Community, Children and Social Services. Additionally, during her time at the University of Toronto she was a Senior Policy Analyst for the Gender Diversity and Public Policy Initiative.
Annie also has experiences in education in a variety of settings. She was a Foreign Languages teacher in Beijing, China as well as a Literacy Camp Counselor working with Indigenous youth at Big Trout Lake First Nations Reserve in Ontario. Lastly, she worked as a Youth Care Practitioner at the Toronto South Detention Centre and the Vanier Centre for Women supporting individuals with obtaining their GED.
Aysha Watson Human Resources
Aysha has been involved within her community since the age of 13 as a volunteer at her local youth centre and recently at the University of Guelph at Humber College. Her volunteer work has always surrounded education and youth development in underprivileged communities and lack resources. This has led to funding for programs she has participated in and helped design. She has been a guest speaker for the organization, For Youth Initiative, on topics related to accessing education, violence, and community issues.
Since 2010, Aysha has become a Licensed Paralegal with the Law Society of Ontario and has worked in the criminal sector of law under a former prosecutor and defence lawyer. Aysha’s career aims to advocate for inclusivity within the legal profession and bridge the gap between communities and the criminal justice system. Through her knowledge of the law from an interdisciplinary approach, Aysha has been exposed to the many perspectives of law, legal history, legal policy and how it affects ordinary people from all walks of life. Her personal experience of Law in the books vs. Law in action has catapulted her desire to inflict social change in the communities that need it the most by representing the poor, the marginalized, and the disenfranchised of our societies.
As of 2021, Aysha is a York University Alumni and a Notary Public who holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours per the Faculty of Liberal Art and Professional Studies in the Law and Society program. She accomplished this four-year degree in three years and is currently in pursuit of becoming a practicing lawyer, as she will be attending Law School overseas in her birthplace of the United Kingdom.
Ricardo Dawson Outreach and Partnership Development
Ricardo Dawson is 29 years old and had a good share of struggles, obstacles, and life-changing challenges in his life. He is happy that he has gotten a chance to turn his challenges and obstacles around for the better and positively impact the people around him. He has two children, a newborn baby girl and his firstborn son, that has changed his life amazingly for the better. He is eager and ambitious to be involved with decisions that could help others' futures.
Ayman Barr Treasurer
Ayman Barr is a risk assurance and transformation professional with experience in performing audits and enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations. He has worked for a multinational professional services firm and is currently a finance transformation lead for a Canadian renewable energy and utilities company.
Ayman has an Honours Bachelor in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Between 2017 to 2020, Ayman served on the leadership team for a mentorship program assisting underrepresented youth in Toronto. You can find him actively training to pursue a recreational pilot permit in his spare time. Ayman is also an avid Toronto Raptors fan!