Meet Our Board of Directors
For over a decade, Sonya has dedicated her professional career to developing strategic synergies between the community, government, corporate and social sectors. As Manager of Programs & Services 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.
Outreach and Partnership Development
Dr. Ardavan Eizadirad is an instructor at Ryerson University in the School of Early Childhood Studies in Faculty of Community Services. He has a PhD from the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at University of Toronto. His PhD thesis is titled Assessment as Stereotyping: Experiences of Racialized Children and Parents with the Grade 3 EQAO Standardized Testing Preparation and Administration in Ontario. He is an educator with the Toronto District School Board and a community activist with the non-profit organization Youth Association for Academics, Athletics, and Character Education (YAAACE) in the Jane and Finch community. His research interests include standardized testing, systems of accountability, community engagement, anti-oppressive practices, critical pedagogy, social justice education, resistance, subversion, and decolonization. His recent publications include Legitimization and Normalization of EQAO Standardized Testing as an Accountability Tool in Ontario: Rise of Quantifiable Outcome-Based Education and Inequitable Educational Practices (December 2018), Subversion in Education: Common Misunderstandings and Myths (2018 co-authored with Dr. John Portelli), The University as a Neoliberal and Colonizing Institute: A Spatial Case Study Analysis of the Invisible Fence between York University and the Jane and Finch Neighbourhood in the City of Toronto (2017), Comparative Analysis of Educational Systems of Accountability and Quality of Education in Ontario, Canada and Chile: Standardized Testing and its Role in Perpetuation of Educational Inequity (2016), Is it ‘bad’ kids or ‘bad’ places? Where is all the violence originating from? Youth Violence in the City of Toronto (2016), and International Experience in a Non-Western Country, Teacher Habitus, and Level of Inclusion in the Classroom (2016).
Laura Wilson-Lewis is a lawyer and the owner of Wilson-Lewis Law, located in downtown Toronto. Laura maintains an entertainment law practice, where helps artists primarily in the music industry. She also conducts human rights/workplace investigations at colleges and universities in Ontario. Prior to starting her own firm, Laura worked in an in-house counsel role at a large organization and handled various matters relating to equity, diversity and inclusion within the legal professions. Laura graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 2015 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2016. Before law school, Laura attended Alabama A&M University on a full athletic scholarship (volleyball) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. She then completed her Master of Science degree in Medical Biophysics at Western University. Between 2011-2013, Laura worked with Amadeusz as a GED Facilitator and Youth Worker. In this role, she supported young people on remand at Vanier Centre for Women and Toronto East Detention Centre as they pursued their secondary education. In her spare time, Laura gives back by speaking on panels at different community and industry events and she also volunteers as a mentor in the netWORKING Mentorship Program at Women’s Health in Women’s Hand Community Health Clinic.
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.