Who We Are
Marlon is a well-recognized social systems architect with a clear focus on poverty reduction and the social determinants of health and justice within a dynamic framework of equity and inclusion.
Marlon brings 25 years of experience in leadership positions within Health, Education, and Justice both within Government, the non-profit sector and as a consultant within the social innovation sector. Ultimately, becoming one of Canada’s Governor General Leadership members, who were brought together to assist in solving cross-country complex social issues. Marlon is known for spearheading creative strategies that are not only ambitious, but effective in addressing complex social issues, resulting in improved and more equitable systems and community services across the City of Toronto.
As an avid cyclist who has explored every corner of this City, and many other cities around the world, Marlon’s professional practice focuses on the interrelated systems between physical and social environments as being instrumental in fostering or hindering the health and justice of a community and its members.
Marlon holds a Masters in Critical Disability from York University, a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Ryerson University and a Non-profit Leadership Certificate from the Schulich School of Business, York University. Currently, Marlon is the Executive Director of Peacebuilders Canada and a Director of the Board for Toronto Children’s Aid Society, and a mentor/support/friend to numerous emerging and responsive grassroots change leaders.
Restorative Justice Programs Manager
Lorna Richards has a Master’s Degree in Adult Education and is a part-time professor at Humber College in the Social Service Work program. She also has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Science and additional qualifications and experience in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Training & Development, Human Resource, & Non-Profit Management and Anti-oppression training.
Lorna’s leadership spans across many communities and organizations in the City of Toronto, where she has successfully led large scale Justice Diversion Projects which focused on restorative practices and community mediation-based services. She also has considerable experience and a proven track record in program design, development, implementation and evaluation.
Whether working directly with youth, community residents or key stakeholders, Lorna incorporates a social justice, client-centered, Anti Black Racism/Anti-oppression approach to her work. Additionally, Lorna has a passion and experience with low income neighbourhoods working with the youth and families in issues that range from homelessness, education, community development and social recreation.
Youth Justice and Advocacy Lawyer
It is Laura’s passion for social justice that led her to her role at Peacebuilders, a passion that grew from her volunteer work with stateless persons in the Dominican Republic. Through this work, Laura gained an appreciation for the importance of a responsive, equitable and accessible justice system. She later pursued her graduate research in this area, focusing on a justice system’s role in protecting and advancing international human rights and human development, and obtained her Master of Arts degree in Political Science from York University in 2009.
After graduate school, Laura went on to obtain a law degree from the University of Windsor in 2012. She spent much of her time during law school volunteering at Windsor’s Community Legal Aid Clinic, providing legal assistance to low-income community members. She also volunteered at Justice for Children and Youth, a legal aid clinic in Toronto, where she came to understand the unique relationship between youth and the justice system in Toronto. This work helped direct her commitment to advocating for social justice toward youth in her own city.
Before joining Peacebuilders, Laura practiced civil litigation at a personal injury firm in Toronto, where she advocated for the rights of injured people and people living with disabilities. In addition to her law degree and master’s degree, Laura holds an Honours BA in Political Science and History from the University of Western Ontario.
Director of Operations and Donor Engagement
Ann has over 25 years of experience working and managing in a not-for-profit setting. Before joining Peacebuilders, Ann was the Administrative Manager for the Integra Program operated by the Child Development Institute, a specialized mental health centre for children and youth with mental health issues complicated by learning disabilities (LDMH). Ann has many years of experience working closely with stakeholders — families, staff, volunteers, board members and community agencies.
Restorative Justice Coordinator
Kennisha Archer is a graduate of Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Social Work. Through working within many youth centered agencies and programs, she has gained a background in education, homelessness, crisis management, and gender-based violence.
Operating from a trauma-informed, Anti-Racist, Anti-Oppressive framework, Kennisha uses these skills to strive towards cultivating spaces centered around learning, unlearning, and self-exploration. She believes being an advocate for change means unapologetic, bold, and integrity-based actions that center the needs of the community.
In her spare time, Kennisha can be found doing Yoga, writing film reviews, and watching an unhealthy amount of reality TV.
Restorative Schools Coordinator
Ali is committed to helping youth and their families navigate the educational system. With a focus on capacity-building and social change, Ali hopes to provide youth with a space where they can gain the knowledge and tools needed for self-reflection and empowerment to make positive changes in their lives and communities.
Ali has a BA and BSW from York University and first became interested in restorative practices as a volunteer Youth Justice Conference facilitator in northern Ontario. In her spare time, Ali likes to watch movies and read books, watch more movies and read more books.
Restorative Schools Coordinator
Rachelle has seen the negative impacts of the youth justice system on racialized, Aboriginal, and marginalized youth in both her personal and professional life and believes that restorative justice can help undo the negative impacts of the criminal justice system for young people and their communities. Rachelle has over six years experience working with youth in counselling and residential treatment, case management and outreach support.
Because of her experience and the experiences of the countless people she’s encountered along this journey of life, she always aims to show youth that they can overcome the obstacles they will experience and that it really is true, “it’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success.” (J.Cole – Love Yourz). In her spare time, Rachelle likes to write, listen to music, workout and watch a wide variety of shows from Real Housewives to The Originals to anything on the VICE channel.
Public Interest Articling Fellow
Alexandria Hamilton graduated from the University of Windsor’s joint Master of Social Work and Juris Doctor program in 2020. Prior to law school, Alexandria attended Wilfrid Laurier University where she received a B.A. in Criminology and Contemporary Studies. It was during this time that Alexandria discovered her passion for youth justice while completing a placement at Why Not Youth Center in Brantford, Ontario. Here, Alex was inspired to pursue an MSW/ J.D. in an effort to enhance her capacity to assist youth and their families.
Throughout law school, Alexandria continued to be engaged with children, youth and families. She completed a placement with the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society, summered with a child protection lawyer and volunteered at Windsor’s Community Legal Aid Clinic.
Restorative Schools Engagement Facilitator
Moheen worked as a Mediator, Facilitator and Coordinator of Conflict Resolution Services with Warden Woods Community Centre; working hands on in the community for over twelve years offering mediation and training services in areas of family, workplace and community disputes. Moheen has spent several years working in close relationships with schools to mentor and empower youth who struggle with self-esteem, racism, peer pressure, social economical struggles, depression and suicide. Moheen has created strong partnerships with the Toronto Police Services, Toronto District School Board and the Scarborough Courts.
In her position as a Restorative Schools Engagement Facilitator, Moheen works directly with partner schools to develop shared language and vision that will support the school in embracing a restorative mindset.
Youth Diversion Coordinator
Jerome is passionate about helping people—especially youth—overcome oppression and marginalization and work towards more positive futures. He completed the community worker program at George Brown College in 2015 as well as a degree in social work at Ryerson University. Jerome has various professional and volunteer experience in the community and youth sectors, including previous positions with the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, Tropicana, Ryerson University, Homelessness Connect, and the MLSE LaunchPad.
Growing up in Regent Park, Jerome witnessed firsthand how economic and social barriers can contribute to young people’s marginalization. He knows that young people can overcome these barriers and reach their full potential given the right opportunities and support.
Shalaka Punjabi is a professional content creator and an aspiring communications specialist based in Toronto, Canada. She is currently pursuing her post-graduation at Humber College with the Professional Writing and Communications program. Shalaka aims to bring about a positive change in society. Working as a Communications Intern with Peacebuilders, she aims to build a strong network with the youth and help them lead a happy and prosperous life. She strongly believes in restorative practices that will channel the youth towards a positive and healthy future.
Apart from being a content creator and an aspiring communications specialist, Shalaka is passionate about helping people, especially youth and adolescents. She has previously volunteered with NGOs to educate children and inspire them to achieve their dreams. She enjoys writing about food and fashion. As a Communications Intern at Peacebuilders, Shalaka aims to learn more about the youth and help them live healthy lives.
Restorative Justice Curriculum Developer
Saara Siddiqi is an established conflict resolution, restorative, and transformative justice practitioner specialized in youth justice and equity issues. Grounded in anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and intersectional feminist frameworks and driven by a commitment to justice for communities of colour, Saara has facilitated trainings and restorative processes locally, nationally, and internationally.
With a career spanning 20-years, Saara has honed her strategic, systems thinking when designing and implementing programs and curriculum. She is adept at program innovation, partnership development, and nudging systems towards transformative justice.
Her philosophy is that conflict is often a catalyst for change. The value and sustainability of the change is determined by willingness and curiosity. Saara encourages people to get curious about conflict and brave to face it. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University, a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Waterloo and a Certificate in Social Media for Business Performance from the University of Waterloo.
Operations & Engagement Coordinator
Asad joined Peacebuilders to pursue his growing interest in justice and the non-profit sector. He holds a B.Comm from Ryerson University, with a background in hospitality management and digital marketing. When Asad is not busy keeping the Peacebuilders office in step, or planning for the annual fundraising gala, he’s making plans to combine his two greatest passions: travelling and sports. Think flying to Madrid to watch a Champions League Final.
Daveisha Francis is a 2nd year neuroscience student at the University of Sussex. Before pursuing her education in the UK, Daveisha actively engaged in her community, co-facilitating workshops for Black youth to address the systematic, oppressive rape culture, racism and colourism in today’s society. She is also a recognized spoken word poet who aims to cultivate resilience in others, bring awareness to specific issues and share about overcoming personal obstacles.
Daveisha aspires to become a speech pathologist to help those with traumatic brain injuries regain the ability to communicate. She has been the recipient of several awards including the 2018 Town of Ajax Good Deeds Award, 2019 Valedictorian, and the 2020 Town of Ajax Diversity & Community Engagement Award. In her position as a Youth Lead at Peacebuilders, Daveisha hopes to acquire further knowledge on how to work with and for youth, and further understand organizational maturity as an aspiring healthcare professional.
Janet Rosina Lawrence
Janet Rosina Lawrence, at 19 years of age, is the second oldest in a family of five siblings. She is currently striving to make a positive impact and lasting impression on youth coming from communities similar to her own, Regent Park. Where being a melanated body she was made to feel vulnerable and told she was “at-risk” and quickly had to learn that even within the educational and justice systems that were meant to educate and protect her; that her body and person is subject to discrimination. Knowing this, she is determined to be resilient and rise above the negative stereotypes and labels cast onto her and others like her.
In her current role as a Youth Lead with Peacebuilders Canada she is building a better understanding of the justice system so that in the future she can assist her peers and fellow youth navigate its challenges and rise up above the circumstances that unfortunately led to them being before the courts, so they too can have a life after the justice system that is positive and meaningful.
Bushira is committed to helping her peers and fellow youth gain access to the supports they need to create a positive change within themselves as well as in their families and communities. In her commitment, she focuses on the capacity building of youth and the development of both professional and social life skills to prepare youth to advocate for themselves and to navigate both community and employment spaces with ease.
In her role as a Youth Lead with Peacebuilders Canada and a Youth Facilitator with the Real Talk, Real Solutions: Community Dialogue Initiative, she works from her belief that anyone can overcome anything as long as they have the right supports available to them and the right people to lean on. In this belief she strives to be that person for peers and fellow youth because she knows what it is to have no one to help guide or mentor her. It is support such as this that Bushira believes created the opportunity for her to attend the Guelph-Humber University Bachelor program for Social Sciences.
I have been blessed with the opportunity of being a Youth Lead with Peacebuilders Canada. As a young person who has experienced her own fair share of trauma and knows first hand the hardship of getting your life back on track after rocky times, I am striving towards being a set of open ears and a mentor for other young people looking to get their lives back on track.
My goal is to attend university and major in forensic science with a minor that focuses strongly on youth outreach and engagement. That way I can do both of the things I love. My goal while working with Peacebuilders Canada is to support and help as many youth as I can to overcome obstacles that are in the way of their goals and aspirations.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean
C.P., C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
27th Governor General and
Commander-in-Chief of Canada (2005-2010)
The Honourable Louise Arbour
Senior Counsel, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
The Honourable Warren K. Winkler
O.C., O.Ont, Q.C. LL.D. (Hon.)
Former Chief Justice of Ontario
The Honourable Roy R. McMurtry
Former Chief Justice of Ontario
COUNCIL OF ADVISORS
Professor Kathy Bickmore
Professor Anthony Doob, C.M., F.R.S.C.