Sarah Jama is the lead organizer at DJNO. She is a community organizer from Hamilton, ON. She is co-founder of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario and holds a Social Sciences degree from McMaster University. Her lived experiences with cerebral palsy have fostered interests and a passion for community engagement, disability justice, and activism.
Sarah is a board member with the Hamilton Transit Riders Union (HTRU), a council member on the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, and a member of the Hamilton Community Benefits Network (HCBN). She currently works at the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion as a Program Coordinator.
Shanthiya Baheerathan is a co-founder of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario. She has worked outside and within health systems as a researcher and advocate for individuals who have experienced medical violence and sexual violence, and centres disability justice in this work.
She is driven by a vision of a transformed society, where access and rights are just a starting point, and where dignity, liberty, bodily autonomy and justice are an everyday reality for people with disabilities. She is no longer staff at DJNO.
Eminet Dagnachew is co-founder of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario and a Registered Social Worker in Hamilton, ON. She currently manages operations for The Salvation Army's Hamilton Booth Centre (emergency shelter) and Financial Management programs.
Prioritizing evidence-based initiatives to inform her practice, Eminet leads teams through implementation of Housing First, Harm Reduction, and accessibility principles. A vision of universally designed and appropriately housed communities drives her work. She is no longer staff at DJNO.
Acting Co-Executive Director & Program Coordinator
Sahra Soudi is a multimedia artist, curator, educator, and community organizer based in
Hamilton, Ontario. They have advocated for the inclusion and participation of BIPOC communities in different spaces, from artist-run centres to national galleries and DIY venues. Soudi is passionate about disability justice and centers this framework on collaborations that enhance opportunities for artists with invisible and visible disabilities. They are an emerging curator interested in disrupting ableism and colonialism through practices that empower marginalized communities.
Acting Co-Executive Director/Education Coordinator
Ahona Mehdi is a student/community organizer based in Hamilton, Ontario and an undergraduate student in McMaster’s Political Science program. Ahona is passionate about disability justice, abolition and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline. In their work, they conduct research on the impacts of violence, criminalization and the school-to-prison pipeline on queer, racialized and disabled youth. Ahona works to create networks for racialized, Muslim, disabled and queer youth to connect, co-learn, heal, and reimagine a world where students can learn outside of these carceral systems.
Prison Project Staff
Kaleigh is an organizer and educator most passionate about the intersection of human and environmental health. She is a pedagogy nerd deeply invested in the ways people learn and become empowered and activated into community change-making. She works to empower her community to feel strong, supported and nourished to keep doing the work of liberation and social change and to be more equipped to survive and confront daily violence. In this work she believes we can care for ourselves and each other while being against individualism or “health supremacy.” Her introduction to disability justice came through joining a community care collective organized by a disabled community member who didn’t have citizenship and therefore the Canadian state would not fund any care support. She also loves to dig into queer and trans histories of activism and resistance.
Trish is a long-time community organizer and mobilizer based in Hamilton, ON, who is neurodivergent, queer, and disabled. They have a passion and responsibility for defending the land and water and have been criminalized for it. They use their experiences in the criminal legal system to help others make empowered choices about risk and initiate discussions around power, fear, courage, and resilience. Trish has experienced incarceration and forced psychiatric institutionalization: Those - and other experiences in the community - have left them committed to enacting non-carceral, inclusive approaches to accountability and justice in the community. Since its inception, Trish has volunteered with DJNO’s prison project and believes wholeheartedly in the dream (and work) of total abolition.
Pam is queer, brain-injured, bilingual (Spanish-English) and of Peruvian and Chilean-Italian ancestry. They're a former outreach and advocacy worker with chronically houseless folx who are between prisons, hospitals, and streets/shelters. Pam is passionate about Indigenous sovereignty, housing justice, and harm reduction. They also have a Master of Social Work with experience in research, therapy, and disability justice.
Megan is a PhD student, community organizer, and writer based on Unceded Algonquin Territory. As a multiply disabled, Mad, and chronically ill organizer, Her work seeks to disrupt disability institutionalization by exposing their motives. Recently, she worked alongside institutional survivors to produce and write the Invisible Institutions podcast. Megan works closely with disability justice movements to produce radical research and policy dreams. Her writing has been published in Briarpatch Magazine, the Disability Visibility Project, Canadian Dimension, CBC Opinions, the Hamilton Spectator and the Ottawa Citizen.