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Meet the DJNO Advisory Board for 2020/2021:

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

The Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) launched on September 13th 2018 in Hamilton Ontario. We were funded by the Youth Opportunities Fund (OTF) with $200,000 over three years to create a youth led organization, focused on the vision of “Creating a world where people with disabilities are free to be”.

With the support of many individuals and organizations across Ontario who believe in our vision, we have been able to work toward a just and accessible Ontario, wherein people with disabilities:

  • Have personal and political agency

  • Can thrive and foster community

  • Build the power, capacity, and skills needed to hold people, communities, and institutions responsible for the spaces they create

We did this through the establishment of our Youth Action Council, our youth led Research Committee, and through our community driven Campaigns Committee. You can read more about what we have accomplished as an organization since our launch here.

Due to the fact that we are youth led, we are setting up an Advisory Board, to help us along with our vision of being a sustainable, and one day, provincial organization.

Our newly established volunteer Advisory Board will serve a term of one year. The purpose of this would be to assist with reporting processes for staff, and guiding the governance of the organization. This committee shall be made up of (6) advisory board members and organizational mentors (currently, the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI). This advisory board is separate from all other organizational committees.

The responsibilities of the advisory board are to:

  • Attend a monthly Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) Advisory meeting, beginning in April 2020 and ending in April 2021.

  • Be familiar with Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO)’s vision, mission and uphold its values.

  • Provide guidance regarding the current and future structure of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO)

  • To create and provide a governance and reporting process for all staff at the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO)

  • Assist with the creation and development of a Strategic Plan for the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO).

Kojo Damptey (he/him):

Organizational Mentor

Image caption: Kojo is facing crowd that is not visible in the picture. He is holding a megaphone to his mouth and has his right index finger pointed forward. He is wearing a brown jacket.

Kojo "Easy" Damptey is the current Executive Director at the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion (HCCI), and former Program Manager, where he has served as an organizational mentor for the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) since its inception. He is a music producer, songwriter, keyboardist, composer and filmmaker. He was born and raised in Accra, Ghana. At the age of 17 he moved to Hamilton, to pursue an education at McMaster University studying Chemical Engineering. He is currently working toward a Masters of Arts (M.A.) from McMaster University in Cultural Studies & Critical Theory, studying African Political Thought for the 21st Century and beyond. He has also received an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, specializing in Leadership Studies and Intercultural & International Communication, where he examined the role of Indigenous governance practices in contemporary governance in Africa.

Ameil Joseph (he/him):

Advisory Board Member

Image caption: Ameil is smiling into the camera. He is wearing a blue plaid collared shirt, and a brown blazer.

Ameil J. Joseph is an academic, author, researcher, and social activist. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at McMaster University. Joseph draws on perspectives of critical forensic mental health, postcolonial theory, critical race theory, mad studies, and critical disability studies in his writing and research. One of the broad areas he has focused on is the confluence of colonial, racialized violence within criminal justice, mental health, and immigration systems.

Wendy Porch (she/her):

Advisory Board Member

Image caption: Wendy smiles at the camera. She is wearing a light red lipstick and has long, straight brown hair.

Wendy Porch is the Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Living Toronto (CILT). She has been working in the field of accessibility, disability, human rights, and education for more than 20 years and is a life-long disability justice advocate. Most recently, Ms. Porch was the Manager of Episodic Disabilities Initiatives at Realize in Toronto, where she managed Realize's many initiatives related to supporting the employment and income security of people living with HIV and other episodic disabilities. She also chaired the national Episodic Disabilities Forum, a partnership of more than 25 national episodic disability organizations and stakeholders. She has an M.Ed. in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto; she is a member of the City of Toronto’s Accessibility Advisory Committee and chairs its Employment Working Group and she also volunteers with the AODA Alliance.

Jody Chan (they/them):

Advisory Board Member

Image caption: Selfie of Jody in a library, with sun coming in through a window beside them. Bookshelves and desks can be seen in the background. Jody is wearing bright lipstick, eyeliner, and a cap with the words "sad gay" on it.

Jody (they/them) is a writer, organizer, and therapist-in-training living in Toronto. They believe deeply in the importance of storytelling, care, and joy in movement-building. They work at The Leap, organize in QT/BIPOC mutual aid and healing justice spaces, and drum with the Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers.

Jheanelle Anderson (she/her):

Advisory Board Member

Image caption: Jheanelle is smiling slightly into the camera, the photo is black and white, and she is wearing all black.

Jheanelle Anderson holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto specializing in Human Services Management and Leadership combined with a collaborative specialization in Community Development. She is currently a research assistant at The Centre for Research & Innovation for Black Survivors of Homicide Victims (The CRIB) working under Dr. Tanya Sharpe on projects for the advancement of research and policy relevant to the surviving family and friends of Black homicide victims and to develop culturally responsive supports and services to better serve this population.

As an immigrant with disabilities who was initially rejected and deemed a “burden” on the Canadian health system, Jheanelle nurtures a keen interest in the intersections of immigration and disability and the trauma experienced during the immigration process. She plans on pursuing a doctorate degree to expand research, literature, and policy on an underserved and underrepresented group in social work – immigrants with disabilities.

Image caption: Kate is smiling into the camera. She is wearing bright red glasses and is posed in front of a background picture of a galaxy.

Kate Welsh (they/she):

Advisory Board Member

Image caption: Kate is smiling into the camera. She is wearing bright red glasses and is posed in front of a background picture of a galaxy.

Kate Welsh is a white settler, cis queer crip activist, feminist artist and educator. She is the founder of Equity Buttons and the Community Resistance Intimacy Project – CRIP. Kate frequently speaks on panels at conferences and runs workshops titled Unpacking Ableism, which focuses on being an ally to disabled folks and DIT (do-it-together) access. Kate explores ways to make disabled lives better now by creating giftable art that tackles topics such as chronic illness.

Chavon Niles (she/her):

Advisory Board Member

Image caption: Chavon is smiling into the camera. She is wearing a blue, white, and green stripped button up shirt and has shoulder length black hair.

Chavon Niles is Guyanese Canadian PhD Candidate (all but dissertation) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Chavon’s doctoral thesis explores the invisibilization of racialized immigrant youth with in/visible disabilities in the Greater Toronto Area. Using narratives, Chavon hopes to better understand how youth access/navigate education, health and human services using critical race, critical disability and postcolonial theories. Chavon is also a seasoned educator. As the Senior Coordinator at OCASI- Ontario Council of Agencies Serving she leads a federal and provincial award winning community education campaign that brings greater attention to the challenges and barriers immigrants and refugees with in/visible disabilities experience in Canada. She works with organizations across Ontario to ensure their policies, practices and procedures are equitable to diverse service users.


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