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To help build a civic society, we will capitalize on the considerable capacities of our staff, our board, our members, our volunteers, and our community partners, both locally and city-wide.
Social Planning Toronto is committed to independent social planning at the local and city-wide levels in order to improve the quality of life for all people in Toronto. It is committed to diversity, social and economic justice, and active civic participation in all aspects of community life.
Our Program Priorities
Each year, Social Planning Toronto focuses its work in primary programs mandated by the Board of Directors and developed by staff.
Policy Research and Analysis
Studying the social and economic effects on City residents of public policy at all levels of government and developing policy alternatives
Community Capacity Building
Strengthening the community resource base to enact essential social supports and enabling all community stakeholders to participate in decision-making processes on the social development of their communities and city.
Community Education and Advocacy
Promoting community discussion on important social and economic issues and facilitating research-based advocacy, especially for the most marginalized and vulnerable segments of the population.
Conducting and facilitating local and city-wide research on social and economic conditions and the impact of a changing political environment on the quality of life for all members of the community.
2012-2013 Board of Directors
Jan has a long history of work in the trade union movement, most recently with the Canada Employment and Immigration Union (CEIU). Jan has extensive knowledge of labour and human rights legislation, negotiating settlements and experience in organizing and running public campaigns. She also has board experience with rabble.ca and Le Groupe de la Place Royale (Ottawa).
Karen is Vice-President, Human Resources, Pitney Bowes, Canada & Latin America. An organizational thought leader who combines creativity, multi-faceted business capabilities and analytics to produce measurable results and effective solutions, while being pragmatic She spent the last 4 years building a high performing HR team. Through her efforts she branded the company as a Diversity employer and Pitney Bowes has been recognized both internally and externally for their efforts (RBC Skilled Immigrant Award, Innovation in Diversity Practices Awards ad Impact Award).
Karen has a rich history of working and volunteering in her community through various Board associations (United Way, Harlem YMCA, and Urban League) and community work. Karen has also done Board work with Literature for Life in Toronto. Karen has a particular interest in Education and Literacy.
Mikhael is a member of the SPT Advancement Committee. He is currently the Associate Director of Annual Giving at York University. He brings a wide range of experience in the charitable sector, including more than fourteen years as a professional fundraiser. His past experience includes being Vice President, Business Operations of Legacy Leaders, Manager for Annual Giving for the Trillium Health Centre Foundation and Annual Fund Manager for Ryerson University. Mikhael has completed specialized training in project management, leadership, and business communications.
Michael Creek is the coordinator of the Toronto Speakers Bureau; Voices from the Street, where he has learned research, public policy and public speaking skills. Michael is Co-chair of the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction, working towards a Poverty Reduction Strategy for Ontario. Michael is Chair of the board of the Gerstein Crisis Center in Toronto.
Michael is a survivor of cancer, physical and mental abuse, homelessness, and poverty and is a psychiatric consumer/survivor. Michael speaks out and advocates on many health issues that affect those who live in poverty, knowing that poverty oppresses people and communities. It was his unwanted companion, and has caused more physical and emotional pain than any other illness that he has gone through in his life.
Joe Cressy is the Director of Campaigns and Community Outreach for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, which supports community-based HIV/AIDS projects in sub-Saharan Africa. His previous experience includes work on poverty, environmental, and human rights issues at national and international levels. Prior to joining the Stephen Lewis Foundation, Joe served as the Campaigns Manager for the Ottawa-based Polaris Institute. He also served as the Manager of the Office of the Secretary General for CIVICUS in Johannesburg, South Africa. He worked as a Mobilization Officer for the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP) in South Africa, and as a Federal Organizer and Leaders Tour Organizer for the New Democratic Party in Ottawa.
In a volunteer capacity Joe serves on the YMCA of Greater Toronto’s Board of Directors Development Committee. He has previously served on the Steering Committee of the Canadian Peace Alliance, as a Board Member for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group-Carleton, as the Campaign Chair for Mike Layton (Toronto City Council, 2010 election), and as the Campaign Chair for MP Olivia Chow (Federal Election, 2011). He is the former Ontario Representative on the Federal Council of the NDP and he acts as a frequent political commentator appearing on radio and television.
Jasmine has over 30 years of experience in the health and social service sectors in senior management, service planning, service integration, and research and evaluation. Her work experience includes Instructor, Program Planning, Community Development, Program Evaluation at Ryerson University; Vice-President, Health Operations at Saint Elizabeth Health Centre; Program Manager at the June Callwood Centre for Women; and teacher with the Toronto District School Board. Her volunteer experience includes: Chair of Council Development Services Toronto, Chair of the Lakeshore Community Centre Work Group, and Member of the Governance Committee of Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter.
O’Neil is Program Manager Spanning the Gaps Access to Post Secondary Education Ryerson University.
O’Neil received a Bcomm and a MBA from Queen’s University and has worked extensively in the corporate world, however, his passion lies in Education. He obtained a teaching certificate from OISE at the University of Toronto and a Career Counselling Diploma from George Brown College. Presently O’Neil works at Ryerson University and has been a consultant for the Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, YMCA, and Pathways to Education. O’Neil is currently a member of the SPT Executive Committee.
Brian has been a social justice activist for thirty years. Brian’s work experience includes Director of the Co-operative Housing Federation of Toronto, Community Action Specialist for the Wellesley Institute and as staff to a Toronto City Councillor. His volunteer experience includes: Steering Committee member, Metro Network for Social Justice, and Member of the Ontario Council of the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada.
Miriam’s first-hand experience as an immigrant to Canada and in the Canadian school system has translated to a lifelong interest and passion for issues affecting children and their families in the education system and the community.
As an educator, Miriam has worked in a variety of capacities in partnership with parents and community organizations, including being a teacher, Supervising Principal of ESL and International Languages and Principal of 3 inner-city, multicultural and multiracial schools. She has also served as Principal of ESL and ESL Specialist Additional Qualification Courses at York University. She has provided leadership for the development of numerous programs and curriculum documents. Internationally, Miriam worked as a senior program advisor for the International Children’s Institute, coordinating programs for children affected by the trauma of war and families living in refugee camps sponsored by the Canadian government through CIDA in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Presently Miriam is Vice-President of the Board of Directors of Social Planning Toronto – where she has been an active volunteer on a variety of projects – a Board member of the Chinese Lingual-Cultural Centre of Canada and the Nepali Children’s Education Project. In the past, she has served as Vice-President of Family Service Toronto and on the Boards of a number of school-based daycare centres.
Charles is a board member of Social Planning Toronto and member of the SPT Governance and Finance Committees. Charles currently serves on the Board of the Gerstein Centre in Toronto, where he chairs the Human Resources and Fundraising Committees. He has front-line volunteer experience with consumer/survivors of the mental health system (at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Halifax Branch), and with former inmates, as part of Circles of Support and Accountability. Charles is a litigation lawyer with knowledge of the law relating to board responsibilities, and has given substantial unpaid time to low-income clients. He is currently Senior Counsel and Vice-President at the Bank of Montreal in Toronto.
Tam Goossen is a co-chair of the Good Jobs For All Coalition. Tam is past President and current Vice-president of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, as well as a public member of the Ontario Press Council. She has worked with many community organizations including the Chinese Canadian National Council, the Metro Toronto Chinese South East Asian Legal Clinic and St. Stephen’s Community House. Tam served as a public school trustee on the former Toronto Board of Education from 1988 to 1997, where she played a key role in the Board’s initiatives around equity, language, and challenging racism. Tam is also a past President of Social Planning Toronto.
Nancy Henderson is a lawyer who has worked in not-for-profit management positions for over 20 years. She was Executive Director for SPARC BC (Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia) for 10 years and consulted on issues of organizational governance and strategic planning. She is currently Clinic Director at Parkdale Community Legal Services. Nancy is a member of the Social Planning Toronto Finance Committee.
Sheldon Mahabir is an Advisor with the Institute of Corporate Directors and he’s the Chair of SPT Access and Equity Committee.
Sheldon holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Windsor and is a certified Human Resources Management professional. He has worked with a variety of non profit organizations on issues ranging from strategic planning, to organizational development, diversity and inclusion.
Sheldon’s commitment to inclusion and social responsibility has led to the placement of over 500 visible minorities and under represented immigrant groups to agencies, boards and commissions throughout the GTA.
Anshula is a board member of Social Planning Toronto and member of the SPT Finance Committee. Anshula is a woman of colour, an immigrant, a mother, and an accountant. She has been involved with community work for the last 15 years as a volunteer, and as treasurer/chair on community boards such as the Jane-Finch Community Centre and South Asian Women’s Centre, and other non-profit boards such as her condominium corporation. She is a Certified General Accountant, and works as a project advisor with Ontario’s energy regulator, the Ontario Energy Board. She has a good understanding of issues associated with immigrants, women, poverty, strategic planning and framing policy.
Fana is the Chair of the SPT Advancement Committee. She’s a trained conflict mediator, team facilitator and public speaker. Fana has first-hand experience in access and discrimination issues; she represents the youth voice and is a connector with networks in the arts, media, peace-building circles, and small business and immigrant communities.