Bilingual Black Justice Coordinator: Gachi Issa. Contact Gachi at the clinic to learn more.
The Together We Rise advisory committee is made up of a maximum of 12 Black community members. The advisory committee actively participates in directing and creating events, facilitates long term visioning and meets regularly. The advisory committee works with the Black Justice Coordinator to realize a more just and equitable environment for Black Hamiltonians. We encourage youth (ages 15-29), self-identified Black elders (age 55 and up) and all Black community members from different walks of life to join this committee.
Andy was born in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and moved to Canada 23 years ago with his family. He is part of the Rwandan-Canadian Community of Hamilton Association, where he previously held the role of Coordinator in charge of Youth & Sports for 7 years. He is happy to be a member of the (newly) formed “Together We Rise” Advisory Committee, an initiative of the Black community of Hamilton.
Celeste holds a BA in Philosophy from McMaster University. She is a passionate advocator and community organizer. Her passion for helping those in need shift attitudes in others while discovering themselves through stories has made her a sought after speaker and presenter in Ontario and the US. Her most recent presentation was a TedX talk in Hamilton Celeste believes the words of John Quincy Adams who says; “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more or become more, you are a leader”
Erika Alexander is a 4th generational born-Hamiltonian, with a background in political science, religious studies, and traditional holistic medicine; and is an advocate for her familial legacy & the Canadian Black Indigenous community.
Sandi Bell is a former Canadian Human Rights Commissioner. She is a mediator and Restorative Justice practitioner. She has dedicated her life to advocating for anti-racism, anti-oppression and anti-discrimination for people from marginalized communities. Sandi has proven her dedication to the community over the past 20 plus years having served as Chair of ARCH, Chair of Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, and Co-Chair of the Provincial Learning Advisory Committee. She is currently Immediate Past Chair of HCLC and a board member of ISAC and ARCH.
Is an Associate Professor of French at McMaster University where he chairs the department of French. He previously taught French language and Francophone literatures and cinema at Queen’s University (2005-2009). His research focuses on discourse analysis, memory, genocide and trauma while his teaching interests embrace French language, Fran-cophone literatures/cinema (African and Caribbean), and literary theory. He is the author of Mémocriture: les enjeux oppositionnels de l’écriture chez Sony Labou Tansi (2010) and has published numerous articles and book chapters.
Is a musician/scholar-practitioner born and raised in Ghana, and moved to Canada for school in 2001. He went to McMaster University and completed a degree in Chemical Engineering. For the past ten years he has been advocating for equity in the arts in Hamilton. He is currently the Program Manager at the Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion.
Is a staff lawyer at the Hamilton Refugee Law Office with Legal Aid Ontario. Lily represents refugee claimants and permanent residents before the Immigration Division, Refugee Protection Division, Immigration Appeal Division, Refugee Appeal Division and Federal Court of Canada. She was born in Asmara, Eritrea and immigrated to Hamilton, Canada with her family in July 1989. She was called to the Ontario bar in June 2010 and her legal practice has primarily focused on access to justice issues for the most marginalized members of our community.
Has worked in the social service sector for over 15 years.
Currently, he works for Goodwill Career Centres as a Site Coordinator / Career Development Specialist. He has been involved in the Hamilton immigrant community for over 8 years as a member of the Immigration Partnership Council Employment and Language Committee.
Is an alumna of the University of Windsor, Bachelor of Arts, 2006 and Bachelor of Education 2012. Over the past few years, she taught English and Drama in England and China, educating the next generation on an international level. She enjoys volunteering, coaching youth sports and hopes to make the next step in her filmmaking journey by producing her first feature. She is also working towards completing her Master of Education. Novelette is excited to be volunteering with the HCLC.
Suad Badri was born in Sudan, moved to Hamilton in 2014 as a refugee; and worked as an ESL instructor. Suad is an academic researcher on Environmental Studies, with a focus on Sustainable Energy. Her heart is in social justice/community development; and finds her peace in exploring African Folk Art.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Anne Patenaude-Dlugosz is very proud to be part of the Board of directors for the Hamilton Community Legal Clinic.
After high school, Anne left Hamilton to pursue her studies in French at the University of Ottawa. After teacher’s college, she had the pleasure of teaching in french for many years in various colleges, high schools and elementary schools in various cities in Ontario.
During her teaching career, she was an active member of the executive committee for AEFO,(Association des Enseignants et des Enseignantes Franco Ontariens de l’Ontario.), the teachers union. She was also president of the advisory committee for women in Leadership (CCLF) at the provincial level. She continued this passionate work by representing the French association at a national level for the Canadian Teacher’s Federation.
Now, she’s very happy to be back home, retired, with her family and fellow Hamiltonians.
Terry was born in London, England, of Jamaican heritage. He moved to Hamilton, Ontario in his teens, and continues to reside in the city. He is a retired Hamilton Police officer, who worked in a variety of roles within the Service, but the most rewarding he feels, was working with Youth. He was a School Liaison Officer at both the elementary and high school levels, working with students, their parents and the Administration of Public, Catholic and Private school Boards. He was a Youth Worker at the Arrell Youth Centre in Hamilton. He is a past Mentor with the Liberty For Youth Program. Terry currently works as a Facilitator with the John Howard Society, in the Restorative Justice Program, providing restorative justice services and training for educators and private corporations. Terry is excited to be a part of this committee