Biographies

CURRENT TEAM

Claire McConnell-Project Manager
Claire McConnell is a family member and also a professional who has worked in mental health and addictions for many years: as a front-line staff, in senior management, at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and at the Central East Local Health Integration Network.  For the last 5 years she has run her own consulting business, specializing in healthcare system planning.  She is passionately committed to increasing and improving services for LGBTTQQ2SIA youth.

Geoff Wilson-Project Coordinator
Geoff Wilson is a mixed race gender queer activist, grassroots community organizer and writer. They identify as a sober addict in recovery. Geoff is a graduate of the social service worker program at George Brown College. Recently, they completed their undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in equity and sexual diversity studies. They wish to politicize their experiences with substance use and sobriety while unravelling the limited representation of the addicted body. More of their work can be found at < livingnotexisting.org >.

Tim McConnell-Project Coordinator
Tim McConnell is a trans-masculine person with lived experience of mental health, substance misuse and trauma. They have previously worked as a peer support worker and substance abuse counsellor at a youth residential addiction treatment facility in New Brunswick, and as a community outreach worker and workshop facilitator with several agencies in Toronto. They write extensively on trans accessibility, institutional cisgenderism and Insidious Trauma, and have presented their work at Grounding Trauma 2014 and the Canadian Conference on Child and Youth Care.

Tim recently compiled a zine on trans and gender non-conforming experiences of sexual violence, which can be found at http://from-the-margins.tumblr.com/post/100941426739/we-are-excited-to-announce-that-embodied-a-zine.

PAST TEAM MEMBERS:

Bridget Liang-Statistician
Bridget Liang is a mixed race, queer, transfeminine, neurodiverse, disabled, fat fangirl. They came into their queerness in Hamilton Ontario and co-founded RADAR Youth Group at the LGBTQ Wellness Centre (the Well) and the first queer group in a high school in Hamilton. They have worked for a number of queer/trans organizations and groups over the years both in Hamilton and Toronto. They do community/emancipatory research, performance art, giving workshops, facilitating groups, peer counselling, and editing fan fic/creative writing. Much of their research has to do with the links between desirability and oppression.

Pina Newman-Outreach Worker
Pina Newman is a 3rd year nursing student at Ryerson University and a transgender woman. Pina identifies as a person in recovery and is passionate about helping others. She currently works in an abstinence based environment but believes in all forms of recovery including harm reduction. In the future, Pina hopes to be able to continue to work closely with the queer community and to promote health in all its meanings.

Yasmeen Finjan-Student Placement
Yasmeen is a child & youth care undergrad at Humber College.  They have a strong interest in supporting addicts/alcoholics, building bridges between harm reduction
& abstinence-based communities, & the destigmatization of substance use.

Emmett Phan
Emmett Phan has graciously donated his time to designing the Pieces to Pathways logo. More of his work can be found at www.emphan.com.

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