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Home Access to Justice Week Programming A2J Week 2021: Justice on the ground

A2J Week 2021: Justice on the ground

October 27, 2021
Wednesday, October, 27, 2021
7 - 8:30 pm ET

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This program contains 1 hour and 30 minutes of Professionalism Content.

What do we know about what the search for “justice” looks like on the ground, for those who are at risk of losing their jobs, their homes, or the security of a living income?  How do these insecurities – often overlapping and compounding, affect people’s lives? How do people seek assistance, and what are they looking for? What kind of on the ground services can they access, and are they enough? And, finally, what needs to happen – practically, on the ground, to improve their ability to access “meaningful justice”?
A panel of front-line workers and leaders from across the province, providing assistance in a variety of community-based not-for-profit settings, will share their perspectives on these and other questions. Drawing from their experiences working with and supporting people on the front lines, the panelists will give their frank and constructive views on what it will take to make meaningful access to justice more of a reality.   
Participants can expect to:
  • Increase their understanding of how many people in Ontario, particularly those who face various forms of social disadvantage, experience and deal with problems that may, in one way or another, involve the law
  • Be sparked to consider how they may be able to support, partner, or otherwise engage to help build more meaningful on-the-ground justice.


Mélodie Bérubé is an outreach worker with the Sudbury Workers Centre creating and delivering presentations on worker rights and working one-on-one with clients from differing socio-economic/cultural backgrounds. She has a particular interest in organizing and engaging traditionally excluded groups such as 2SLGBTQ+ workers, workers requiring accommodations and workers experiencing gender-based violence or harassment in the workplace. Mélodie is a graduate of Laurentian University's labour studies/environmental Studies programs.

Ghina El-Koussa is a settlement counsellor with the Arabic speaking community with Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO). Originally, from Lebanon, she came to Ottawa in 2004 after getting married. She was a stay-at-home mom for few years with her three girls while doing various community work. In January 2016, she started a volunteer group through WhatsApp when she heard of Syrian refugees who just had arrived in Canada and were moving to empty houses. It started with home donations but ended up with “buddy” support where volunteers were matched with newcomer refugees to provide guided and informative friendships. The group was awarded Ottawa City Council’s “Certificate of Appreciation for the valuable contribution in supporting Syrian refugees”. As Mayor Jim Watson put it, “Feels Like a Buddy provided TLC (Tender, Love and Care) to the Government assisted refugees”. Through her work, she provides support and guidance to newcomer families, as well as access to services to solve various legal issues.

Kimbra Iket is currently the community wellbeing worker at the Jane Finch Community and Family Centre. She earned her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from University of Toronto and is currently in her last year of Master of Arts in social justice education, working on a thesis centralized around promoting anti-racism and social justice. She has many years of experience in mental health both as case management at Toronto North Support Services and intake counsellor at Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre.

Elene Lam is an activist, community organizer, educator, and human rights defender. She has been involved in the sex worker, migrant, labour, gender and racial justice movement for over 20 years. She is the founder of Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network and has used diverse and innovative approaches to advocate social justice for migrant sex workers. She holds a Master of Laws and Master of Social Work. She is the PhD candidate at McMaster University (School of Social Work) and studying the harm of anti-trafficking movement.

Jenn McIntyre is the executive director of Romero House, a community that offers housing, welcome and accompaniment to refugee claimants. Jenn is active in a variety of advocacy and support networks, including the Canadian Sanctuary Network, the Canadian Council for Refugees, the Ontario Coalition for Service Providers for Refugee Claimants and the Canada-US Cross Border Network.  

This session is hosted by Community Legal Education Ontario.
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