COCo Staff

Greyscale portrait of Naïma calmly smiling into the camera.

Naïma Phillips

naimap@coco-net.org

Naïma Phillips joined COCo in April 2021 as the Funding and Partnerships Coordinator. Naïma brought to her role over 15 years of experience in the cultural and nonprofit sector -- as a Director of Partnerships, artistic director, writer, collaborator, and board president. Naïma joined COCo during a period of significant challenges, and within only a few months was playing an essential role in collective governance and long-term planning. Naïma is a strategic thinker and a master communicator, able to facilitate meaningful conversations and decision-making around complex issues. As Funding and Partnerships Coordinator, Naïma has maintained and deepened COCo’s existing partnerships, and brought in significant new funding. She has done so with an unwavering commitment to grounding COCo’s fundraising strategy in the principles of anti-oppression, and to centering staff safety and wellbeing.

Janie Janvier

janiej@coco-net.org

Janie has more than 10 years of experience in the community sector where she has served in diverse roles including project evaluation and management, training development and facilitation, documentation and communication of results, and collective mobilization around collaborative projects.

A UQAM graduate with a Bachelor’s in Communications with a specialization in Television, Janie relates first and foremost to our common humanity. Janie believes that the perspective of every person is essential, as it is their experiences that often illuminate the path towards solutions. Tempered by her experience working for citizen participation organizations and a Montreal neighbourhood roundtable, she is passionate about governance, transforming the practices of organizations going through change, and working together to explore different collaborative postures with confidence.

Stella Scupal-Hassani

stellash@coco-net.org

Stella works at COCo as the ateliers/C coordinator. Since the beginning of her career, her professional commitment has been to contribute to the inclusion of discriminated groups and to foster equal opportunities.
In this perspective, she has worked as a project manager in vocational programs for youth and then as a project manager in career mentorship for youth and adults. After her arrival in Quebec, she joined an organization that welcomes and integrates immigrants as an employment counsellor, helping to give tools and support newcomers in their professional integration. It is with the strength of these various experiences, and her desire to commit herself to women, that Stella created in 2020, (Chut!) Les femmes parlent: a social enterprise whose mission is to contribute to the empowerment of women by designing workshops and events for non-profit organizations and individuals.

Pascale Brunet

pascaleb@coco-net.org

Community organizer, facilitator and artist, in the past 20 years, Pascale Brunet have been involved in the community sector and social movements in Quebec. She works on projects about collective care, anti-oppression and social Justice. The thread in her work : weaving the social fabric that keeps us together while holding space for difficult conversations.

Kadiatou Diop

kadid@coco-net.org

Kadiatou Diop (she/her) is a bilingual, half-Senegalese, half-Guinean first generation diasporan settler in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). She’s been working in the community sector for the past 20 years with an emphasis on work with youth and families. She has an eclectic academic background in the arts and social sciences which, combined with a decolonial feminist approach informs her practice. You can sometimes find Kadiatou performing at local comedy and storytelling events.

Florencia Vallejo-Ortiz

florenciav@coco-net.org

Florencia Vallejo-Ortiz joined COCo in 2023 as Organizational Development & Training Coordinator. Born and raised in Mexico, she moved to Montreal in 2015 to pursue broader opportunities. With a background in Women & Gender Studies and Immigration Studies, she brings an intersectional and anti-oppressive analysis to her work. In her facilitation, she seeks to hold spaces where diverse experiences are welcomed without judgment but with kindness and care. She is a lifelong learner, daughter, sister, and cat mother, friend, and sun worshiper! You can always find her behind a book or spot her crossing the street to pet a dog.

Melis Cagan

melisc@coco-net.org

As a social researcher turned web developer, Melis is very passionate about the intersection of technology and anti-oppression. The combination of their experiences working in social justice organizations, developing websites for a variety of community organizations and teaching computer science at the CEGEP level enables them to accompany and train groups around complex technological needs. They are excited to contribute to community organisations to fulfill their technological potential and to help them find solutions that align with their values.

Estelle Davis

estelled@coco-net.org

Estelle Davis joined Coco in July 2023 as the Executive Coordinator of Operations overseeing Coco’s Finances and Human Resources portfolios. Estelle brings over 8 years of experience working in the community sector primarily in harm reduction organizations.

In her professional and personal work, Estelle has been a staunch advocate for the rights of trans and non-binary people and sex workers, holding previous positions at Action Santé Travesti(e)s et Transexuel(le)s du Québec, Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers Action Project, and others.

As a socialist, Estelle tries to put equity, collaboration, and trauma informed approaches front and center in her work.

Adjo Chevalier

adjoc@coco-net.org

Adjo Chevalier (they/elle) is a bilingual (Fr/Eng) Haitian community organizer and writer based in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal). They are passionate about food security, social and restorative justice, mutual aid and collective care. Through the years, Adjo has taken the role of workshop facilitator with children, adults and Elders and has gained many tools along the way. On a daily basis, Adjo is committed to bringing a decolonial lens to the work they do and loves encouraging others to do the same. At COCo, they now occupy the role of Project Coordination Assistant.

Affiliate Facilitators

At COCo, we work with an amazing team of affiliate facilitators who are ready to support your organizational needs!  After we evaluate your organizational needs together, we match our affiliates with your organization based on capacity, expertise, and qualities needed to accompany you in your journey.

Akki Mackay

Akki is a white transfemme and non-binary settler with over 10 years experience being involved in grassroots and community-based initiatives seeking transformative social change in both Montréal/Tiohtià:ke and in Victoria, BC on lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territory. Akki’s professional work in the non-profit sector has focused primarily on supporting and building power alongside marginalized youth, and more recently on program development and health equity research within trans and non-binary communities.

Carole Wawira Muriithi

Carole Wawira Muriithi (she/her) is a facilitator and organizational process consultant. She supports organizations through collaborative culture and systems change processes using an anti-oppressive, anti-racist, and equity-centered lens. Carole applies creative approaches to help organizations uncover new perspectives, make sense of complex issues, address power dynamics, and design sustainable actions and structures to address complex challenges. She has a Master’s in Human Systems Intervention from Concordia University.

Rose-Anne St-Paul

Rose-Anne St-Paul (she/her) wants to support you in pursuing a life that is aligned with your values, which is not easy or straightforward under oppressive systems and narratives. In her practice as a facilitator, Rose-Anne uses non-judgmental active listening to meet people where they are and provides coaching, training and consultations related to human resources, strategizing and visioning. Outside of COCo, she currently offers active listening, counseling or psychotherapy to individuals in her communities looking for mental health support. She was born and raised in Tiohtià:ke (‘Montréal’), from a Haitian middle-class background, and is deeply inspired by gardens, Afrodiasporic music and her elders’ stories.

Amanda Vincelli

Amanda is an organizational development facilitator with an international and multidisciplinary background in the cultural, non-profit, social economy, and community sectors. Shaped by her experiences co-founding and managing a nonprofit cultural organization, designing peer-learning programs, participating in social movements, and providing development support to various nonprofits and creative projects over the last ten years, Amanda is passionate about facilitating collaborative processes and co-developing systems and tools that foster anti-oppressive and caring learning cultures and practices. Having studied community economic development, visual and media arts, as well as strategic design and management, Amanda enjoys using popular education methods, community-based research, embodied and art-based approaches, and systems thinking to support organizations with capacity-building, governance, program design and evaluation, as well as strategic planning, fundraising and development.

Erika

Erika is an impact strategist and facilitator guiding organizations in aligning their vision, mission, and values with strategies that will help them accomplish their desired social contributions. She is committed to helping people, communities, and organizations be at their best so that, together, we may contribute to making the world a better place. Erika does this through facilitating processes, trainings, and workshops using a values-based approach, creating brave spaces, and fostering co-learning and creativity. Her work is characterized by resilience, creativity, collaboration, and gentle excellence.

Taharima Habib

Taharima is Organizational Development Consultant. Her work focuses on building collaborative solutions for non-profit and for-profit organizations based on capacity and collective wellbeing. With her masters degree in HIV research, Taharima uses her analytical skills to support her clients in research, scaling, and anything that requires a lot of attention to detail. Taharima is have over 5 years of experience in board trainings, strategic plan development, communications and marketing strategies and campaign management.

Emilia Gonzalez

As a researcher and facilitator, Emilia has been building bridges between the community development sector and academia for over ten years. She has collaborated on youth-focused and youth-led research and community work in a variety of settings including public service organizations, local and international NGOs, and interdisciplinary partnerships. As a first-generation immigrant from Colombia, Emilia has a personal interest in working with and advocating for newcomer youth. She is passionate about connecting with young people, listening to their stories and co-creating projects that have the potential to transform our society.

Parker Mah

Parker is a bilingual trainer with more than 10 years of experience working in the community sector. Versed in multimedia techniques, he has lent his skills to community development and rights advocacy organizations from Bangladesh to Senegal. His patient, hands-on approach makes him an expert at breaking down complex tech and multimedia concepts. Parker has led learning sessions on social media, citizen journalism, digital storytelling, and various cloud computing tools and platforms. He works to promote participative and citizen-led media as a tool for social change, especially among marginalized populations, through workshops and community-building activities.

Mich (Michèle) Spieler

Mich Spieler has been at COCo since September 2018. In addition to their work as Community Technology Coordinator, Mich has managed COCo’s governance portfolio since October 2019, overseeing governance structures and acting as liaison between COCo’s staff and board. Building on their experience as an Executive Director of a Quebec community group prior to joining COCo, as Governance Coordinator Mich has brought a deep understanding of organizational administration and finances; an ability to communicate and problem-solve around complex organizational challenges with great clarity, transparency, and creativity; and a clear commitment to engaging in critical reflection, learning, and action to address oppression, both at the personal and organizational level.

Madeleine Cohen

Madeleine Aldana Cohen (she/her) is a white settler based in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) with mixed Guatemalan and Jewish ancestry. She is dedicated to supporting social justice groups to align their practices with their values and draws from 15 years’ experience working on the ground in grassroots service and advocacy organizations. Madeleine offers facilitation and coaching to groups seeking support with human resources, leadership development, program design, frontline capacity building, and team wellness. Her approach is grounded in anti-racism, feminism, and queerness.

Emil Briones

Emil Briones (they/them, iel/ael) is an independent consultant, community-based researcher/facilitator, social justice educator, and musician based in Tiohtià:ke, unceded Kanien’keha:ka territories (Montréal) as a settler and member of the Filipinx diaspora. Since 2009, their practice has been informed, nourished, and challenged by their experiences in community care, the performing arts, ancestral inquiry, higher education, the critical social sciences, and social justice education. Currently, Emil provides anti-oppressive organizational development and social justice education consulting, training, and accompaniment support for a diversity of groups.

Emily Yee Clare

Emily Yee Clare is a consultant and illustrator dedicated to creating compassionate & dynamic learning spaces that support groups using popular education practices. Emily has close to 10 years of experience in anti-oppressive change management, human resources, conflict mediation & curriculum design. Emily is mixed race (Hong Konger/Irish) and uses she & they pronouns.

Kira Page

Kira Page is a consultant with a passion for helping groups move through learning and change, particularly around strategic planning, organizational structure, conflict resolution, and anti-oppression. She has worked as a consultant for the Centre for Community Organizations (COCo), MAAMUU Consulting Group, and is the co-founder of Saltwater Learning and Consulting Group. She is white and uses she & her pronouns.

Sophie Le-Phat Ho

Sophie Le-Phat Ho is a bilingual consultant, organizer, facilitator, editor and mediator whose approach is based on her extensive experience working with/in a diverse range of organizations, in different roles of strategic leadership, facilitating interpersonal and organizational change that is rooted in social justice. Her approach is holistic, versatile and interdisciplinary, prioritizes the marginalized and supports the emergence of collective creativity and liberation.

Alex Megelas

Alex is a Montreal-based educator and community organizer with twenty years of project management experience in grassroots organizations and in academia. He is currently the Programs and Communications Coordinator at the Office of Community Engagement at Concordia University where he is responsible for the University of the Streets Café popular education program. He holds an MA in Educational Studies (Concordia University) and is certified in conflict mediation and as a personal and professional coach. As a facilitator, Alex can intervene in a number of areas including: fundraising and development training, board training, group and individual coaching, and conflict mediation.

Johanna Tzountzourishas

Johanna been working in social media marketing since 2013, specializing in marketing strategy, content creation and curation, and community management. She has a keen interest in the non-profit sector and has worked with organizations such as the Trans Canada Trail and the Montreal Gospel Choir as well as many small businesses and start-ups. With over 20 years of experience in teaching and facilitation, Johanna is thrilled to be able to share her expertise with those who need it.

Nadia Chaney

Nadia Chaney

Nadia Chaney is a first generation Indian settler living on Algonquin territory (Ottawa). She is an arts-based facilitator, trainer, mediator and interaction/experience design consultant. She completed a Master’s degree at Simon Fraser University with a concentration in Imaginative Education (2010) and an advanced diploma in art therapy for groups at the European Graduate School (2019), as well as a diploma in Dialogue and Negotiation from Simon Fraser (2007). She served for ten years as Senior International Trainer and Director of Training at Partners for Youth Empowerment, an organization dedicated to providing capacity-building creative facilitation training for frontline youth workers. Since 2002 she has facilitated well over two thousand events. Her most recent creative works include an arts based research lab studying the nature of Time and Temporality. She is the founder of Toolsi, an on-demand facilitation training platform for community-based facilitators and organizations.

If you’d like to learn more about our accompaniments and are ready to jump in, please fill out our intake form and our team will contact you!

Are you interested in joining our affiliate network? Send us a quick message with your bio to services@coco-net.org and we’ll keep you in mind for our next recruitment round!

COCo Board

Gabrielle Spenard-Bernier is a biologist who studied environmental health and worked, for more than 6 years, in communications and project management at provincial and pancanadian organizations dedicated to food systems and the environment. Following her studies in community economic development, she discovered a passion for organizational development, which she has been integrating to her diverse implications. Through her continuous efforts in creating organizational health and healthy governance processes, she is dedicated to building more just and resilient organizations. Based in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal), she currently coordinates a decentralized movement for climate action called Mothers Step In and is inspired by the growing citizen engagement. Her curiosity and creativity can also be revealed in the kitchen, her garden and in nature.

Sara Kendall is an educator and facilitator, currently teaching urban geography and climate justice at Dawson College. She was a co-founder and co-director of Kite’s Nest, a center for liberatory education for youth in Hudson, New York, where she continues to work as Communications Director. She has an interdisciplinary MA from Concordia. Sara has been part of community organizing efforts against gentrification, for migrant justice, and for racial justice in the education and child welfare systems. She’s especially passionate about multigenerational movement-building, and likes making (and then letting go of) meeting agendas.

Afreina Noor has fifteen years of diversified work experience across the non-profit, corporate, and electronic news sectors across Asia, Africa, and North America. In 2006 she co-founded the largest running network of non-profits in Pakistan with a nationwide presence of 30 member organizations. In 2012 she worked as an International Volunteer with vulnerable and orphan children in Botswana. In 2015 she was part of a core team handpicked to steer a thriving company to embrace digital change and create new digital verticals. In 2020 she helped a small start-up climb the value ladder and gear up for exponential growth.
Currently Afreina hosts an online talk show “Conversations with Women Immigrants in Montreal” and is working as the Communications Officer at the Quebec Writers’ Federation. Occasionally she blogs for Vent Over Tea. Afreina is a Fulbright scholar and holds a Master of Public Administration from UPenn. She lives in downtown Montreal with her husband and cat.

Shawna Moore