Meet the Candidates for our Board of Directors!

We have so many amazing candidates for our Board!

This year, COCo is looking to fill 6 spots on our Board of Directors. This year, we have received 10 amazing applications, including 2 returning board members. We’ve excerpted snippets from their applications to help you get to know them, and their full applications are included in the PDF. Suffice to say: We feel so, so lucky that so many people want to support our organization in such a major way.

As a reminder, these are the things we said we wanted in our Board Candidates!

  • Familiarity with anti-oppression frameworks and applying these to organizational settings
  • Experience related to finances and funding development;
  • Experience related to policy development;
  • Human resources or Organizational development / Evaluation skills;
  • Connected to grassroots organizations in Quebec; coalitions and/or neighbourhood tables a plus;
  • Experience working with racialized or marginalized communities

Returning Board Members

Ariel Harlap

“I am eager to continue contributing to sharing my experience and passion for digital justice, organizational strategy and social entrepreneurship as a COCo board member. Over the last two years I have had the pleasure to participate closely in COCo’s efforts to re-examine its overall vision and its ICT service strategies. I would love to continue providing my perspectives as these efforts come to fruition.”

Diana Lombardi

“I am humbly running for a second time for a position on the Board of directors. A lot of work has been done in the past 2 years and significant and thoughtful changes have been introduced. I would love to pursue this work with the team and see it through for the next while. After having the privilege to be a part of COCo and getting the change to know the organisation a little better, I can only say that this admiration has grown. I am surely a proud “COCoNut”!”

New Board Members

Caitlin Hayward

“I am currently working at the NDG Food Depot, in a job and with a team that I love, and that challenges me on a daily basis.I’m inspired by both the breadth and depth of what COCo does; I appreciate that organizations often need specific and technically-minded help, such as that offered by Commun-IT, but also need help to think about the big, complex and important questions like diversity and racism.”

Camerin Cobb

“I have very close ties with the QTBIPOC (“queer and trans black, indigenous, and people of colour”) community in Tiohtià:ke. It is where I invest much of my time and energy and where I receive much support and care in return. I am also connected with artists, programmers, and makers around the city… I respect the work COCo is engaged in and the ethics which govern what you do. I feel very motivated to make meaningful contributions of my time and energy to the communities sharing Tiohtià:ke. I am excited by the opportunity this position would provide to think and work in ways that are collaborative and relational, rather than hierarchical or prescriptive”.

Cora-Lee Conway

“I am a first-generation Canadian born to Caribbean parents in Toronto…My career prior to moving to Montreal was in the policy and non-profit world. I worked with the Ontario Government on their citizen engaged electoral reform campaign and went on to work with Right To Play, a non-governmental organization that advocates for the use of sport as a tool for development. Being in Montreal and working towards my graduate degree in Education has shifted my area of focus from development to social justice. Part of this is informed by my identity and lived experience, and part of that shift is informed by my increased awareness and commitment to anti- oppressive practice.”

Jasmine Ramze Rezaee

“I currently work at McGill University, the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, and as a freelance journalist and editor. I’m also an advisory board member of the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Health Centre and Upping the Anti, a progressive journal. I’m interested in joining your board because I can share relevant policy, communication, fundraising, and organizational skills, and I can contribute my perspectives as a woman of colour committed to inclusivity.”

Patrick Yanga

“Je suis un nouvel immigrant, présent depuis 3 ans et demi sur le territoire Canadien. Ayant fait le parcours plutôt difficile de pas mal de migrants, j’ai suivi par la suite une formation de DESS en aménagement du territoire et développement local, parce que je suis convaincu qu’une dynamique et une mobilisation citoyenne, ne peut se détacher du territoire ou du milieu dans lequel évolue la population. Au travers de tout cela, j’ai œuvré au sein du C.L.I.C.S. Laval, qui est le Centre Lavallois pour l’intégration et la cohésion sociale. C’est un organisme, dans lequel je propose encore mes services. Ce qui me sensibilise beaucoup au sein du COCo, est la volonté de l’organisme de réunir les diverses communautés formant la mosaïque Québécoise.”

Richenda Grazette

“When I was nineteen, I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work at Head & Hands as a fundraising assistant. The experience I gained and the people that I met working in this sector profoundly changed my life path. Now I am working as Director of Fundraising & Development, still at Head & Hands, and I get to spend my days raising money to uphold the amazing work that we do with Montreal youth. I believe that more youth of colour should be represented in our field. Young people have a strong voice and new energies, and once given the chance they can make real and amazing change.”

Rio Victoria Jestin

“Between 2011 – 2015 in Halifax I founded and directed 2 N.P.O.’s and various projects, all of which aimed to cultivate safe and creative spaces for artists and community members to meet, collaborate and share their art and music. In my first year here in Montreal I have started an organization with essentially the same mission, mtl nümün. I am involved a variety of underground groups with activist themes here in Montreal. My current job is Communications Coordinator at ELAN Quebec (English Language Arts Network), which is also a N.P.O.”

Sara Kendall

“I’ve been a co-founder of two community organizations, a nonprofit director, a grant-writer, and an advisor to several inspiring grassroots groups. I’m especially excited to apply to join COCo’s Board in this moment, as the organization steps forward with its Theory of Change and an increased focus on anti-oppression. I hope to support COCo in carrying out this transformative work, so the organization can better support its members in genuinely engaging and transforming power, privilege and inequity within their organizations and communities. I have a deep interest in how organizations can develop structures and practices that reflect and embody our visions for the world we want to live in, and how, in our day-to- day operations, we connect the dots between personal, organizational, and societal transformation.”

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