Dara Parker

Dara Parker

Executive Director

Dara is a community planner with a background in diversity and inclusion and over 15 years’ experience working in social-profits and local government. Dara is a regular commentator on current issues and has been featured on Global BC, CTV, CBC, CKNW, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Vancouver Sun, The Georgia Straight, and The Vancouver Courier. Dara began her career working in international development and has travelled to over 45 countries, spanning five continents.

Her CIDA-funded youth engagement work in Lesotho (Southern Africa), inspired her to return to pursue a Masters in Planning at the University of British Columbia, with a focus on how to build inclusive cities. Dara’s notable achievements include: working for Kids Help Phone, the United Nations Association in Canada, the City of Burnaby, and Cuso International. For three years Dara consulted with UN-Habitat on their inaugural Youth Advisory Board, helping mainstream youth participation throughout the organization. Dara volunteers as Co-President of the United Nations Association in Canada Vancouver Board, promoting public engagement on global issues. In her free time, she really enjoys a good game of beach volleyball.

Catarina Moreno

Catarina Moreno

Program Manager

Catarina is an experienced program manager and social justice advocate. Prior to joining QMUNITY, Catarina lived and worked in Europe and Latin America working with a range of local and international organizations. She holds an MA in Globalization and International Development from the University of Ottawa with a research focus on community development, and strategies of resistance around natural resource management.

Currently, she also volunteers with Fair Trade Vancouver contributing her skills as Executive Director. As Program Manager, Catarina is proud to be a contributing member to QMUNITY’s decades-long history of advocacy, activism, and community development.

Doug Craig

Doug Craig

Operations and Development Manager

Doug is an experienced community development practitioner, drawing from his time spent living, working, studying, and volunteering throughout Africa, Europe, and the Canadian far North. Having studied tourism management and political science, Doug brings to the table an understanding of management principles and how to apply them in the real world.

Doug has worked in the non-profit sector, the private sector, and in municipal government. This has provided him with a well-rounded perspective on how to leverage key stakeholders for mutual gain. Doug has also worked with Vancouver’s queer communities during his time with LOUD Business (formally the Gay and Lesbian Business Association of BC). He found that raising the visibility of community members, particularly of positive role models, is still an area that needs to be further developed. His personal philosophy involves leading by example, and acting as a catalyst for positive change within the LGBTQ community and the greater global community at large.

Daniela Gardea

Daniela Gardea

Communications Coordinator

Daniela is both a creative strategist and a strategic creative. In her role as QMUNITY’s Communication Coordinator, she works to promote QMUNITY’s programs and to create more opportunities for visibility, conversation, and engagement around queer issues.

She can also be found making things—including unicorns and animated gifs—look pixel-perfect pretty. Daniela holds a B.A. in Strategic Communication and Marketing. In her spare time, Daniela is either practising, discussing or watching sports.

Ayesha Ismail-Kanani

Ayesha Ismail-Kanani

Youth Worker

Ayesha Ismail-Kanani is a queer, South Asian settler living and working on unceded Coast Salish Territories. They are dedicated to social justice work and creating safer, more inclusive, anti-oppressive spaces for queer, trans* and Two Spirit youth.

They have been avidly involved in youth support work, workshop facilitation on gender and sexuality, program development and policy reform. They assisted in the creation of the Trans* & Gender Variant Inclusion Recommendations Report, passed by the Vancouver Park Board in 2014. Ayesha spends their spare time making art and working on arts based activism. They also volunteer as part of collective organizing groups focused on making space for qtipoc (queer, trans*, Two-Spirit, People of Colour) communities.

Lucas Wilson

Lucas Wilson

Youth Worker

Lucas is a passionate LGBTQ youth worker with a “person-centered” perspective, a firm believer that individuals are experts of their own lives. While earning a BA in English at SFU, Lucas began work with LGBTQ folks in peer-support groups on and off campus; he also worked with youth in after-school care programs at the South Burnaby Neighborhood House.

His work brought him to volunteering at QMUNITY, facilitating support-groups, workshops, and Gab Youth – a program he loves for its amazing space in supporting youth from all across the gender spectrum to be themselves. With his experience in transgender health – and lived experience as a transgender man – Lucas also facilitates the VCH Transgender Health Information Program’s Trans Youth Drop-In, and hopes to incorporate more trans issues and visible identities into Gab Youth. When not working, Lucas enjoys running, adventuring, and watching movies so bad, they’re good.

Allison Jones

Allison Jones

Generations Coordinator

Allison has six years of work experience in the affordable housing and homelessness sectors in BC and is passionate about connecting and supporting people with services that will improve their lives. Allison is a social planner and has worked extensively in the non profit and public sectors with diverse groups including the LGBTQ community in New Orleans, LA.

She holds a Masters in Community Planning from UBC and has volunteered, contributing her skills, to non profit committees and organizations in the Lower Mainland such as Your Local Farmers Market Society, her housing co-op and the LGBTQ Mayor’s Advisory Committee. Allison is committed to working with LGBTQ seniors to build connections to their community and have fun in the process. She enjoys projects that promote health, sustainability and skill building. In her spare time, Allison likes to bike, backpack, eat great food and spend time with good friends and family.

Justin Barath

Justin Barath

Operations and Development Coordinator

Justin is an enthusiastic and optimistic individual with a passion for wellness research, civic engagement, youth development and advocacy. He has a diverse background in community outreach and education with an emphasis on (dis)ability and queer issues. Prior to moving to Vancouver, Justin completed dual degrees in Life Sciences and Psychology at Queen’s University, Kingston.

He previously volunteered as a board member with Reelout Arts Project Inc., where he spent three years working on the Reelout Queer Film + Video Festival, Reelout In Schools, and various outreach projects with HIV/AIDS Regional Services Kingston and LGBT Youth Line in Toronto. He is passionate about LGBTQ research and volunteered as a research assistant with the Sexual Health Research Lab at Queen’s University, in addition to completing certifications in Mental Health First Aid and safeTALK from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Justin is excited to join the amazing staff at QMUNITY and champion the QMUNITY values of diversity, community, advocacy, and respect, while assisting with programming to support all of B.C.’s queer communities. In addition to his extensive interests in technology and music, Justin is enjoying the opportunity to reactivate his interest in cycling and outdoor activities with his move to Vancouver.

Joel Harnest

Joel Harnest

Education and Training Coordinator

Joel joins QMUNITY with over 7 years of experience in outreach, group facilitation and adult education.  After studying international development at the University of Guelph, he worked in student recruitment followed by some years spent at an international charity where he managed program implementation within Washington State.

Joel believes in the power of stories, and loves to share his own while creating space for others to feel confident and safe enough to share theirs. Joel believes in finding work in which he can create space for people from all walks of life to feel fully human: respected, dignified and valued.  For this reason, and many more, he’s excited to be part of QMUNITY!

Outside of work, Joel fancies himself a decent, if not clumsy, sportsperson, playing tennis, soccer and ultimate frisbee.  An avid board game player,Joel will gladly take on any challengers for a game of Settlers of Catan or Bananagrams.  When he’s looking to unwind, yoga, photography or a trip into nature calms the mind, body and heart.  If you ask him about his cats, be sure you have 90 minutes to spare.

Ahmed Danny Ramadan

Ahmed Danny Ramadan

Volunteer Coordinator

Danny is a Jack-of-all-trades who found his calling in activism, civil society, journalism and creative writing. As an LGBTQ activist, he has been involved in coordinating online and on the ground efforts to support gender and sexual minorities in Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon as well as his birthplace of Syria.

Through QMUNITY, Danny hopes to give back to the community that welcomed and embraced him since his arrival to Canada.

He is passionate about the values of volunteerism and democracy; and the causes of social justice and LGBTQ refugees’ rights. He demonstrated his commitment to these causes through his past involvement with local and international organizations based in the Middle East, as well as his personal experience as a former gay refugee.

Danny is an experienced journalist with bylines appearing in the Washington Post, The Guardian and Foreign Policy. He is also an author, with two collections of short stories published in Arabic. He is planning to publish his first novel in English soon.

Finally, Danny is a comics nerd. He is also addicted to Twitter. He has been ignoring his friends’ constant advice to stop using the word “awesome” way too much.