Osmel B. Guerra Maynes

Osmel B. Guerra Maynes

Executive Director

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Osmel Guerra Maynes is a social justice activist who was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the twin island state of Antigua and Barbuda. Osmel identifies as an Afro Latino cisgender queer man.

Osmel immigrated to Canada as an international student in 2003 to pursue a Political Science Degree at Carleton University and worked to ensure access to education for marginalized communities through various student roles. Osmel has called Canada home for 10+ years.

During his time working with LGBTQ/2S community-based organizations in Toronto, Osmel focused his work on developing policy and procedures, strategic planning and program design in the non-profit membership-driven sector.

Osmel is excited and honoured to advance the vision and mission of QMUNITY and strongly believes in the power of inclusion to affect lasting social change

Heather Wong-Mitchell

Heather Wong-Mitchell

Manager of Finance and Administration

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Heather Wong-Mitchell could best be described as a word nerd, a wine geek, an outdoor enthusiast, and a dog lover, in no particular order. She joins Qmunity after an extensive career in hospitality and wine retail, with forays into academia and accounting, that took her to locations as disparate as Toronto (traditional Mississaugan, Wendat, and Iroquoian lands) and Tofino (the unceded territories of the Tla-O- Qui-Aht / Nuu-Chah- Nulth First Nations).

She holds a BA in English and Ethnic Studies from Mills College (Oakland, CA – the traditional territories of the Ohlone and Yokuts peoples) and an MA in English and Queer Studies from Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, BC – the unceded lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations) and is an accredited Sommelier. Her connection to QMUNITY goes back to the mid 1990s, when she met her first “real” girlfriend at a QMUNITY (then The Centre) youth group. She lives in East Van with her wife and large, lazy dog.

Joel Harnest

Joel Harnest

Manager of Programs & Community Engagement

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Joel is a cis, queer, white settler, living and working on the unceded and ancestral lands of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples.

Joel joined QMUNITY in Spring 2015 as the Education & Training Coordinator, and has since developed and delivered hundreds of workshops, speaking engagements and dialogues for service providers, health care professionals, educators and private/for-profit businesses. In June 2018 he took on the role of Manager of Programs and Community Development.

Joel brings over 10 years of experience in group facilitation, adult education, curriculum design and public speaking to his role at QMUNITY.  Most recently, Joel completed a Certificate in Dialogue & Civic Engagement from Simon Fraser University. Course learnings provided him with the opportunity to enhance his skills and abilities to bring groups of people together to have difficult conversations and co-create new knowledge and innovative solutions to address complex issues.

When Joel isn’t waxing poetic about queer revolutions or addressing the toxicity of misogyny, you might find him on some sports fields (oh, the irony) tossing a plastic, flying disc or kicking around a soccer ball.  His main mode of transportation is cycling, and he frequently pines for the long Vancouver summer days so he can try to survive ill-planned and under-prepared day-long bike trips.

Meera Dhebar

Meera Dhebar

Clinical Supervisor, MSW

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Meera has been the Clinical Supervisor for QMUNITY’s counselling program since 2013, overseeing placement students and professional volunteer therapists.

She has been a social worker for over 20 years, moving into areas of counselling as a therapist and supervisor over the last seven years.

Narrative therapy has given her the social justice perspective that is so important to her practice, and working with the queer community; this is integrated into how she understands and works with people. The tools she uses allow for transparency, creativity and joyfulness… As a narrative therapist she truly feels this is her craft and she is excited to continue to learn and develop herself in this practice.

Meera completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work in Toronto and  spent the first half of her career in the non profit sector. This included a crisis line for assaulted women, homelessness and housing, and HIV/AIDS. Within health care Meera has worked in hospitals and palliative care in Vancouver.

Today Meera is working on her PhD (Taos Inst. and VUB Brussels) looking at the connection that takes place between queer therapist and queer clients, and was strongly influenced by her work at Qmunity in developing this research.

Meera moved to Vancouver from Toronto in 2012. She loves the fresh air, the energy of the trees and the spirit of the ocean, all that is BC. Meera’s work and life experiences have taught her that there so much more to people than what meets the eye. “We are such complex and powerful beings, able to move through transformative change at unexpected moments of our lives”.

Listen Chen

Listen Chen

Queer Competency Training (QCT) Coordinator

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Listen Chen was born in the year of the rabbit under a Capricorn sun. They grew up in Hong Kong and have been living on the occupied, ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since 2009.

They are particularly excited about exploring the relationship between education and change, and have a background in community organizing and poetry. When they aren’t thinking about pedagogy, they can be found crafting, walking their cats, or studying Buddhist ontologies from a materialist perspective.

Rana Nu

Rana Nu

Specialist, Education & Training

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Rana is a social activist for non-violent communication and human rights. Throughout more than 12-year of a career in civil society empowerment, peacebuilding, and community engagement, she has tailored and conducted training for civil society empowerment and social cohesion. Through these programs, she has helped to bridge the gap between people from different political affiliation, ethnics & believes, and increased their ability to lead the change and deal with the arising trauma and humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

She is a trainer and facilitator of various thematic on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, psychosocial support, facilitation skills, negotiation and mediation, project planning and social entrepreneurship. Master trainer for two global programs developed by the British Council: “Active Citizens” and “Leadership in Community Development”. Worked with different activists and trainers worldwide (Canada, USA, Europe, South Africa, and the Middle East.)

Jennie MacPhee-Woodburn

Jennie MacPhee-Woodburn

Social Worker, Counselling & Youth Support Services, RSW (#13963)

Pronouns: Sher/ Her/ They/Them

Jennie first joined the Q team as a Practicum Student in the Youth Program while they were completing their BSW. They stayed on as a volunteer and recently took on additional responsibilities as the Drop-In facilitator.

Aside from their educational achievements and volunteer history with QMUNITY, Jennie brings a great deal of warmth, a calm, reassuring presence and a remarkable desire to help improve the lives of LGBTQ/2S people – not to mention a love for Tegan and Sara that is second to none

Han Hugessen

Han Hugessen

Specialist, Youth Programming

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

Han grew up in Australia and moved from a desert wasteland to a frozen one in 2017; they have been living and working on the unceded and ancenstral lands of the Squamish, Tseil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples ever since. Han has worked with youth for over 10 years in teaching and youth working capacities, working with culturally and linguistically diverse youth, youth experiencing homelessness and youth with disabilities. Han is passionate about providing safe spaces for LGBTQ2S+ youth where their unique strengths and resilience can be recognised and celebrated.

Han has a trio of Bachelor’s Degrees in Social Science, Film and Performance and strongly believes in the importance of a diverse range of experiences being represented by, for and about young people. In their free time Han can be found going for long runs without appropriate rain gear, reading feminist dystopian fiction and inflicting affection upon ambivalent cats.

Ziggy Schutz

Ziggy Schutz

Pridespeaks Administrator

Pronouns: He/she

Ziggy is a queer, disabled individual who grew up in a small town before moving to the big city, just like in all of the queer fairy tales. She has been living and working on the unceded and ancestral lands of the Squamish, Tseil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples since 2011.

Ziggy has been involved with Qmunity for over six years through the Pridespeak program, where he got to see first hand how important queer stories and history told by queer voices can be for youth who are feeling isolated. This is something he carries with him into the Coordinator role, always making sure to balance Big Picture thinking with the impact of an individual.

She is also an author, advocating for better representation in media as she writes the kind of stories her younger self had always needed. Lots of dragons, and cool monster girls, and queer kids getting happy endings.

Tamara Touma

Tamara Touma

Visual Communications Designer

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Tamara has been working in graphic design since 2012, what started as a hobby and a desire to alter her favourite images of long-time crush Johnny Depp, ended with her self-teaching and developing her skills in design and visual graphics, taking on a more professional turn into her career as a designer in 2014.

Her experience includes both digital and print media, as well as social media coordination and strategy, content development for social networks on various channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Tamara was born and raised in Syria, before moving to Vancouver to the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in 2018, she lived and worked in Dubai as an Architect. She is happy to be putting use to her skills set and experience for the benefit of the local LGBTQ2S community, that she now calls her own.

Driven by her love and passion for design, Tamara enjoys the creative process of interpreting ideas and concepts into creative visuals. She takes it even further outside the work place where she often practices sketching and drawing, creating unique tattoo designs drawn by the beauty and complexity of the art of tattooing.