Joel Harnest

Joel Harnest

Co-Executive Director, Engagement & Operations

Pronouns: He/Him/His

[email protected]

I joined QMUNITY in 2015, working as the Education & Training Coordinator, Program Manager, and now Co-Executive Director.  I’m living and working on unceded lands of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, and was raised on Haudenosaune and Mississauga lands, identifying as a cis-man, queer and white settler with British, German, and Swiss ancestry.

By trade and by passion, I’m a facilitator and convenor of dialogue and community engagement. Committed to unearthing and mobilizing shared and collective wisdom, designing intentional spaces in which marginalized knowledge and lived experiences can be centred, and advancing human rights through education and community building.

My priority is to work to be in good relations with those closest to me first – fractal and emergent movement and coalition building. Our pursuit for a more just world is only as strong as the coalitions we build and the relationships we value – collaborators, co-conspirators and partners welcomed! Get in touch to chat about how QMUNITY can support your justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion work; lead or consult on community and public engagement initiatives; plan a workshop, conference, or speaker series.

When not waxing poetic about queer revolutions or addressing the toxicity of misogyny, you might find me on some sports fields (oh, the irony) tossing a plastic, flying disc, or swinging a tennis racquet. My main mode of transportation is cycling, and I frequently pine for the long Vancouver summer days so I can try to survive ill-planned and under-prepared day-long bike trips.

Anoop Gill

Anoop Gill

Co-Executive Director, Programs & Services

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

[email protected]

Having spent the last 7 years at AIDS Vancouver, Anoop joins the QMUNITY team to provide strategic leadership and oversight of community-based programming and social services, including our Youth, Seniors, Counselling and Volunteer programs.

Rana Nu

Rana Nu

Specialist, Education & Training

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

[email protected]

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: She/ Her

[email protected]

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

[email protected]

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.

Tamara Touma

Tamara Touma

Visual Communications Designer

Pronouns: They/Them/She

[email protected]

Tamara has been working in graphic design since 2012. What started as a hobby and a desire to collect and collage their favourite images of long-time crush Johnny Depp, took a more professional turn into a career as a designer in 2014 with her developing skills and building experience in visual and graphic design.

Tamara’s communications experience includes visual design, both for digital and print media, social media planning, as well as 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, they lived and worked in Dubai as an Architect. She is happy to be putting use of her skills set and experience for the benefit of the local LGBTQ2SAI+ community.

Driven by her love and passion for design, Tamara enjoys the creative process of interpreting ideas and concepts into creative visuals. They take it even further outside the workplace where they’re often creating unique tattoo designs drawn by the beauty and complexity of the art of tattooing.

Courtney Dieckbrader

Courtney Dieckbrader

Specialist, Seniors Programming

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

[email protected]

Courtney comes from Vancouver Island but has been living and working in Greater Vancouver for the past 6 years. Her passion for working with seniors comes from the friendships she made working as a front desk concierge at a retirement facility in Victoria and the strong relationships she has with the older generations in her family. When she isn’t hiking around the unceded Indigenous territories her family settled on, she enjoys watching her Aunts play Hockey ‘Go Boda Go’ and working in her garden.

Courtney strongly believes that seniors program development starts with a conversation and becomes something truly special with strong input from the community we serve. She has the utmost respect for the experience each older adult and senior brings to the table and wants to hear from you! Drop her an email or give a call anytime. She loves a good chat.

Jason Hjalmarson

Jason Hjalmarson

Fundraiser

Pronouns: He/Him/His

[email protected]

Jason began his non-profit career as a door to door fundraiser in 2009. Since then, he’s spent over a decade using his fundraising skills to support different progressive causes. He’s passionate about social justice and working to create positive social change. Jason loves watching horror movies with his friends, taking care of his pet cat, and talking about politics. You can often find him reading on his balcony in East Vancouver.

Jeylan Bishop

Jeylan Bishop

Administrator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

[email protected]

Jeylan is a queer mixed person of white and West Indian ancestry. She has spent a significant amount of time on the territories of the W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, living and working on various Southern Gulf Islands. Jeylan is interested in community planning and building relationships; She brings to her role lots of experience in community care from years of small-town living. If she’s not bookkeeping and organizing files, she can be found watering plants or in the woods trying to improve her husky’s recall.

Alex DeForge

Alex DeForge

Coordinator, Social Impact & Provincial Services

Pronouns: They/Them/Theirs

[email protected]

Alex is a non-binary, queer, settler of Filipinex and white ancestry. They live and work on the unceded and occupied lands of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam peoples.

Alex did their Master’s degree in Philosophy at Duke University, with a focus on Political Philosophy and Moral Psychology. They are excited about using their data-geekery and political nerdiness to help QMUNITY broaden their reach and connect with organizations across BC. When Alex is not poring over spreadsheets and reports, they can be found rock climbing, reading science fiction, and dancing in their living room.

Chelsey Blair

Chelsey Blair

Volunteer Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

[email protected]

Chelsey Blair is settled uninvited on these unceded, stolen lands of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She first joined QMUNITY as a volunteer Peer Group Facilitator. She has stepped into the Volunteer Coordinator role after completing a Social Work degree and working to support non-profit reporting and structural development. Her background as an activist includes creating safe spaces for folks living with partner violence, while organizing around survivor support, non-monogamy, and transformative justice. She has a house-tiger named Jupiter that monitors her work, and is lately making sourdough focaccia on the regular while listening to electronic music, wishing for the safe return of underground dance parties.

Dr. Lior Ben Avraham

Dr. Lior Ben Avraham

Clinical Supervisor

Pronouns: He/Him/His

[email protected]

Lior is a cis, queer, Registered Clinical Social Worker with rich experience working with LGBTQ2SAI+ individuals. Born and raised in Israel, he lived ten years in the U.S. before moving to Vancouver in 2017—a city he is proud to call home. He earned his MSW degree at NYU, where he completed his practicum at the Ali Forney Center, the largest provider dedicated to homeless LGBTQ2SAI+ youth in the U.S.; and at Queens Pride House, the diversity center of Queens, NYC. After graduation, he worked as a mental health provider and a team leader in person-centered programs in California. Seeking to learn more about theory and practice, Lior then pursued a doctorate of clinical social work at the University of Pennsylvania.

Upon moving to Vancouver, Lior worked at Vancouver Coastal Health as a social worker and mental health counselor, caring for residents of downtown Vancouver who had a range of psychosocial needs, and as a counselor in the Trans Specialty Care clinic, supporting trans people in their gender journey. Nowadays, in addition to serving as the Clinical Supervisor for QMUNITY, he runs a private practice. Through the lens of intersectionality, Lior promotes anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practices and is a strong advocate of LGBTQ2SAI+ affirmative therapy—a therapeutic approach that embraces a positive view of LGBTQ2SAI+ identities and relationships, and addresses the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of LGBTQ2SAI+ clients. 

When he is not busy raising his one-year-old baby with his partner, you can find Lior cooking vegetarian food, having fun on the trail, growing his orchids, and caring for his lovely cat.