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

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

Pronouns: She/Her

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”.

Cass Elliott

Cass Elliott

Specialist, Seniors' Programming

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Having studied relationships and community development extensively at the University of Ottawa and Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Cass has partnered with a multitude of charitable, academic, and nonprofit institutions to: build capacity, learn collectively, improve practice-readiness, and forge connected relationships.

This practice has taken him across Ontario and British Columbia and at times has given way to severe caffeine induced bouts of existential woe and narcissistically questionable self-reflection.

Listen Chen

Listen Chen

Queer Competency Training (QCT) Facilitator

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

Specialist, Education & Training

Pronouns: She/Her

Rana is a Syrian social activist for non-violent communication and human rights. Throughout her 12 year career in community development, peace building, civil society empowerment, and woman and youth empowerment in Syria.

While in Lebanon, Rana acted as a consultant for young entrepreneurs, designed and managed several projects and programmes addressing the Syrian conflict, tailored and conducted trainings for civil society empowerment and social cohesion, helping bridge the gap between the Syrians and increase their ability to lead change and deal with the arising trauma and humanitarian crisis.

She is a trainer and facilitator of various thematic programs on peace building, conflict resolution, psychosocial support, trauma awareness, facilitation, negotiation and mediation, project planning and social entrepreneurship, and others.

Rana is a Master Trainer for two global programmes developed by the British Council – “Active Citizens” and “Leadership in Community Development” – and has delivered trainings in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

Rana holds a Bachelor in Business Administration, an executive Masters Degree in Psychosocial Support and Dialogue from the Lebanese University, and a Diploma in Social Training and Interactive Methods, from the Academic University for Nonviolence and Human Rights in the Arab World “AUNOHR University” in Beirut, Lebanon. She completed several academic programmes for peace builders around the world.

This list includes a programme with the Center for Justice and Peace summer in the Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia, United States, where she attended courses on Conflict Analysis, Narrative Discourse, Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience, and other similar programmes in South Africa. Rana also worked with international trainers from different counties like: Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Morocco, South Africa, Italy, Denmark, United States and the United Kingdom.

Christen McDonald

Christen McDonald

Specialist, Engagement & Donor Relations

Pronouns: She/Her

Christen is a queer woman of colour of Caribbean ancestry, who lived in Scotland and Jamaica before settling down in Vancouver on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

As someone who comes from a colonized state, Christen continues to incorporate decolonial practices into her everyday life. Since moving from Jamaica to Vancouver, she has finally been able to express her queerness alongside her identity as a woman of colour and is excited at the opportunity to bring that identity into her workplace.

Christen has worked with QMUNITY for the past two years as a PrideSpeaks facilitator, alongside pursing an Associate Degree in Biology at Douglas College. Her work in classrooms and as the Pride Liason for the Douglas College Student Union, as well as her extensive volunteer and event management experience has helped to prepare her for the role of Special Events and Community Outreach Coordinator. She is looking forward to making more connections with the queer community here in Vancouver, especially with other QTBIPOCs.

Christen is also passionate about environmental science and conservation. She and her partner try to lead a zero-waste lifestyle in their East Vancouver apartment. She spends her free time re-reading Maya Angelou, pretending to be a model for Vancouver Fashion Week, biking around Main Street and trying new Caribbean-style recipes.

Landon Krentz

Landon Krentz

Specialist, Communications & Outreach

Pronouns: Landon or He/Him

Landon is a bilaterally profoundly Deaf individual who is fluent in multiple sign languages and English. Landon brings a unique perspective to the administration role by bringing a vast spectrum of experiences not only as a Deaf-queer leader but also an advocate for the inclusion of sign language and bringing intersectionality in the practice so that Deafness is looked upon as a reflection of diversity and culture.

Landon believes in providing communication access to all people while working hard to ensure they are “heard”. In 2018, Landon received an Award of Merit for his distinguished services for accessibility and inclusion.

Landon has worked or volunteered in a communications and administrative role for a number of organizations throughout his career, including Finer Details Event Planning, Theatre Terrific, TimePause Event Services, Made In BC, Mascall Dance Studio, and Vancouver Pride Society. He is currently a Director of Artistic Sign Language, has served as a Director for Foundation of Hope, and is a Past President of BC Rainbow Alliance for the Deaf.

Carl@ Campodonico

[email protected] Campodonico

Informational Referral Services Coordinator

Pronouns: He/She/They

[email protected] is a non-binary gay human being who fluctuates in between the female and male gender expression. They have made positive changes by helping to build inclusive policies for recent Latin American immigrants who are fleeing violence and discrimination in their home countries.

[email protected] was one of the first to introduce to The Canadian Federal Court and the United Nations how de-homosexualization clinics in Latin America oppress the LGBTQ2S+ community by means of torture under the disguise of Rehabilitation Clinics. [email protected] helped marginalized communities become more visible through activism, storytelling, and education.

[email protected] has inspired others to become more active in the community, and has helped many organizations in Ecuador and Canada be more inclusive.  [email protected] believes that kindness can make a better world for everyone and leads by example.

Jennie MacPhee-Woodburn

Jennie MacPhee-Woodburn

Social Worker, Counselling & Youth Support Services

Pronouns: 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

Now HIRING

Now HIRING

Specialist, Youth Programming

The Specialist, Youth Programming provides and maintains programs, services and activities to support LGBTQ/2S questioning youth, parents and service providers.

 

When Esther was fifteen, they started their high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance; they’ve been involved in LGBTQ/2S activism and art ever since. They’re one half of the organizing team behind REVERB: A Queer Reading Series, which has been putting on shows featuring emerging and established queer writers since 2013. All of Esther’s organizing centres anti-oppression and accessibility, with the not-so-secret hope that spaces that affirm, celebrate and support marginalized identities can change the world for the better.

Esther likes a lot of things: poetry, pop music, dismantling the heteropatriarchy, making pancakes, and scavenging for berries, to name a few.