Clovis Grant, Chair
Clovis has provided leadership in the Human Services sector for over 25 years in the areas of homelessness, employment, social assistance, mental health, and disabilities. He is currently CEO of 360°kids, an organization serving homeless youth in York Region, and Co-founder of Sawubona Africentric Circle of Support, a group for Black caregivers supporting a family member with special needs. Clovis holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto and a Master of Arts in Leadership from the University of Guelph.
Francine Odette, Director
Fran Odette has worked in social justice and equity for approximately 25+ years. Her work has particularly focused on issues impacting women with disabilities and Deaf women. While in her position as Program Manager at Springtide Resources, Fran worked alongside Cory Silverberg to create and implement the Sexuality and Access Project, an initiative offering information and workshops to address the connection between violence prevention through healthy sexuality and sex-positive programming.
Fran comes to this work from her own lived experience and as someone who is committed to advocating for people with disabilities to live their lives with self- determination and agency. She works closely with service providers, including health care practitioners who work with marginalized communities, to ensure that programs reflect a human rights perspective, which includes working from a place of respect and dignity. She has delivered workshops with a focus on social justice, disability, and inclusion to audiences both provincially and nationally. Fran teaches a critical disability studies course in the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counsellor and Advocate (AWCCA) Program, Social Service Worker Program (SSW) and Liberal Arts and Sciences Division.
Fran has co-authored journal articles on gender, disability, and access to equitable health services. She also co-authored with Cory Silverberg and Dr. Miriam Kaufman a book entitled “The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability – For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain and Illness” (*Cleis Press).
Aseefa Sarang, Treasurer
Aseefa is the Executive Director of Across Boundaries, an Ethnoracial Mental Health Centre in Toronto. Celebrating her remarkable 28-year journey at Across Boundaries, she emerges as the guiding force behind an organization recognized for providing mental health and addictions programs and services tailored to racialized individuals.
Aseefa’s focus extends to direct service programming for adults, youth, and families, addressing areas like the criminal justice system, homelessness, immigration, and the impact of their intersections on the lives of marginalized communities.
She is a tireless advocate for systemic change, serving on numerous local, provincial, and national boards and committees, including, Connex Ontario, Health System Advisory Council, Addictions Mental Health Ontario, and the Ontario Structured Psychotherapy Advisory Committee, to name a few.
She played a pivotal role in Across Boundaries’ growth from a small team of four to a dedicated staff of forty-four, fostering partnerships with key organizations. Aseefa’s advocacy efforts rooted in anti-oppression, anti-racism, and challenging anti-Black racism, have earned her recognition for her commitment and dedication to this work. She remains keen on doing her part to reshape mental health care for racialized and Black communities.
Roger Wah Shee, Director
Roger is a Tłı̨chǫ Dene lawyer born in Fort Smith, NWT and works in downtown Yellowknife, NWT. Roger comes from a family of professionals and focuses his talents on human rights protection and promoting Indigenous rights in Canada. He believes that “the institutions that will best serve the Dene people have not been built yet” and loves networking with movers and shakers to share his vision for a healthier and more prosperous future for the Dene. Roger enjoys the grind of cabin life in the traditional territory of the Tłı̨chǫ people and likes to hunt, fish and snare critters for stews in the Dutch oven on his woodstove. He has also recently entered the world of creative writing and is inspired by artists such as Gil Scott-Heron and Tupac Shakur. Roger is inspired by IRIS’s solidarity work and looks forward to exploring the reality of “intersectionality” of social condition, race, and disability with a view to finding solutions for inclusion of marginalized peoples.
Fiona Whittington-Walsh, Vice-Chair
Dr. Fiona Whittington-Walsh is the Lead Advisor on Disability, Accessibility, and Inclusion at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. She teaches in the departments of sociology and policy studies, is a KPU Senator, and member of KPU’s Accessibility Committee. Fiona’s research includes gendered embodiment, disability and film, inclusive pedagogy, and post-secondary services for students with disabilities. A key aspect of her work is creating strong connections with the community. She is past president of Inclusion BC and has also been a Member of the Board of Directors for both Inclusion Canada and IRIS.