project advisory committee

The Making Ends Meet Project Advisory Committee is made up of individuals who represent agencies, organizations, initiatives, communities, and families impacted by working poverty in Vancouver.




Adrienne Montani

Adrienne has lived, worked and been a social justice activist in Vancouver since 1976. She joined First Call: BC Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition in 2000 and has been the Provincial Coordinator since 2005. Prior to working with First Call, Adrienne served as the child and youth advocate for the City of Vancouver, and as the chairperson of the Vancouver School Board for three of her six years as an elected school trustee. Some of her earlier leadership positions included serving as the executive director of Surrey Delta Immigrant Services Society and of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland. Adrienne has a long-standing interest in the issues of cross-cultural awareness and racism, women’s rights and the impacts of social exclusion on children and youth in low-income families. Her academic background is in Asian studies and adult education.



Iglika Ivanova

Iglika is a Senior Economist and the Public Interest Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives BC Office. She researches and writes on key social and economic challenges facing BC and Canada, including poverty, economic insecurity, and labour market shifts towards more precarious work. She is particularly interested in the potential for public policy to build a more just, inclusive and sustainable economy. Outside of work, Iglika volunteers on boards, in coalitions and in various community advisory roles in service of promoting equity and empowering women and other marginalized people. She is an appointed member of the BC Emerging Economy Task Force.



Dr. Kendra Strauss

Kendra is the Director of the Labour Studies Program at Simon Fraser University and an Associate Professor in the Program. A labour geographer by training, Kendra has more than a decade’s experience doing research on precarious employment, low-pay, migration and migrant workers, and labour market restructuring. She has worked with community groups in the UK, where she was based prior to her appointment at SFU in 2014, and in Vancouver and Victoria, on issues related to workers’ rights and the impacts of government policy on precarious employment. She is the author of several books, the most recent entitled ‘Precarious Worlds: Contested Geographies of Social Reproduction’, and many academic and policy-related publications. She is a member of the CCPA Research Advisory Committee and has worked with the Employment Standards Legal Advice Project (ESLAP) in Victoria since 2015.



Lamin Kassama

Lamin is a trained community developer with considerable experience in volunteer management, community engagement and consultation programs, workshop facilitation, evaluation strategies, and various research methodologies. Lamin has worked with various immigrant and community organizations that seek more inclusive and participatory approaches to community engagement, education and development, and he has a solid understanding of issues related to the challenges immigrant families face in accessing social services and overcoming socioeconomic barriers. At Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Lamin coordinates Community Connections programs and activities that connect and engage newcomers and long-term residents to have stronger community bonds, integration of people across all age groups, promotion of respect for diversity, capacity and strengths of all individuals.



Leila Trickey

Leila is a Research Coordinator with the Living Wage for Families Campaign. She is a devoted social justice advocate committed to anti-oppressive, intersectional research methodologies and community practice. Leila completed her Master of Public Health at Simon Fraser University with a focus on social inequities and health. She brings lived personal and professional experience to this project and a passion for creative social change work that honours diverse ways of knowing and engages in reciprocity, participatory practice and critical self-reflection.



Leona Brown

Leona is a Gitxsan mother of three children. After participating in the Resurfacing History: Land and Lives in Mount Pleasant project under the mentorship of Jolene Andrew at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, Leona began to understand the significance and importance of learning about cultural medicines. Her learning started plant-by-plant. Next, she learned how to make salves. After some time and confidence, Leona began sharing her learning at event tables and soon enough she was being invited to workshops to share her journey and her knowledge. From speaking, to attending protests, to harvesting, to drying, to making salves, Leona is motivated by the knowledge that her children are learning from every part of her journey. In learning with her, she is handing culture down to her children, she is also learning from her children and they are breaking cycles together.



Dr. Mohammad Hanif Bariman

Dr. Hanif is a newcomer to Canada and former faculty member at Kabul Medical University in Afghanistan. He worked with the Community Centre for the Disabled, a nonprofit organization involved in advocating for the rights of people with disabilities in Afghanistan. Dr. Hanif has participated in social research projects aimed to adjust the organizational policies and action plans for community development and poverty reduction. He is currently involved with volunteer activities at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House and the Vancouver Foundation.



Nicole Molinari

Nicole works as a researcher and policy analyst at the Hospital Employees’ Union (HEU) in Burnaby, BC. She is committed to social justice practice, and is passionate about participatory, community-based, action-oriented research. She graduated in 2018 with a Master of Arts in Human Geography. Her research and advocacy experience focuses on seniors’ care, health and social care, labour and precarious work, and privatization. Being in nature, baking and cider-making, volunteering, and spending time with her partner, family, dog and cat are how she enjoys her spare time!



Sherman Chan

Sherman is the Director of Family and Settlement Services at MOSAIC. He has a Master of Science in Applied Social Studies from the UK and is a registered social worker. He has worked in the field of social service for more than thirty years in Canada, Hong Kong, USA and Britain. Sherman takes a leadership role with immigration matters in Canada. Currently, he is a Co-chair of Corrections Canada Pacific Region Ethnocultural Advisory Committee, a member of the Transit Police Chief’s Community Council, and served as an Executive and Treasurer of the Canadian Council for Refugees, a Director of the Board of the Pro Bono Law BC and AMSSA, and a member of the National Settlement Council. Sherman has done a number of collaborative studies with research institutions and participated in social justice advocacy with community groups. 



Vicky Li

Vicky is currently working at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House as the Community Connections and Literacy Outreach Coordinator. Vicky and her team support newcomers, immigrants, refugees and indigenous peoples in East Vancouver using strength-based and place-based approaches. Through many unique programs and services including home-based literacy support, gender specific groups, land-based activities, and capacity building programs and training, Vicky and the diverse community connections team help people from all walks of life adjust, strive, connect and contribute to the community. Vicky is passionate about community development and engaging newcomers, long-term Canadians and indigenous peoples in building a more inclusive and welcoming community. Vicky holds an MSW from UBC and has extensive work experience in neighbourhood houses and other community organizations.


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