Staff Directory

Aisha Francis

Aisha Francis

Executive Director


416-463-5312

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Aisha is a seasoned professional with twenty-five years of diverse leadership and business experience across the private, corporate and non-profit sectors. Called upon as a thought-leader, creative visionary and prolific speaker, Aisha is also an author who has the gift of connecting narratives, experiences and ideas seamlessly with structure and strategy to energize, motivate and inspire purpose-driven action and achievement.    

In 2014 Aisha founded Project Restore, a grassroots organization with a focus on justice, racial equity and access for families impacted by incarceration (FIBI). Aisha has significant experience in leadership development in a faith-based organization and a strong background in advocating for racial justice issues. She also has an extensive background in corporate budget and operational oversight. 

She sits as a director on the Boards of Ajax Public Library, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals and Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth. Aisha is the recipient of many awards and recently she was selected as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2020.

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Alejandra Galvez

Human Resources Manager


Alfredo Barahona

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Global and Newcomer Coordinator


416.463.5312

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Alfredo Barahona, originally from Cuzcatlan, a Maya – Pipil territory part of what is now known as El Salvador, moved to Canada as refugee in the mid-eighties. He has worked with refugee and migrant communities through Toronto-based settlement agencies and now with KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.

Currently Alfredo is working on Indigenous Rights issues focusing on the development of meaningful relationships and solidarity between Indigenous peoples and newcomers to Canada.

Alfredo has facilitated the KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) extensively in English and Spanish through all of Canada including training KBE facilitators. Alfredo is responsible for the international work related to the KAIROS Blanket Exercise.

Facilitating the effective and meaningful participation of affected communities in advocacy and solidarity work is a key principle in Alfredo’s work.

As a tool for social change, music within a faith ecumenical and solidarity context, is an integral part of Alfredo’s life and social justice work.

beth lorimer

Beth Lorimer

Ecological Justice Program Coordinator


416.463.5312

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Beth is a social and ecological justice advocate with over 10 years experience in sustainable development. She has worked with academia, civil society and government, including Global Affairs and Status of Women Canada. Her work has focused primarily on freshwater management, climate justice, gender, and urban issues in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Beth was a Youth Council member of PWRDF and supported the work of justgeneration.ca and the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth (CLAY) National Youth Project Working Group. She has worked in social justice, camping, and youth ministry at the parish and diocesan level for the Anglican Church of Canada in Ottawa, Kingston, and Toronto. When not at work, Beth enjoys spending time by water with her family, including swimming, paddling and sailing in Ontario’s many great lakes and rivers.

Bonnie Van Hatten

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Regional Director (BC/Yukon)


1.877.403.8933

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Bonnie’s specific matrilineal ancestry is Secwepemc from St’uxwtews First Nation, located in what is now known as Interior BC. She has worked in Indigenous Education for the past 10 years with the Langley School District. Currently she facilitates reconciliation dialogue with a strong emphasis on shared history, stereotypes/biases, responsible ally-ship & advocacy for direct calls to action within her company Skelep Reconciliation. Bonnie holds an Indigenous Cultural Safety Facilitator Certificate from UBC Health and is a Building Bridges Collaborator with the Raven Institute. Bonnie is currently pursuing her MEd in Curriculum and Instruction at Simon Fraser University.

Carole Umana

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Regional Director (Southwestern Ontario)


416.463.5312

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Prior to joining the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, Carole worked primarily in post-secondary education and international development – including peace and social justice in Mesoamerica as well as student success/accessibility at Canadian colleges and universities. Her educational background includes a BA in Latin American/Caribbean Studies (York), a MA in Education (OISE/UofT), and diplomas in counselling.

As a regional coordinator at the KBE, Carole works with both hosts and facilitators in the Southern Ontario region to administer the Blanket Exercise, prepare new KBE facilitators, and generally expand the program.  The Southern Ontario region is bordered by Orillia (north), Oshawa (east), and the Great Lakes to the south and west.

Cheryl McNamara

Media Relations Coordinator



416.463.5312

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The Media Coordinator for KAIROS Canada, Cheryl has 20 years experience in communications management. She has worked for national and grassroots organizations that include the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, Easter Seals Canada, and the Toronto Arts Council Foundation. She is also a climate activist. Cheryl founded and leads the Toronto chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and has lobbied Parliamentarians, US lawmakers and the World Bank to put a price on carbon. Once upon a time, Cheryl was a professional actor. In her wee spare time, she writes plays and hangs around with trees. ​

Cheyenne Joseph

Cheyenne Joseph

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Regional Director (Atlantic)


1.877.403.8933

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Cheyenne is a member of Mi’kmaq Nation in Wabanaki territory. She has over 15 years experience as a Registered Nurse, is certified in community health nursing, and has worked almost exclusively with Indigenous communities in Atlantic Canada. For the past five years, she has been a faculty member at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), helping to strengthen the nursing curriculum by embedding Indigenous wisdom and knowledge. Cheyenne describes herself as “deeply connected to her Mi’kmaq heritage through Elders, ceremonies and cultural events, with an eye to curating a better future for the next seven generations,” and says she seizes every opportunity to be a positive and influential voice for reconciliation in Canada. Cheyenne works out of her home office in New Brunswick.

connie sorio, KAIROS staff

Connie Sorio

Manager, Migrant Justice Program


416.463.5312

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Connie was born in the Philippines and moved to Canada in 1989.

Connie joined the ecumenical movement in 1997 with one of the KAIROS’ predecessors, the Interchurch Action for Relief, Justice and Development.  

Connie has held different positions and responsibilities at KAIROS since then. 

Currently as the Migrant Justice Coordinator,  Connie is responsible for establishing new and nurturing existing relationships with like-minded church groups and civil society organizations mostly in Canada but also with migrant justice seeking groups globally.

Major components of the program are providing support and accompaniment to temporary foreign workers and ensures that their voices and positions are brought to bear on critical issues during roundtable discussions and campaigns here in Canada when physical participation are not possible. She has helped organized delegations and participation of temporary foreign workers in government meetings and roundtable on policy issues relating to the rights and welfare of foreign migrant workers.

In her spare time, Connie Sorio is a community activist, a seasoned organizer and a passionate human rights defender. 

Connor Sarazin

Connor Sarazin

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Communications & Partnerships Coordinator


1.877.403.8933

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A member of the Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation, Connor has worked with First Nation Chiefs, council, staff and Tribal Councils to assist with building capacity, employment and training within their respective communities.

Over his career, Connor has been employed in the non-profit and private sectors for corporations and Indigenous businesses in various areas from sales, employment and training, to tourism, graphic design and marketing. Connor is formally trained in Graphic Communications from Canadore College and is also known for his passion as an Algonquin/Mohawk artist that has led to several art shows across Ontario.

Another passion Connor holds close to his heart is his continuation to reclaim his culture to honour the sacrifices his grandparents made. They fled their home, family and community and lived off the land in hiding in order to save their own children from being taken away to residential school.

Connor is grateful to be a part of a movement to bring awareness and understanding of his ancestors to light.

David Ivany

David Ivany

Communications, Media, and Website Associate, Migrant Justice Program


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With 20+ years of experience in working for social change, David has witnessed the impact that empowered people working in collaboration can have. Through his work at the Lakehead University Student Union, with Thunder Pride, organizing the first Pride celebration in Thunder Bay, and working in collaboration with Definitely Superior Art Gallery, he has sought to inspire empowered communities and advocate for needed change. Since moving to Toronto in 2015, David has been involved in grassroots action and supporting eco-justice initiatives. David was with the migrant justice program from January to April and looks forward to continuing to amplify the voices of migrant workers.

Devora Cascante

Administrative Associate


613.235.9956 Ext. 225

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Devora grew up in Regina where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Bachelor of Education. Since her student days, she’s been volunteering and working in the non-profit / arts and culture sector, with experience in public libraries, provincial museums, national arts organizations, local music festivals and independent print and digital media.

When Devora moved to Ottawa in 2005 she brought her organizational skills and love of spreadsheets to several grassroots initiatives, often in support of gender equality and Indigenous rights. She joined KAIROS in summer 2017 providing administrative services to the Ottawa team. When she’s not sifting through files, she’s exploring hiking trails or coffee shops in the NCC. Devora’s also passionate about fitness and teaches a bi-weekly strength-training class at her local gym.

Dorian Mendoza

Dorian Mendoza

Airport Services Team


Ed Bianchi

Programs Manager


613.235.9956 Ext. 221

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Prior to becoming KAIROS’ Program Manager in 2012, Ed coordinated KAIROS’ Indigenous Rights Program. This involved working with Indigenous peoples and their allies on domestic and international public education and action initiatives towards the recognition and enforcement of Indigenous peoples’ rights.

KAIROS’ creation in 2001 brought together 10 social justice ecumenical coalitions, including the Aboriginal Rights Coalition (ARC), which brought together churches, religious organizations, Indigenous peoples and regional groups. Ed was ARC’s National Coordinator from 1995 to 2001.

Ed has a Bachelor of Journalism (Television) from Carleton University in Ottawa and is the first student at York University in Toronto to complete a combined-Masters Degree in Fine Arts (Film) and Environmental Studies. While in Toronto, Ed co-founded Friends of the Lubicon, a support group for the Lubicon Lake Cree First Nation in Alberta.

Ed’s a hockey and soccer dad who lives in rinks and on pitches in Ottawa with his partner, Nancy, and their children, Graham, Gabriella and Robertson.

Esel Panlaqui

Esel Panlaqui

Project Coordinator, Migrant Justice Program


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Esel Panlaqui has worked in settlement/newcomer services and community development over the last 12 years with a strong passion and commitment to amplifying the voices of marginalized populations including temporary foreign workers. She is a tireless advocate for vulnerable groups. Esel inspires and empowers many with whom she works to support themselves and foster community building and mutual aid. She looks forward to being part of the migrant justice program to work with migrant justice community partners, address the needs and advance the rights and dignity of these vulnerable workers, and recognize their vital contribution in sustaining the Canadian food chain and food security.

Fahira Golich

Donor Relations Coordinator



416.463.5312 Ext. 2036

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Fahira has served in many roles within KAIROS since joining in 2002. She currently holds the position of Donor Relations Coordinator. She enjoys the challenges of fundraising and believes in social justice. Fahira currently lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

Gabriela Jimenez

Latin America Partnerships Coordinator


416.463.5312

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Gabriela Jimenez works as Latin America Partnerships Coordinator at KAIROS since 2018. Previously, she served as an educator, having taught at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University in Toronto as well as at an International Baccalaureate school in Mexico City, Mexico. Gabriela holds a MA degree in Afro-American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto. She has extensive experience researching the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in the Americas, through music and sound. Her writing has been published in Black Music Research Journal, Sounding Out!, The FADER, among others.

Giselle Del Rosario

Executive Associate (Governance and Information Management)


416.463.5312

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Giselle barely has the time to push pencils behind the solid walls of finance and administration at KAIROS. She enjoys working in the background, behind the epic scenes of the KAIROS day to day. While she may not have a green thumb like many of her colleagues, she really likes trees and plants. She’s known to love watching films and does not mind losing an excellent game of scrabble to a good opponent.

Isabel Grigueli - KAIROS Finance Coordinator

Isabel Grigueli

Finance Coordinator


416.463.5312

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Isabel has managed to juggle not only her full-time job as a mother and wife but now finds herself in the role of Finance Coordinator.  

She moved to Canada in 2014, not knowing any English. It was just her and her family and their luggage. She was able to create a name for herself in only six years. She decided that this language barrier was not a challenge for her; she started taking different courses and emerging herself in the culture and learning the language. She then started getting involved as a working member of the community.  

Her story at KAIROS started in 2018 when she was just an intern trying to earn experience for her Business Office Skills course. She was then able to make this grow into a full-time job due to her hardworking and determined personality. She has never backed down from a challenge and is open to trying new things.  

With more than ten years of experience in the Administrative area, for various companies and non-profit organizations, Isabel has brought many new additions to the KAIROS team. But her interests are diverse and go beyond work.  

Outside work, she is an amazing mother that has provided an immense amount of encouragement to her kids to continue whatever path in life they choose to. When she is not working, you can find Isabel spending her time with her family and friends. She enjoys learning various new skills from YouTube videos. She also enjoys reading, going for walks, watching movies with her daughter or playing video games with her son and husband. 

Jalyn Smith

Jalyn Smith

Airport Support Coordinator, Migrant Justice Program


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Jalyn Smith (she/her) Airport Support Coordinator for the Empowering Temporary Foreign Workers During COVID-19 project. Through her varied work and volunteer opportunities Jalyn has been able to see the meaningful incremental change that can happen when people are given the opportunity and resources to thrive. She has had the opportunity to co-foster and train a guide dog for the Lions Foundation of Guide Dogs Canada, worked alongside newcomer families with the Ready for School Connects program and worked for Parkdale Queen West Community Health Center preparing discharge bags for housing insecure people leaving COVID-19 hotels.

Jalyn has a strong commitment to social justice and continued growth. She completed her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Toronto, specializing in the social justice and diversity stream. During her Social Work degree, she had the opportunity to do her practicum with KAIROS Ecumenical Justice Initiatives under the supervision of Connie Sorio, the Migrant Justice Program Manager. It is through this invaluable experience that she was able to learn more about the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the barriers migrant workers face in Canada.

Jalyn has been a part of the Empowering Temporary Foreign Workers During COVID-19 team since its inception, and now works as the Airport Support Coordinator at Toronto Pearson International Airport (TPIA) working alongside a team of dedicated staff supporting arriving temporary foreign workers.

Jane Thirikwa

Jane Thirikwa

Global Partnerships Coordinator


416.463.5312

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Jane is originally from Kenya and is passionate about work that supports social justice, equality, non-discrimination and respect for human rights. She has worked within Kenya’s civil society, in the U.S.A. and Canada, combining her passion, understanding and experience in social justice initiatives with connecting donors to causes they care about. Jane has coordinated and fundraised for human rights and advocacy programs, as well as partnerships with a wide social justice stakeholder movement. She is an Atlas Corps and Human Rights Campaign Fellow (2014).

In her spare time, Jane enjoys volunteering, amateur photography and exploring green spaces.

Jaqueline Merino-Ayala

Jaqueline Merino-Ayala

Airport Services Team


Jazer Montillano

Jazer Montillano

Airport Services Team


Jennifer Dany Aubé

Digital Communications Coordinator


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Artist. Yogacharini. Traveller

To learn more about me, visit my website at http://jenniferdany.ca/The_Artist.html

Jessica Pichard

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Regional Director (Eastern Ontario & Quebec)


613.235.9956 Ext. 226

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Jessica had been with KAIROS Canada facilitating KBEs in the Ottawa region since April 2018. As of January 2019, she has been in the Ottawa office coordinating the KBE requests for the province of Quebec.

Jessica moved to Ottawa from Montreal to pursue her University studies. She holds a criminology and Sociology BA from the University of Ottawa and is currently completing her Master’s degree which focuses on different issues an Indigenous individual may face coming into contact with the Canadian Criminal Justice System. She hopes this will help to continue advocating for Indigenous rights.

Katy Quinn

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Education Coordinator (on leave)


613.235.9956 Ext. 224

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Katy has been with KAIROS Canada since 2012 as Indigenous Rights Coordinator and now KAIROS Blanket Exercise Education Coordinator. She has also worked with the Sioux Lookout Anti-Racism Committee. Her current and previous work has focused on fostering reconciliation based on decolonization and justice for Indigenous peoples. Katy has trained and mentored hundreds of Blanket Exercise Facilitators of all ages and from a diversity of sectors. She has a BA in Anthropology from Concordia University and an MA in Conflict Studies from Saint Paul University. Katy is a settler on unceded Algonquin territory in Ottawa.

Liliana Svartman

Finance Manager


416.463.5312

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Dynamic and goal-oriented, Liliana Svartman has helmed financial operations across not-for-profit organizations as well as manufacturing industries in Canada, US and |Europe. Her understanding of the dynamics between organizational objectives and accounting practices has served her well in the last 20 years. As the Finance Manager at KAIROS, Liliana brings leadership to the finance function, in support of the organizational strategic vision. In this role, Liliana has overhauled internal financial processes, creating controls, establishing and implementing finance procedures. In her spare time she enjoys camping, canoeing and cooking with her family.

Michael Small

Michael Small

Airport Services Team


Mitos Caballes

Mitos Caballes

Project Finance/Administrator, Migrant Justice Program


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With over 20 years’ experience in the corporate world of Fortune 500 companies, Mitos continues to find opportunities to contribute to the community. Currently a member of the Federation of Filipino Canadians of Brampton as Community event planner and Communications Officer, as well as a member of the Filipino Canadian Automotive Workers Association. She has also volunteered at the Age-Friendly Brampton Citizen Advisory Committee (City of Brampton), participated as Finance Lead of the Inclusion & Diversity Council, as well as served as a Seniors’ Companion for 2 years at the Victorian Order of Nurses. Being a KAIROS team member for the Migrant Justice Program brings what is close to her heart to the forefront: A passion for justice, the welfare of others, and closing the gaps in systemic shortcomings.

Rachel Charette

KAIROS Blanket Exercise Regional Director (Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario)


1.877.403.8933

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Rachel is the Regional Director for Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Rachel is a member of the Metis/Michif Nation with roots in the Red River Settlement and has Metis (French, Ojibwe, Cree, Scottish and Assiniboine) ancestry.

Rachel has worked within non-profit management in the urban Indigenous community over the last 20+ years. She has experience developing, implementing and managing programs and services in a variety of sectors including community/restorative justice, family violence prevention, mental health, culture/heritage and education. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree, and is currently working on her Masters in Social Work.  She is a volunteer on several boards and committees in the community, is the mother of 2 children, enjoys reading, learning land based and traditional skills and is an outdoors enthusiast.  She works out of her home office in Winnipeg.

Rachel Warden

Partnerships Manager


416.463.5312

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Rachel is KAIROS’ partnerships manager. She has been involved in the human rights and social justice work of the churches for over 20 years and in solidarity and social justice movements for much longer, starting with the anti apartheid and divestment movement and the Nicaraguan solidarity movement in high school and university.

She holds an honours degree in International Development Studies from the University of Toronto, and a graduate certificate Gender and Peacebuilding from the University of Peace of the United Nations in Costa Rica.

Rachel is an experienced Popular and Adult Educator and fearless flute player and member of the Fallen Angles musical group. Finally, but most importantly to her, she is the mother of two beautiful, wise, compassionate and independent young women.

Radia Mbengue

Radia Mbengue

Global Partnerships Coordinator: Africa and Climate Justice


416.463.5312

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Originally from Senegal, Radia has worked with transnational organizations in Africa to analyze the scope of implementation of UNSCR1325 in the Great Lakes Region and worked as a MENA Gender Based Violence Consultant for the World Bank.

She analyzed the current state of displacement, women’s Health Rights and Gender Based Violence in conflict affected areas of Mali in an effort to provide policy recommendations to Refugees International; She enjoys working with local civil society organizations and is passionate about grassroots change and bottom-up approach to development. Her work at US-Afghan Women’s Council also furthered her interest in peacebuilding and reconciliation.

After working as a Grant and Development fellow focused on USAID and World Bank contracts at Inclusive Societies, she is now working as the Global Partnerships Coordinator at KAIROS Canada on Women, Peace and Security and Climate Justice in Africa.

Rick Garland

Administrative Associate



416.463.5312 Ext. 2037

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Rick hails originally from the Maritimes where he received a B.A. from Mount Allison University and an M.Div from Atlantic School of Theology. Rick worked for the Student Christian Movement of Canada as General Secretary from 1995-2000. From there he moved to work at the general council office of the United Church of Canada, where he acted as program coordinator for youth and young adult ministries.

He currently holds the position of Administrative Associate at Kairos, dealing with financial reconciliation for staff and operations of the organization. He also manages resources and other office duties. In his spare time, Rick spends time volunteering for Save My Tail dog rescue, playing Rock Band with his partner Darren, and generally pining for the East coast.

Shannon Neufeldt

Member Relations and Network Coordinator


416.463.5312

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My role at KAIROS is to support the work of the grassroots across the country and to maintain the link to the churches in all the justice work.  I give workshops and develop worship resources related to all areas of KAIROS work.

When I’m not at work I enjoy exploring the city with my partner and children, especially the green spaces on my bicycle.