Charlene is a Jamaican Canadian who lives in Ontario Canada since 2002. Her primary role above all others is to be the best and most positive influence to her two sons. Second to that is her passion for people by sharing her stories of triumph over adversities.
Her career spans a wide scope of activities, which in its early stages includes serving as a college counsellor and facilitator to first generation students at Florida Memorial University – One of the United States Historical Black Colleges (HBCU). There is where she spent an inordinate amount of time working alongside First Generation African American students as a counsellor and facilitator in a federally funded programme. This was primarily designed to assist them in assimilating into college life. Additionally, she spearheaded a peer-mentoring programme for senior students to guide and mentor freshmen and sophomores by providing them with academic support.
After emigrating to Canada in 2002, Charlene was faced with the challenges of transitioning from familiar to unknown territory. Many of those challenges came with moments of disillusionment and at times regrets. Through it all she persevered. In 2008, she garnered a position of college professor at Sheridan College in Ontario. There she delivered courses to a diverse student population in the areas of Human Relations, Living and Working in a Diverse Society, and Sociology.
Her current roles include Empowerment and Keynote Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, Adjunct College Professor, and Health and Wellness Coach. By working in the field of health and wellness, she works to support and enable her clients to successfully advance through the process of personal transformation, using a holistic approach to mental health and wellness.
Her contribution to the black community in Ontario has enabled her to develop and expand her repertoire. As a speaker and workshop facilitator, Charlene has delivered seminars and workshops on a variety of platforms and in several subject matter, primarily in the field of mental wellness, personal development. As a facilitator, her mission is to provide education and encouragement which she does by sharing her personal stories of humility and hope. Charlene states that, although she has faced many barriers as a woman of colour in Canada, by persevering and self belief, she was able to overcome some treacherous times.
Added to her repertoire is the title of Author, of 2 publications:
“25 Of Life’s Simple Pleasures – that make life worth living.” (2012)
A Sista’s Journal of Gratefulness - 2020
She is a University of Alberta Alumni, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women and Gender studies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and is a practicing Registered Provisional Psychologist in Edmonton.
Vidoll has in-depth knowledge of human rights, having investigated, managed, and resolved complaints at the Ontario Human Rights Commission. He is a thought leader in the anti-oppression/anti-racism community, where he incorporates an ecological paradigm for change, speaking, presenting, coaching, and strengthening the capacity of learners.
I have a Bachelors degree in psychology and a Masters degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Social work. I have been practicing as a registered social worker for 13 years, with my career thus far focusing in mental health and wellness, addiction and maladaptive coping, and concurrent disorders. I have worked in DEI, academia, healthcare, crisis and community mental health capacities, developed and facilitated mental health and addiction groups, as well as gender specific groups focusing on gendered experiences.
While my life currently consists of work and parenting, I also enjoy taking part in community events and festivals, vegetable gardening, running outdoors and trying out new recipes.
Dr Sekandi is a lecturer at the University of Alberta in the Secondary Education Teacher Education Program, Board Chair of the Alberta Black Therapists’ Network, and a Facilitator with Black Mental Health Canada. She also leads the implementation and integration of the Children and Residential Experiences (CARE) and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) Models for at risk youth transitioning to independence within Boyle Street Community Services - Group Living Program.
Dr. Sekandi holds a PhD in Secondary Education and an M.A in Textiles and Clothing both from the University of Alberta and a B.Ed and Dip. Ed from Uganda. She is passionate about and available to speak or consult on the following topics: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Racial Trauma, Intercultural Parenting for BIPOC, Self-Empowerment and Personal Development for Immigrants and Newcomers.
Please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok @breakfreezone4 or Miriam Sekandi Or on our website www.breakfreezone.com
With over a decade of professional experience in healthcare, Shanique has held diverse administrative, operational and clinical roles in both primary and mental health care. She is very passionate and loves working with young adults and underserved, vulnerable populations. She is the Founder and CEO of the Eden Legacy Foundation focused on leadership development, skills building and mentorship of youth and young adults. Shanique consistently volunteers her time in various capacities that empower and edify both young men and women. She has helped organize and host national and global conferences and workshops for individual, organizations and professionals. Through all her various endeavors, Shanique consistently strives to inspire individuals to push through their limitations and live in the realm of their full potential and actualize their dreams. She is an avid reader, writer and loves to travel.