National Ethnocultural Advisory Committee members

The National Ethnocultural Advisory Committee (NEAC) is composed of the chair and vice-chair of each regional ethnocultural advisory committee (REAC) of the Correctional Service Canada (CSC):

Atlantic Region

Spencer Colley, Atlantic Regional Vice-Chair

Spencer is a native of the East Preston community. He has spent his lifetime serving others; volunteering wherever and whenever an opportunity presented itself or where he felt his expertise could be useful. Spencer was part of the team responsible for bringing the Boys and Girls Club to the Preston Area. He was a trustee chair for Cole Harbour High School and Auburn Drive High School. Additionally, he was king lion for two terms with the Preston and Area Lions Club, a club of which he is still an active member.

In 1972, Spencer joined the Dartmouth City Police where he retired in 1997. He is the past president of the Preston and Area Ratepayer's Association and is involved today with the New Beginnings Ministries Church as a volunteer in the Prison Ministry. Spencer is vice-chair of Atlantic Region's REAC.

The late Atlantic Regional Chair, Theresa Halfkenny
(November 24, 1944 – January 12, 2023)

Theresa was a member of the African-Canadian community in Dorchester, New Brunswick. She started her first career in nursing before working at Service Canada for 25 years. Much of her work included the Employment Equity and Official Languages portfolio. She served as municipal councillor for the town of Amherst for three years and was active in the community, giving several presentations at schools and at a number of organizations in Cumberland County.

Theresa was also a board member with Nova Scotia Works-CANSA (Cumberland African Nova Scotia Association). She had been involved with CSC since the early 1980s as a member of Springhill Institution's Citizen's Advisory Committee and more recently as the chairperson of Atlantic's REAC, whose members are dedicated to cultural competence within CSC concerning employee integration, programming and ethnocultural offender population issues.

Quebec Region

Anissa Kherrati, Quebec Regional Chair

Anissa is Quebec's REAC chair. She brings an entrepreneurial spirit to the rehabilitation of offenders, offering business models adapted to different realities (cooperatives, etc.). Her work has always been guided by the recognition of individual transferable skills.

Anissa firmly believes that REAC's work is essential to the advancement of ethnocultural offender reintegration. She believes in REAC's contribution as a vital bridge that fosters relations between CSC and ethnocultural communities. She has visited several institutions and had the opportunity to interact with inmates and staff on a frequent basis.

Anissa sits on various boards and is very active in the field of social economy. She has been leading workshops in federal penitentiaries on business start-ups to different ethnocultural offenders for several years. Anissa's work and efforts continue to yield positive responses from inmates.

Brunilda Reyes, Quebec Regional Vice-Chair

Brunilda is vice-chair of Quebec's REAC and director of Les Fourchettes de l'Espoir. Her organization was created in February 2001 to be as a social economy enterprise, stemming from an idea to provide the population of Montreal-North with quality food safety services and healthy lifestyles.

Assuming its mission, over the past 12 years, Les Fourchettes de l'Espoir has become one of the leaders in promoting the social and economic equality of citizens by improving the living conditions of the population of North Montreal.

Brunilda's organization aims to contribute:

to improving the quality of life of citizens by focusing on five essential values:

Ontario Region

Sophia Brown Ramsay, Ontario Regional Chair

Sophia began her career in the criminal justice system working with young offenders and women, and is currently the executive director at the Black Community Action Network (BCAN) of Peel. She works to advance an equity agenda to address gaps in services for marginalized people, by building connections between:

Sophia has been at the forefront of community-led efforts to promote equity for African Canadians and other racialized groups. This has included leading the launch of a transformative, multi-sectoral system change initiative in Peel region to address racial disproportionalities in the child welfare system. She serves as chair of the Ontario REAC, which advises the Ontario deputy commissioner and the commissioner of CSC on issues affecting ethnocultural offenders.

Prairie Region

Dr. Ange Kadima, Prairie Regional Chair

Ange has been a NEAC member since 2018. He has over 25 years of management, research and development experience in five high-tech companies and provincial Crown corporations. He is president of AnKAD Consulting Inc., a consulting firm that provides services to government agencies, entrepreneurs, and small and medium-sized businesses in the development and commercialization of technologies in the life sciences sector, and overseas market access.

Ange has served as director of Industry Programs with Alberta Ingenuity Fund and Alberta Innovates Technology Future for seven years. In this role, he has a proven track record of managing more than $35 million funds of industrial research grant programs. He has also served on a number of steering committees and management advisory boards. He is currently the board chair of the Center of Well-being and Prevention for African-Canadians from Alberta (CBEP).

Dr. Sinela Jurkova, Prairie Regional Vice-Chair

Sinela is Prairie REAC Vice-Chair. She is the Diversity Education Coordinator with Calgary Catholic Immigration Society. Sinela also serves as a consultant for developing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategies and educational programs for many organizations in Calgary and Southern Alberta. She holds a PhD in Adult Learning and MA in Communication and Culture from University of Calgary. Her areas of specialization include transcultural transformative learning, anti-racism education, ethnocultural studies. Sinela has published in academic journals, presented numerous sessions about cultural competency, and has participated in international academic conferences related to the topics above. Passionate about her work and academic interests, Sinela has been involved in many non-profit organizations, advisory committees, local and international community initiatives and research projects related to community development, immigrant integration and inclusion.

Pacific Region

Patricia Woroch, Pacific Regional Co-Chair

Patricia Woroch, Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia's Chief Executive Officer, brings over 30 years of senior-level experience leading social service organizations. She has led organizations in diverse sectors including:

Over the years, Patricia has been a pro-active supporter of disenfranchised clients and has been instrumental in the implementation and development of new programs and services throughout the province. She serves on numerous boards and committees, including:

Sherman Chan, MSc. RSW, Pacific Regional Co-Chair

Sherman is the director of Family and Settlement Services at MOSAIC and co-chair of the Pacific REAC. He has a Masters of Science in Applied Social Studies Degree from the United Kingdom, and is a registered social worker. Sherman has worked in the field of social service for more than thirty years in:

Sherman has extensive experience playing a leadership role in immigration matters in Canada. He has been a member of the executive and treasurer of the Canadian Council for Refugees and a member of the National Settlement Council. Additionally, Sherman has served as a member of the Transit Police Chief's Community Council, and as a director of the Board of the Pro Bono Law BC, and Board of Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies (AMSSA) of BC.

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