OUR TEAM

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ADELINE HUYNH

Facilitator

Adeline Huynh is a the CEO of the commons consulting–a diversity & inclusion strategy firm. She is a leading equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) strategist, facilitator, & curriculum developer. She has spent almost 15 years leading and collaborating on initiatives that promote EDI to bring about culture change in a wide range of settings including, education, government, healthcare, non-profit, and the private sector. Adeline has a Master of Social Work degree from UBC and spent many years as a healthcare social worker supporting DTES communities. She does her work on unceded (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) territories.

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CHERLYN CORTES

Facilitator

Cherlyn has worked as a front-line RN and Clinical Nurse Educator on the sovereign and un-surrendered lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people for the past 16 years. Her journey has crossed over many areas, from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside to rural First Nations  communities, specializing in the areas of Harm Reduction, HIV and Primary Care. As a daughter of immigrants from the Philippines, she is proud to be a part of the RISE (Resilient, Integrative, Socially Just & Equitable) Community Health Centre, that has a focus on newcomer health. When not at work, Cherlyn loves being with her spouse-to-be and their beloved Australian Cattle Dog, “Monkey”.

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MICHELLE BUCHHOLZ

Facilitator & Graphic Recorder

Michelle is a proud Wet’suwet’en woman and is a member of the Witset (Moricetown) Band and was raised in Smithers, BC. She is a member of the Gitumden clan and the Cassyex house. Michelle is a graphic facilitator and recorder and has worked with various clients including provincial and federal government, First Nation communities and organizations, universities, health authorities, consulting groups, youth groups, etc. Her passion is working with Indigenous communities to her capstone project on developing policies to address anti-Indigenous racism in health care.

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SHILA AVISSA

Facilitator

Shila is an immigrant from Indonesia and a Registered Social Worker living on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. She has 10 years of experience in teaching, community organizing, HIV/AIDS care, harm reduction, and housing. A passionate advocate for social justice, she was active in LGBTQ-rights organizing in Indonesia and co-wrote a successful motion for Vancouver City Council on race-based and sociodemographic data in 2020 in light of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on migrant and racialized communities. Rooted in her Javanese upbringing, Shila believes in the power of sharing food and laughter in building community.

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THARUNA ABBU

Project Advisor

Tharuna Abbu is a family doctor living and working on the unceded territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) peoples. They strive to bring an anti-oppression lens to the practice of medicine and have previously co-organized to create structural changes at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Medicine around issues of LGBTQ2S health equity.

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PREVEENA DHARMARAJ

Project Advisor

Preveena is a Family Physician working in an interprofessional maternity and Family practice clinic on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Preveena worked in eating disorder research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health before completing medical school at Queen’s University and residency in the St. Paul’s Family Medicine program at UBC. She has a special interest in advocating for racialized populations in women’s health and obstetrics.

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EMMA WAN-CHIN LEE

Facilitator

Emma is a first-generation Taiwanese-Canadian, a social worker, and a mom. Her leadership experience extends across many sectors, from small business to non-profit & government. She's passionate about working toward macro-level policy change. She currently serves on the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden’s board of directors and the University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work's Anti-Black Racism Task Force. Emma approaches work & relationships from her values of accountability, kindness, and humility. She's grateful to live, work, and play on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.