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The Colour of Justice: Recognizing Indigenous, Black, and Racialized Voices Within the Context of Mental Health and Justice Services – What Can Be Done

March 23 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm

Lambert Kwok: is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and has extensive experience in the Canadian criminal justice system. He has worked as a Crown prosecutor and is currently a criminal Defence lawyer. Lambert routinely conducts bails, trials, and appeals and has appeared in courts from the Ontario Court of Justice to the Ontario Court of Appeal. In his private practice, Lambert argues complicated evidentiary and Charter based applications. He has a passion for cases involving abuses of power and mental health illnesses. In addition, Lambert authors legal commentary about emerging legal issues and lectures at various academic and legal conferences.
Learning Objectives:
(1) Defining Systemic Racism in Canada (+ Sharing My Personal Experiences with Systemic Racism in the Canadian Criminal Justice System);
(2) Identification of Factors that Present as Systemic Racism in the Canadian Criminal Justice System;
(3) Methods to Combat Systemic Racism in the Canadian Criminal Justice System.

Sophia Cousins-Williams: is currently employed with John Howard Society of Toronto as the Director of Justice and Court Programs. She is a certified family mediator, licensed teacher and counselor who oversees programs that are funded by the Ministry of the Attorney General which include the Partner Assault Court Intake and Referral Services; PAR Group Counseling Programs and the Direct Accountability/ Court Diversion Programs. Counseling and teaching are my passions and I combine these two roles extensively in the way I approach the work that I do with clients who have come into conflict with the law. In my experience of working within the court system, the majority of our clients have experienced trauma associated with social injustice, poverty and racism.
Learning objectives:
(1) Recognizing that “one -size-fits-all approach” within our justice system is oppressive and violent
(2) Understanding the importance of trauma-informed practices in our work on the frontline and in our policies
(3) Enabling the client to exercise the power of voice and power of choice

Wendy De Souza: is a cis Latinx woman and a first-generation Canadian with Indigenous ancestry in Brazil. With 14+ years as an engaging community educator, project manager, and Consultant, she is driven by her passion for community economic development and facilitating transformative spaces that advances equity and justice through decolonizing pedagogies. She has worked at the intersections of gender-based violence and violence against women spearheading projects that engage vulnerable and marginalized African/Caribbean/Black, 2SLGBTQIA+, Muslim, racialized, disabled and newcomer communities in collaborative integration processes that engage and center diverse communities and create transformative and sustainable outcomes. She uses arts-based and multi-media tools to develop youth-centered resources on accessing justice, mental health, and sexual violence using an evidence-based and trauma-informed approach.
Learning objectives:
(1) Develop an understanding of your personal social location and the intersectional identities of the clients and communities being serving
(2) Explore strategies to integrate diverse voices at the table to spearhead, co-design and deliver programs and services
(3) Integrating a 360 feedback loop to consistently evaluate community impact and experiences, and improve programs and services on an ongoing basis