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Our first meeting of the future board of directors was held in Winnipeg on March 23 and 24, 2012. The membership of the first Board of Directors included JJ Beauchamp, Margaret Clark, Angela Gates, Mandy Halabi, Greg Fleet, Todd Gribbon, Neil Funk-Unrau, Michael Jacobson-Weston and Hermina Richter. The Executive Officers chosen at the Winnipeg meeting were JJ Beauchamp as chair, Margaret Clark as vice-chair, Angela Gates as Secretary and Mandy Halabi as treasurer. In addition, three sub-committees were formed. 1. Constitution & By-laws Committee 2. Funding and Resource Opportunities Committee 3. Membership Committee
Chair/Treasurer Mandy Halabi is a Board Member for the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium (CRJC). Mandy was selected by the CRJC Steering Committee as the representative for the western/prairie provinces. She is currently a Program Manager for YOUCAN Youth Services in Edmonton Alberta. Mandy’s interest in restorative justice came about through her extensive front-line work with high-risk youth in conflict with the law, as well as in her work as a Peacemaking Circle Trainer and Circle Keeper. Previously, Mandy was involved with a variety of community groups and local committees and continues to be involved with committees that focus on strengthening social and restorative justice networks, knowledge, practice, and creating spaces for restorative justice work. With strong ties to restorative justice, Mandy brings to the CRJC a vision of having restorative justice as an option available to all Canadians, as well as sharing her knowledge on using restorative justice in working with youth, while continuing to learn more about the practices and principles of restorative justice along the way.
Vice-Chair-Michael Jacobson-Weston is a Board Member of the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium (CRJC). Michael was selected by the CRJC Steering Committee as a representative for the western provinces and is currently the Coordinator for the Alert Bay Community Justice Program, which provides legal advocacy for members of the community. Utilizing the training he received at the Justice Institute of British Columbia in BC Corrections Core Programs, Michael is responsible for supervising youth and adult probation clients as well as providing facilitation in the courses of Substance Abuse Management and Respectful Relationships. He also authors Gladue Reports on Aboriginal clients. Michael also serves as a First Responder and Member of the Aboriginal Suicide and Critical Incident Response Team, assisting people in times of serious need. During his collegiate career, Michael earned a Diploma in Criminology from Camosun College. He is a member of the Lions Club, Royal Canadian Legion, Whe-La-La-U Area Council, Aboriginal Professionals Network, Aboriginal Relations Network, and the Expert Witnesses Association.
Secretary – Sarah Jackman is a Board Member for the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium (CRJC), and was selected as a representative for British Columbia. Sarah is the Executive Director of the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society, a non-profit organization which provides Restorative Justice and Peacemaking services to the First Nations’ communities in the central BC area through the Tsilhqot’in Restorative Justice Program. The Society also provides life skills and cultural programming to at-risk aboriginal youth in the Chilcotin area through wilderness camps, sports camps, and workshops as well as supervising youth and adult probation clients. Sarah has training in both Community Justice Forums and Peacemaking Circles, and provides these trainings to others in the area. Sarah serves as a Board Member of the local agency of Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and is a member of both Communities that Care and the Williams Lake Community Council for Restorative Justice. Recently, Sarah has been working with Corrections Services Canada on developing the Work2Give project, a project that utilizes incarcerated offender’s volunteer time to manufacture products (beds, desks, knit hats, mittens and blankets, etc.) that are then donated to low-income youth and families in aboriginal communities. The project allows the offenders to “give back” to areas that are, or are similar to, their own previous surroundings while benefitting the impoverished and at-risk youth in the Chilcotin by improving their quality of life.
Treasurer – Chantele Theroux is a Board member of the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium (CRJC). Her interest in restorative justice came about as a result of her educational background and nearly 10 years of professional career experience in the criminal justice field. She believes that the creation of authentic connection between individuals can help address issues involving complex conflict and crime, and can provide the keys to unlocking the potential of innovative approaches when seeking justice. She is also an editor, writer and a Yoga Alliance & Prison Yoga instructor who specializes in leading sessions for under-served groups who may not otherwise have exposure to the transformational benefits of yoga. She has gained extensive experience and exposure to who and where yoga can serve best. These include incarcerated individuals, people afflicted or affected by addiction, suffering PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), victims of crime, at-risk youth, and persons under very high-stress life conditions. First training in Los Angeles, she has guided yoga classes at San Quentin prison and done extensive work with the John Howard Society of Edmonton. Visit her at chanteletheroux.com
Stacey Harrison currently works with the Saddle Lake Restorative Justice Program, based out of the Saddle Lake Boys and Girls Club (The First, and one of two B&G Clubs of the over 650 Clubs in Canada, located on First Nations land) as the Youth Justice Facilitator. His background of working front line in youth work for over 22 years has helped him understand Restorative Justice Principles and dealing with conflict resolution long before he used the correct terms for such practices. As a youth worker, some of the hats he has worn include Youth Addictions Counsellor, Open Custody Group Home Worker, Educational Assistant to Extremely High Risk Youth, Program Coordinator at Saddle Lake B&G Club, and finally the Restorative Justice Youth Justice Facilitator. Stacey serves on various committees, dealing with various community issues, including the CREST (Crisis Response Emotional Support Team) in Saddle Lake, and the Local Community Cadet Program as a co-Drill Instructor. Personally, Stacey has interests in Photography, Prestidigitation, Arts and Crafts (multiple disciplines), Reading, and Empowering youth through workshops and presentations on various topics. Stacey believes that the answers to the current issues that the youth are facing today can be found in their own hearts and minds. The youth have the answers; however, they are too overwhelmed and disempowered to be able to share their truths. By opening their eyes, mouths and hearts, the youth can lead the way to making social change, reforms of the body politic, and challenge and change the very fabric of our reality.
Janyce Konkin is a Board Member for the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium (CRJC). Her interest in restorative justice came about as a result of her educational background in Peace & Conflict Studies focusing in indigenous methodologies. Janyce is the Co-founder of Peace Africa Alliance Consulting, Educating & Training Centre (PAACET) with a colleague in Sierra Leone, Africa. PAACET focusses on presenting trainings in traditional methods of conflict resolution, human rights training, healing & reconciliation, and other related areas.
Since 2009 Janyce has also been Regional Project Manager for Initiatives of Change Canada (IofC), an international peace network. As Project Manager her responsibilities include overseeing and facilitating numerous initiatives throughout Alberta such as: Trustbuilding, Healing & Reconciliation, and Forgiveness workshops with youth and the local Creators of Peace Circles for Women. Partnering and providing outreach and dialogues with various local community organizations, building understanding and relationships as well as strengthening networks. Janyce works intensively with various inter-cultural and ethnic groups. She also provides internships to senior level Development Studies and Social Work students and has made numerous presentations to classes at various universities.
Janyce is an alumnus of the University of Calgary, 2006, obtaining her BA in Communications & Culture with a Major in Development Studies and Minor in Law & Society. In 2010 Janyce received her Master’s Degree in Peace & Conflict Studies from the European University Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies (EPU) in Austria. Her thesis was entitled “First Do No Harm: A Comparative Analysis of African and Western Methods of Conflict Transformation.”
In 2015 Janyce was nominated as a recipient of Calgary Centre for Global Communities’ Human Voices Project. She also received the Community Distinction Award (2015) for her contributions to the South Sudanese Community in Calgary. Her main interests lie in the areas of intercultural communication, healing memories and addressing social justice issues through values-based methodologies.