Our 9 person Board of Directors includes a team of active and engaged LGBTQ2+ activists, community builders, historians, archivists, and others committed to Keeping Our Stories Alive.
President: Dennis Findlay
Dennis Findlay is a long-time gay activist in Ontario, particularly in Toronto. He was a leader in the response to the 1981 Bathhouse Raids and Coordinated the Legal Defense Committee of the Right to Privacy Committee, which is featured in the documentary film, Track Two. He is a former teacher, a retired baker, and an urban development activist with a passion for LGBTQ+ history and heritage. He has been a volunteer at The ArQuives since 2009.
Vice-President: Dr. Elspeth Brown
Elspeth Brown is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in American Studies, queer archives and LGBTQ+ history. She is the Principal Investigator on a 5-year SSHRC-funded project, the LGBTQ Oral History Digital Collaboratory, which brings together four archives and a group of international collaborators to make LGBTQ+ oral histories more accessible online. In addition, she is a Co-Investigator for the Family Camera Network, in partnership with The ArQuives, which collects queer and trans family photographs, and oral histories about them, in relationship to migration and diaspora in Canada.
Secretary: Paul Leatherdale
Treasurer: David DesLauriers
Recently retired from a 30-year career in investment banking in Toronto and New York, David returned home to Toronto in 2015 along with his husband, Nicolas Diaz, and is focused on transitioning his professional life to personal pursuits in volunteering, consulting and mentoring. The majority of David’s career was spent leading the Government Finance Group within TD Securities. As a seasoned financial executive, David’s brings considerable expertise in client relationship management, finance and risk management, and as a trusted advisor on strategic and governance matters. David also serves as a Board member and Treasurer of the AIDS Committee of Toronto.
Director: Ana Rita Morais
Ana Rita Morais is a Doctoral Candidate in the Communication and Culture Program at Ryerson University and the Chair for the School of Design at George Brown College. Her work operates at the paradigmatic intersection of media, culture and society alongside technology and practice. Reflected in her research, she believes that accessible technology has the capacity to cultivate new forms of knowledge, inaccessible via other methods. Her doctoral research-creation project develops an archival augmented reality app entitled me-dérive: toronto. The SSHRC-funded project recalls site-specific, photographic narratives using crowd-sourced images that work against the conventional nature of institutional archival material—those which often fail to account for diverse and marginalized histories. As an administrator at one of Toronto’s primary design institutions, Ana Rita is an advocate for diversity across both academia and social institutions alike.
Director: Justin Hughes-Jones
Justin is currently the Senior Director, Digital Sales at RBC. He is a strategic individual with strong analytical and people management capabilities. His experiences include being a business lead for multiple initiatives related to product, strategy, reporting, relationship management and transformation. Through his 15 years at RBC he has worked in Digital Banking, Retail Banking, Private Banking, Call Centres, US Banking and Insurance. He is a diversity and inclusion champion for a number of areas with a focus on the LGBT+ community; including being the Co Chair of the RBC Toronto Pride ERG and a member of ExeQutive.
Director: Kabir Ravindra
Kabir holds degrees in Politics, Common Law, and Civil Law from McGill University, where he was a director of the LGBT peer counselling program. He was also active in a number of other Montreal-area equity-seeking organizations in the 1990s. Since moving to Toronto in 2000, Kabir worked initially as a litigator. For the past decade, he has been adjudicating abuse claims, notably claims by survivors of the residential schools system. Kabir served on the boards of The 519 Community Centre and Toronto Dance Theatre before coming to The ArQuives in 2017. He is an avid yoga practitioner and a proud father of a delightful child.
Director: Marcos A. Persaud
Marcos A. Persaud has over 10 years of legal experience and more recently has shifted into corporate auditing. After obtaining a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Paralegal studies, he graduated with an LL.B (Hon.) from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). His experience in tax litigation and bankruptcy brings procedural organization, while his 5 years in corporate and personal immigration allows him to bring understanding and advocacy to the table. In addition, Marcos has lectured at Humber College, held executive LGBTQ2+ committee positions for Deloitte, PwC and more recently George Weston Ltd./Loblaw. His work within the LGBTQ2+ community includes engaging key executives and various individuals through education, social awareness, and advisory work.
Director: Fran Odette
Fran Odette is a feminist and disability rights activist for over 25 years, with a focus on the intersections between gender, disability and sexualities. Fran brings a wealth of knowledge on the issues for survivors of gender-based violence through her research, writing and programming in agencies working to end violence against women.
Fran worked in services focused on gender-based violence with a particular focus on violence against women and children with disabilities. In addition, Fran has been involved in working on issues related to disability and sex-positivity, providing training to sexual health providers and people with disabilities. Much of Fran’s activist work has been in collaboration with agencies that work with marginalized communities, including engagement and collaborative work within women’s shelters, homeless shelters, legal and counseling services in the GTA and across the province.
As a trainer/educator, Fran’s work has been supporting service providers in building capacity to make the linkages needed to ensure that persons with disabilities, inclusive of gender identity and sexualities to have access to services. Fran co-authored with Cory Silverberg and Dr. Miriam Kaufman, a book entitled The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability – For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain and Illness” (*Cleis Press). Fran has been teaching at George Brown College since 2008. She is faculty in the Assaulted Women and Children Counselor Advocate Program, Social Service Worker Program and co-developed and teaches a critical disability issues course entitled Disability Discourse: The Experienced Life.