City of Edmonton: Council appoints Community Safety and Well-being Task Force members
Edmonton City Council appointed 11 community members to the City’s Community Safety and Well-being Task Force. An additional five members will sit on the Task Force, two appointed by the Chief of Police, two appointed by the City Manager, and one appointed by the chair of the Edmonton Police Commission.
The Task Force will work independently to develop recommendations to address racism, discrimination, excessive use of force, poverty and homelessness in Edmonton, based on trends, best practices and change models from across Canada.
“This task force is an important step in the City of Edmonton’s ongoing work to address the complex issues of racism, inequality and systemic barriers that impact community safety in our city,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “By giving Edmontonians direct input into the evolution of community safety in Edmonton, this task force will help City Council achieve our goal of building a more just and safe Edmonton.”
The community members include individuals from diverse backgrounds, each with valuable skills, lived experiences, knowledge and understanding of community safety.
Chair (appointed by City Council)
- Dr. Annette Trimbee is president and vice-chancellor of MacEwan University. As a member of the Manitoba Métis Federation, she developed an Indigenous course required by undergraduate students attending the University of Winnipeg. It was among the first courses of its kind in Canada. Dr. Trimbee is also highly engaged in the dialogue across Canada on matters of equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education.
Community Members (appointed by City Council)
- Mohamed Ali is a Somali-Canadian raised in Edmonton invested in the Task Force’s goals of making the city a more liveable and safe place free of racial discrimination, harassment and police brutality. He served as Chair of the Social Equity Committee for the City of Edmonton’s Youth Council from 2014-15, and has worked to bring awareness to issues around social equity, poverty, homelessness and anti-racism.
- Evelyn Asiedu moved to Edmonton in 2013 to pursue a PhD at the University of Alberta. While studying previously at Western University, she served on the executive committee of the Black Student’s Association (2010-2012) and facilitated discussions about race, identity, politics and the experience of Black people on campus.
- Irfan Chaudhry has been working in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion since 2011. He currently works as Director, Office of Human Rights, Diversity, and Equity at MacEwan University, and in this capacity, he leads the development of human rights, diversity and equity initiatives within the institution.
- Brian Curry was born in Winnipeg and was raised in low income housing. Curry has a deep understanding of how racism and poverty can exacerbate barriers that people of colour face on a daily basis. He is currently enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Alberta where he hopes to focus on Data Analytics.
- Erin Davis is dedicated to building equitable, diverse and inclusive workplaces. Her current role is Director, Corporate Engagement, Western Canada with Catalyst, a non-profit organization that aims to advance women in business and inclusive workplaces. Davis currently serves on the Explore Edmonton board, and is in her final term as the board chair with the Edmonton Business Diversity Network.
- Vanessa Gladue, originally from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, was raised by her grandparents. She has been in and out of the judicial systems and has struggled with substance use. She lived houseless for three years until 2018, when she managed to get housing through E4C’s Housing First initiative and graduated from the program. She now lives in low income housing through Capital Region Housing.
- Rob Houle is from Swan River First Nation in Treaty No. 8 Territory in Alberta and has resided in Edmonton since 2002. He has been involved in the field of Indigenous relations and has worked directly with Indigenous leaders and Grand Chiefs. In 2005, he and his brother were victims of police brutality and inhumane treatment at the hands of the Edmonton Police Service, to which he spoke at length to City Council during public hearings this summer.
- Christie Pace was born and raised in amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton). Her family are survivors of intergenerational trauma, colonialism and racism and as such have experienced poverty, discrimination, family violence and addictions. She has more than 20 years of experience in the human services field and currently works as Manager, Practice as Ceremony Cultural Supports Services with Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society.
- Marni Panas possesses 10 years of diversity and inclusion experience and currently leads the Diversity and Inclusion team at one of Canada’s largest organizations. She also serves on the Board of the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion and is a member of the Edmonton Police Service – Chief’s Advisory Council on Diversity Sexual and Gender Minorities Community Liaison Committee.
- Andre Tinio was born in Wainwright, AB, where his family was one of the first to move there from the Philippines. He completed a degree in Sociology, with a Community Service Learning certificate, at the University of Alberta. Now a registered social worker, he also volunteers as a Child Advocate with Zebra Child Protection Centre.
Appointed by chair of the Edmonton Police Commission
- Karen MacKenzie is a proud Cree-Métis woman, and the Co-founder and President of MacKintosh Canada, an Indigenous-owned, international consulting company, and PeopleBest Canada, an artificial intelligence company. She sits with the Council of Elders for Edmonton Catholic Schools and the Elder-in-Residence program for the Public Service of Canada. MacKenzie has served as a Commissioner with the Edmonton Police Commission for nearly six years.
Appointed by Chief of Police
- Dan Jones has worked in the justice system for 26 years. He spent three years as a correctional officer and 23 years with the Edmonton Police Service, obtaining the rank of Inspector on the Community Solutions Accelerator. Jones is also working on the University of Alberta Prison Project, looking at how research and evidence-based practice can create positive systems change.
- Enyinnah Okere is the Executive Director, Value and Impact with the Edmonton Police Service. He is an experienced executive with a focus on strategic planning, issues management and government relations. Enyinnah previously worked at the Government of Saskatchewan, in a variety of roles including: Chief of Staff to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives and Evaluation.
Appointed by City Manager
- Salima Ebrahim is the Interim Chief of Staff to the City Manager. Prior to joining the City, she was the Executive Director of the Banff Forum. Ebrahim is an active volunteer and is a board member with Pier 21, Canada’s Immigration Museum, and vice-chair of Inspirit Foundation, whose mission is to promote inclusion and pluralism through media and the arts, specifically addressing discrimination based on ethnicity, race or religion.
- Jaimy Miller is the Director of Indigenous Relations at the City of Edmonton, and has been in various roles in the Indigenous Relations Office for 10 years. She has two Masters degrees, the first in Anthropology from McMaster University and the second in Public Administration from Queen’s University. She was born and raised in the Edmonton area. She is Métis with roots in Hastings Lake and St. Albert, AB, and is a descendant of the Papaschase Nation.
Under the leadership of the chair, the Task Force will work to provide a written report to City Council by March 31, 2021.
Recruitment of the Task Force members was coordinated through Leaders International, a third-party firm, with over 60 individuals submitting an expression of interest.
For more information, including full member biographies, please visit edmonton.ca/cswbtaskforce.
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