Lisa stepped into an interim board member position at SALCO in 2019. Lisa is a human rights, employment, and labour lawyer, and has worked throughout her career to improve access to justice for marginalized Ontarians. Having worked with a few Toronto legal clinics since her call to the bar, she truly understands and fully supports the vision and the daily practice of community legal clinic work. As a South Asian person, Lisa has also personally witnessed and understood the limits of these community legal clinics in their ability to provide appropriate legal services to our diverse South Asian communities.
Alizeh is a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) and is also a CA and CFA. She currently works with the Ontario Securities Commission with a focus on compliance and risk management. Alizeh has also volunteered her time with War Against Rape in Pakistan, and is connected to the work that SALCO does in multiple South Asian communities in Ontario.
Sana began her career working for non-profits in the areas of education, primary health services and gender equality for displaced and marginalized individuals. From there she transitioned into providing operational management and capacity building training and support to small and mid sized community organizations serving clients in remote areas. After working in the non-profit sector for 10 years, Sana moved into insurance and financial management where she has built strategic relationships with Investment Advisors and promoted the use of insurance products as a tool to help clients achieve wealth management goals. Sana understands the value of risk diversification and the benefits of insurance in wealth management and likes to help families and individuals create and implement strategies designed to grow their wealth and reduce risk exposure.”. When Sana isn’t working, she likes to spend her free time volunteering, reading or running. Her love of travel has her often considering her next destination.
Saranjit Singh Cheema
Saranjit is a human rights and labour lawyer based in Toronto. He represents unions and employees against their employers and at administrative tribunals. Watching his parents work labour-intensive occupations without union representation, inspired Saranjit to become an employee-side labour lawyer and workers rights advocate. He is an active organizer in peel region and offers pro-bono services to marginalized workers without union representation. Outside of the courtroom, Saranjit is a raptors fan, avid runner, and obsessed with perfecting homemade pizza sauce and dough.
Ayman is an actuary and human resources specialist, and is currently Director, Global Benefits at Scotiabank. Prior to that Ayman was a senior manager at KPMG. Ayman grew up in India, Pakistan and the Middle East before coming to Canada and is connected to the communities that SALCO works with. He believes that organizations like SALCO play a critical role in supporting diverse communities in Canada. Ayman’s experience in both financial management and human resources would fill an existing gap in SALCO’s board skillset.
Mathura will be a new addition to the SALCO board. Mathura has a background in public policy and currently works at the Motherisk Commission. Prior to that she worked in policy and programming at the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade. Mathura has an interest in gender-based issues / feminism and is hoping to bring her significant skills in project management, project evaluation, advocacy, and education to SALCO. Her long-term career goal is to increase the effectiveness of programming and policies for women’s empowerment.
Rashmi’s passion for criminal law is fueled by the experiences of her family growing up in Malvern, a marginalized neighbourhood in Scarborough. During law school, Rashmi focused on studies in criminal law, participated in the Gale Cup Moot Competition, and volunteered with the Queen’s Legal Aid Clinic and Prison Law Clinic, in order to gain as much practical experience as possible. After law school, Rashmi worked at Hicks Adams LLP, where, she conducted preliminary hearings and trials, numerous pre-trials, contested bail hearings, guilty pleas, sentencing hearings, and parole hearings. Rashmi now runs her own practice in criminal law. Rashmi is also one of the founding members of the Campaign for Cannabis Amnesty. It gives Rashmi great satisfaction to advocate for vulnerable and marginalized clients and recognizes that there is so much more to be done.
Sultana Jahingir is the founder of SAWRO and has been its Executive Director since 2007. South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO) is a grassroots member-led non-profit community-based organization operated by community women to serve the Bengali community and other South Asian communities. Sultana has 23 years of diverse experience building grass-roots organizations among equity seeking groups, including work with impoverished Bangladeshi urban workers, undocumented immigrants in New York City and marginalized immigrant women in Scarborough, Ontario. Sultana is deeply aware of the legal issues that impact low-income South Asian communities in Canada.
Jaspal was a former summer student at SALCO and saw firsthand, the direct and positive impact the clinic had on clients. I also saw the hard work done by SALCO to ensure that the client’s legal and non-legal needs were addressed effectively. Further, as a South Asian from a family heavily involved within the social services sector, I do understand the invaluable role that SALCO has within the South Asian community. Jaspal is a lawyer in Ontario and practices at Miller Thompson. As lawyers and members of the bar, we have the duty to zealously advocate for our clients while upholding the principles of our justice system. Jaspal strongly believes that we also have, inter alia, a duty and responsibility to serve our communities beyond providing direct legal services to clients.
Jayashree’s interest in advocacy emerged from her undergraduate studies in political science and philosophy where she yearned to put her values, critical thinking and creativity to practice. She obtained her Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School. During law school, she completed an intensive at the Community Legal Aid & Services Program (CLASP) as a caseworker in the Health Justice Program where she served marginalized clients with overlapping social, medical and legal issues. Upon graduation, she received the 2020 Wendy Babcock Social Justice Award for her commitment to social justice and public interest initiatives. She is completing her articles at a boutique litigation firm. One of her objectives in her legal career is to identify and pursue avenues for legal technology innovations addressing access to justice concerns.
Husein has a strong understanding of the Canadian policy landscape and how SALCO can use its resources to influence public policy and public opinion through securing internal and external buy-in. For nearly three years, Husein has been employed at Strategy Corp, a national public affairs and government relations firm in Toronto. Here, he has led complex engagements that have enabled high-profile clients to influence decision-making at all three levels of government. Through his organizational and project management skills, he has also managed stakeholder and media relations to create conditions for public officials to effect his clients’ desired changes. The recent Legal Aid cuts will significantly impact the SALCO’s ability to maintain its service delivery standards for its diverse clientele. Concurrently, recent legislative changes (such as the ODSP definitional amendments) will hit low-income persons the most and increase the demand for SALCO’s services. Through experienced leadership, SALCO can mitigate the impact of these developments and chart an intentional path towards growth.