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.
Saleha is a Senior Staff Accountant and Manager at Ernst and Young LLP, Assurance, where her role includes financial oversight and management internally and for external clients (ex: auditing). Saleha herself is a recent immigrant to Canada and has witnessed firsthand the struggles that new South Asian immigrants face in terms of immigration and settlement in Canada. Saleha joined the SALCO board a few months ago to fill the vacancy of a departed board member. She is hoping to use her skills and background to support SALCO’s work with low-income communities. Saleha has also volunteered with the Pakistan Development Fund and Ascend Canada. Saleha currently serves as the Treasurer of the SALCO board of directors.
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
Saman has completed his first 2-year term as a SALCO board member, where he provided expertise in test case work and working with low-income clients. Saman articled with the Criminal Law Group at Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP and was called to the bar in 2007. Soon after his call Saman co-founded Gosio and Wickramasinghe LLP and practiced in criminal defence and regulatory offence litigation. In 2011 Saman joined Lockyer Campbell Posner where he continues to practice in criminal defence at both the trial and appellate levels. Saman brings a great deal of knowledge and experience working with clients in criminal matters and working with clients who access legal aid services.
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.
Godha has been a long-time volunteer working with South Asians in the Greater Toronto Area. She served for many years as a board member at Kannada Sangha Toronto, including taking on the role of Secretary at the board of directors. Subsequently, she volunteered as a board member with AWIC (an organization whose early work was to support immigrant woman from the South Asian Diaspora). Godha has an excellent background in governance and service delivery for South Asian clients. Godha is a retired from over 40 years of work with in medical research with Sick Kids Hospital. Now that she has a little bit more, she is hoping to expand her volunteer work, and strongly believes in SALCO’s mandate to help low-income clients and to address larger issues of poverty and race.
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.
Abdul is the co-founder of Parents Against Child Trafficking – Markham and works closely with the South Asian community. He believes that there are many issues that disproportionately impact the low-income South Asian community including lack of affordable housing. Abdul has a background in project management is currently the Vice-President of Sales and Operations for a company based in Etobicoke.
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.