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 CLGA 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 CLGA, which collects queer and trans family photographs, and oral histories about them, in relationship to migration and diaspora in Canada.
Treasurer: Edward McDonnell
Edward McDonnell is a director and co-founder of MD+A Health Solutions, a leading Ontario business consulting firm specializing in health information systems, programs and privacy. He is a health system planner and leader and has held health system executive roles including Vice President, Corporate Services and Chief Information Officer of the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences. Edward also previously served as a senior advisor to the Ontario Minister of Finance.
Secretary: Paul Leatherdale
Director: Dr. Rachel Epstein
Dr. Rachel Epstein has been an LGBTQ parenting activist, educator and researcher for close to 20 years. She was the founding coordinator of the LGBTQ Parenting Network at the Sherbourne Health Centre, providing resources, information and support to LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their families, and training for health care, legal, social work and education professionals since 2001. She has also published on a wide range of queer parenting issues, including assisted human reproduction, queer spawn in schools, butch pregnancy, and the tensions between queer sexuality, radicalism and parenting. Dr. Epstein is completing a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock University, conducting research on LGBTQ2S family conflict and reconfiguration. She is also the Executive Director of the United Jewish People’s Order, a secular, social justice oriented organization in Toronto.
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 CLGA in 2017. He is an avid yoga practitioner and a proud father of a delightful child.
Director: David Udayasekaran
David Udayasekaran identifies as a settler in Canada of Sri Lankan Tamil origins. They are currently the Coordinator of the Teens Educating And Confronting Homophobia (TEACH program). David has been an activist and educator for over 15 years. Their primary passion is fostering understanding of the issues of people whose voices and stories often go unheard, namely LGBTQ+ people who also identify as Black, Indigenous and/or People of colour (BIPOC). Their primary method of sharing understanding is through storytelling and is passionate about connecting queer and trans folks with other people and communities from the past and present and approaches all of their work with an understanding of anti-racist and anti-oppressive practice.
Director: Ari Wahl
Ari has been volunteering in the LGBT community since 1991. He currently works in major gift fundraising for UOIT. He has eight years of major gift experience at national health charities and started his development career with six campaigns at United Way. He has belonged to professional associations like AFP, CAGP and continues to volunteer for them. Previously he was on the Board of the Inside Out Film and Video Festival for two terms. He has also consulted for the National Gallery of Canada, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and National Archives Canada. Ari is a proud step-dad of three and husband of one.
Director: Melika Zamani
Melika Zamani received her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Toronto in 2013. Currently, she is an Information Management Consultant at KPMG LLP Canada, where she advises clients on information management and privacy related engagements nationally. Previously, she worked at the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development as a Knowledge Management Analyst where she led several Divisional initiatives. Melika has also previously served as co-Chair for the Operations Committee, which oversees collections management and development at the archives.