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: M. Udbi Ali
M. Udbi Ali (just goes by Udbi) is a Ph.D. candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. Outside of academia, she is a community worker, curriculum and policy consultant, researcher, and anti-oppression educator. Udbi has worked in education programming and curriculum development for over 10-years. She has led workshops and guest-lectured on topics related to anti-racism and anti-oppression, gay imperialism, Black diaspora studies, poverty, accountability, facilitation and leadership in academic, non-profit, and community settings across Ontario.
Director: 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: 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: Omar Torres
Omar Torres was born in El Salvador and living in Canada for the last 30 years. He is an active member and activist within the LGTBQ+ Community in Toronto. For the last 25 years his involvement has been in different capacities: Board member with PASAN and Latinos Positivos, Health Promotion and Outreach with PWA and ACT, worked with Seasonal Farm Workers in Leamington, Ontario with ACAS, Peer Support, events and fundraising coordination with Latinos Positivos, President with HOLA, HIV/AIDS educator with Toronto General Hospital.