BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kerri Claire Neil
Kerri Claire is a community organizer with a background in social economics from the Baccalieu Trail. She is most actively involved in the anti-capitalist book club, food sovereignty action team, and member engagement. She can usually be found cleaning shelves at Downtown Comics or in bed with her cat.
Patricia Johnson-Castle is Nunatsiavummiuk (Inuk from Nunatsiavut), as well as of British and German descent. Her grandmother, Julia, was a Tishialuk girl. Patricia grew up as a townie but has been living in Nain, Nunatsiavut for 2 years. Living outside the overpass in her ancestral home was pivotal in gaining a fuller understanding of the dynamics of oppression that are maintained in this Province from the erasure and isolation of Indigenous communities to the consequences of intergenerational wealth of the merchant fisheries system. A better Province is possible, we have the power, we just have to use it.
Debbie Putt-Wiseman is an activist, advocate and community organizer from St. John's. In addition to serving on the board of the Social Justice Co-op of NL, she is also a Happy City St. John's board member, is a member of the St. John's Food Policy Council and works with Food Producers Forum. In 2020, she co-founded the not-for-profit Sharing The Harvest NL, and successfully lobbied the provincial government to change legislation to allow hunters to donate moose and caribou meat to food banks. She is an advocate for poverty reduction, food security, active transit, and reducing waste. She feels strongly that our political system needs more diversity, and volunteers with Newfoundland and Labrador's chapter of Equal Voice in outreach. Her free time is spent tending to her garden and spending time with her cats and the neighbourhood pigeons.
Domenica Lombeida (they/them) is a queer non-binary migrant from Ecuador, who arrived to the ancestral homeland of the Beothuk and the Mik'mak in 2017 to do their studies. They are now a MUN alumni with a background in Geography and Social Sciences. They started their journey with social justice doing plastic pollution work at a feminist and anti-colonial research lab (CLEAR Lab) and now they work closely with migrant rights activism (Migrant Student United).
Director of Communications
Kristen is a graduate student at Memorial University in the Masters of Business Administration in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship program. She works at the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Co-operatives developing a co-operative incubator for the province. Kristen is also on the Inspiring Communities Atlantic Changemakers Council. She has a strong background in business in general, community engagement, social justice activism, and non-profits/social enterprise development. Kristen joined the board as an Interim Director in January 2021 and was elected as a full Board Member in June 2021. She believes that building resiliency and collective action will get us closer to a more just and sustainable world for all.
Director of Policy
Shannon is an everyday and otherwise advocate for reconciliation, anticolonialism, and decolonization (the actualized kinds); for institutional accountability; and for grassroots mental health supports.
Shannon has a 25-year history as a dedicated community volunteer. In Vancouver, she served as co-founder of and co-facilitator for the Robson Park Area Working Group (six years); as a youth worker with Indigenous youth through Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Outreach, and Pacific Legal Education Association (PLEA) (six years), and as a board member for the UBC Pottery Club. In Saskatoon, she served as a classroom volunteer with refugees and Indigenous students, an art instructor with psychiatrized youth, a youth self-advocacy trainer for Saskatoon Open Door Society, and newsletter coordinator for the Saskatoon Pottery Guild. In St. John’s, she has served as an active member of the Craft Council Clay Studio committee (two years); a contributing member of the Victoria Park Lantern Festival steering committee (four years); and an instructor (three years) and board member/training director (two years) with the Newfoundland Athletic Dog Association (NADA). Shannon is currently an active member of the St. John’s Farmers’ Market Co-operative (SJFMC) and a long-time credit union member.
Director of Membership
Mary has a BSc in Psychology and is currently completing a BN at Grenfell Campus, MUN. While being a student, Mary continues advocacy work for improved education and health care services for all. In their free time, Mary can be found creating textile and sfx art while relaxing with their cat, Chloe, and two bunnies, Cookie and Marilyn Bunroe.
Director of Fundraising
Renee Dumaresque (they/ them) is a mad, queer, white settler who was born in Newfoundland/ktaqmkuk and Labrador. Renee currently lives between St. John’s and Toronto where they spend time as a community organizer, a writer, and a PhD student of social work who practices at the intersection of creative, critical, and chaotic thought. They have over 10 years of experience in community organizing spaces dedicated to racial justice, disability justice, queer and trans liberation, and the abolition of all carceral systems. Renee is a co-founder and long-time organizer with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Toronto, a grassroots organization committed to moving white people into multi-racial movements for racial justice and decolonisation. They are also a co-founder of Crip Rave, an electronic music collective and event platform that prioritizes crip, mad, Deaf, and disabled partygoers and talent within more accessible rave spaces. Renee is excited to serve on the Board of the Social Justice Co-op NL because they believe that a sustainable, equitable, and just future for all is possible in the place they call home. We can build a world we all want to live in through movements that are intersectional and committed to mutual interest, care, and collaboration.
Director of Education & Training
Kassie has over 5 years of research experience that focuses directly on marginalized communities and hopes to become a full-time humanitarian-based researcher in the future. Kassie holds a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Memorial University and is currently enrolled as a master’s student specializing in anthropology at the University of Ottawa. She also holds a certificate in criminology and is presently working on a certificate of public policy at Memorial University on the side. Kassie is now employed by NAPE (Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees
Kassie’s personal and academic interests align with the people and the environment. From a young age, Kassie has always been concerned about the happiness of all living things. She attributes this passion to growing up in St. John’s and immersing herself in its natural essence for helping others. Throughout her personal life, Kassie focuses on volunteering with various social justice organizations and anti-racism incentives. Her favourite volunteer activities include meeting new people, listening to stories from other people, and finding out about new community organizations. In her spare time, she makes clothing from recycled and thrifted garments to help alleviate her waste footprint; and likes to spend time with her dog, who loves the occasional dog biscuit!
In her academic career, she has focused on strategized research plans that help develop socially equitable and sustainable action methods for lower socio-economic, racialized, and LGBTQ2S+ communities. Kassie is also the recipient of the 2020-2021 Donna Winslow Memorial Scholarship in Anthropology and one of the co-founders of the 2021-2022 “Recognizing Differences…” anti-racism micro-credit course offered on behalf of the University of Ottawa. Her interest in the academic field is related to, but not limited to, the political economy, environmental sustainability, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, post-industrial projects, and pedagogical thought systems.
Lea Mary Movelle
Lea Mary Movelle is a proudly queer, non-binary, and neuro-divergent woman living on the island known colonially as Newfoundland. They were born and raised in an outport fishing family and moved to town in 2008 to attend Memorial, where they studied political science and sociology. Passionate about blending arts and activism, they are a regular at Spoken Word St. John's Poetry Open Mic, and serve on the board for St. Michael's Printshop and Peace, Love, n' Pride. Lea grew up spending lots of time outdoors roaming the woods, fishing, and starting fires to cook up a catch. These days you'll find them tending to a different sort of fire, helping to stoke the flames of activists in the Social Justice Co-op community. They believe with their whole heart in the power of a Revolution of Care to resist and repair the damages of extractive, racial capitalism, and that community is the greatest need of all. When not in a zoom meeting, or taking to the streets, you'll find them connecting to nature (hiking, biking, swimming, picking berries) or art (writing poems, playing the uke, singing, painting).
Full disclosure: Lea can also be found watching trashy reality TV in bed, or following their kitty around in admiration. There's a good chance they've forgotten their keys.