Leadership

Andrea Silverstone, Executive Director

Describe your role:

I am responsible for the performance and sustainability of the organization. As Executive Director, my job is to be laser-focused on the vision and mission of Sagesse, and rally support from all of our stakeholders to share in and execute the mission through our strategic plan.

If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

Domestic violence and poverty, gender inequality, hyper-masculinity, racism, homophobia, etc. are so enmeshed, it’s difficult to choose just one thing. If everyone had the tools and confidence to ask for what they need (without shame or judgement), believe that they are worthy, and engage in fierce conversations, the world be more safe and equitable.

Carrie McManus, Director of Programs

Describe your role:

My role at Sagesse is to ensure our programs and activities are strategically moving the needle toward our vision of ending domestic violence. This includes: equipping staff with the resources and support they need to effectively provide programming; leading all of our research and evaluation projects; and engaging in innovative and emerging opportunities for learning and growth.

If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

Number 1: Do away with gender norms and the harm that comes from them. Let people be who they are – not who society thinks they should be. And number 2: Hail storms. What’s the point of hail anyway?

Meghan Wright, Business Manager

Describe your role:

As Business Manager, I am responsible for keeping our day-to-day operations running smoothly. In this role, I oversee the administration of financials, information technology, human resources and fund development. I also supervise our administrative support staff and volunteers.

If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

If it would not cause any ill-effect to the ecosystem, I would get rid of birds. Seriously, they’re just reptiles with wings. Ew!

Administration

Rhonda Klaassen, Administrative Support

Describe your role:

I provide administrative support to Sagesse staff and Board of Directors and CDVC. This includes everything from finance and IT support, calendar management, to coordinating meetings and workshops and general correspondence (whew!).

If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

I am a self-professed animal lover. When I am not at Sagesse, you’ll find me volunteering for the Humane Society. Unfortunately, I have seen the affect that abuse has on animals, which is why I advocate for harsher prosecution laws in cases of animal abuse.

Eric Pinarosa, Calgary Domestic Violence Collective (CDVC) Project Manager

Describe your role:

I provide support to the Co-Chairs and working groups to achieve the goals of the Collective. As Project Manager, I am responsible for: a) coordinating meetings and agendas; b) ensuring the creation of and adherence to action plans; c) drafting and managing project documents; d) overseeing the work of consultants; and e) reporting on progress and risks.

If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?

Remove barriers to equity and allow everyone to be part of the community to the extent of their abilities and interests.

Programs

Amy Munroe, Peer Support Program Lead

Describe your role:

My role at Sagesse is to build relationships and provide support to our Calgary-based partners who offer peer-based support groups to people who have experienced domestic violence or are at risk of being abused. I also coordinate our volunteer program, which includes providing training and support to our amazing volunteers who help facilitate our group programs.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Systemic oppression…domestic violence… intolerant attitudes… mental health stigma…. the hashtag era. So many choices! If I had to pick one thing, it would have to be sexism. I mean, come on people. Toxic and oppressive gender beliefs are so old school. I’d also eradicate large spiders. Okay, that was more than one.

Jocelyn Dubois, Program Assistant

Describe your role:

As Program Assistant, my role is to provide administration, coordination and logistical support to Sagesse’s Program Coordinators.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would change the function of my closet to be exactly like Cher’s from the movie Clueless. ‘Mis-Match’ would save me so much time and give me an endless amount of outfits. Win-win!

Emma Wylde, BElieve in YOU Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

I see my role as empowering individuals, communities and systems to address the intersection of domestic violence and sex work. As Program Coordinator, my job is to oversee Sagesse’s peer support services for women who are facing an increased risk of violence because of their involvement in the sex trade.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

The sense of disconnection plaguing the human experience. It is the root of pain, harm and suffering. The key to love and belonging, safety and joy is authentic connection – to ourselves, others, and our Earth.

Rachel Brauer, LGBTQ+ Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

My position is focused on creating safer and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ individuals who are experiencing domestic violence. As the LGBTQ+ Program Coordinator, I work with other service providers to ensure their environments, programs, policies and procedures are inclusive and effectively meet the needs of LGBTQ+ clients and staff.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

If everyone could feel unconditionally loved, so much that if they were called out, they would know it is with the best of intentions, and that making mistakes does mean they are less valuable.

Kristy Blair, Stand By Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

Since most people who experience domestic violence reach out to family, friends and other professionals, my role is to develop community capacity to recognize and respond appropriately to domestic violence.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would like to contribute to a world where we as humans can tap into our profound interconnection and engage with one another openly and non-judgementally. I imagine creating spaces that are physically and relationally safer, where people can interact wholeheartedly, without shame or fear.

Tina Buikema, Provincial Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

As Provincial Program Coordinator, my role is to establish and nurture relationships with organizations and groups across Alberta, with a focus on building capacity to deliver peer support programming, informal supports training, and/or LGBTQ+ friendly programming.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

To quote Elie Wiesel, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference.” If we eradicate indifference, it would shape our society in a very different way.

Tara Tharayil, Evaluation Associate

Describe your role:

Evaluation is critical to ensure we provide programming, tools and experiences that are meaningful and impactful for clients and partners. As the Evaluation Program Assistant, my role is to track and report on evaluations that will aid in program design or refinement.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Truly listen before speaking. Many of our issues – at home, work and in our communities – could be resolved if we could listen, with empathy, rather than relying on preconceived notions or beliefs.