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 one thing 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 one thing 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?

Jacqueline Lefebvre, Operations Manager

Describe your role:

My role with Sagesse is to keep all things operations, finance, and administrative related on track. I ensure that operations are efficient and that I add maximum value to the organization.

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

My Mantra: In a world where you can be anything, be kind.

Eric Pianarosa, Director of Collective Impact

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 one thing 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.

Amy Munroe, Direct Service Team Lead

Describe your role:

My primary role at Sagesse is to build strong relationships and provide support to our Calgary-based partners who offer our peer-based support groups in their spaces. Another part of my role is to ensure I am providing support to the direct service team in a way that allows us to run programs to the best of our ability.

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, Volunteer Coordinator

Describe your role:

Provide capacity building to all volunteers, new and old, as well as ongoing support, capacity building updates and coordination of facilitation opportunities.

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. And I would strive for equity among genders in hopes of eliminating gender based systemic oppression.

Emma Wylde, BElieve in YOU Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

In my role I curate space for individuals, communities, and systems to engage at the intersections of domestic violence and sex work. By developing strong and effective community relationships I support the delivery of BElieve in YOU peer support programs, community capacity building initiatives and community engagement.

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

I would eradicate the sense of disconnection plaguing the human experience. I believe it to be the root of all  pain, harm and suffering. I would delight in the joy of each of us feeling our inherent connection to ourselves, one another, and our Earth. I would also gift myself a wand, and unleash my inner Hermoine.

Kirsty Blair, Community Development Team Lead

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.

Micah Hall, Rainbow Ready Coordinator

Describe your role:

Many people don’t realize the impact of domestic violence among the LGBTQ2S+ community. It is my job to spread awareness and offer opportunity to organizations involved in ending domestic violence to build their capacity for inclusiveness.

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

If all billionaires became millionaires instead and that wealth was redistributed to the bottom of the financial ladder in the form of universal basic income it would radically change the way our economy works. For the better. Also, I want Jocelyn’s closet.

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.

Brielle Batty Smith, Provincial Member Engagement & Program Coordinator

Describe your role:

As a Provincial Program Coordinator, my role is to establish and nurture relationships with organizations and groups across southern 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?

If I could change one thing in the world… it would be that no one ever feels alone or isolated; that we lived in a world where everyone feels heard, believed, valued, and loved.

Tara Tharayil, Evaluations 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 Evaluations Associate, 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.

Emel Maqsood, Fund Development Associate

Describe your role:

I seek and develop opportunities to increase funds that go towards Sagesse programs and workshops. In addition to fund development my role includes grant writing, event coordination, creation and implementation of communications strategy, and all things social media. I believe in Sagesse and the amazing work that we do and it is my passion to share that with others in hopes that they will help support us in expanding our work.

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

I would remove the afflictions faced by individuals living in war torn and third world countries. I hope to dedicate my life towards making the world a more inclusive and kind place.

Carolyn Mitchell, Stand By Program Associate

Describe your role:

My role is to engage in conversations with many different groups and communities to increase community capacity to recognize, respond, and refer to domestic violence disclosures.

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

I would change the way people engage in conversation. If people spoke more often with empathy and curiosity, the world would be filled with far less judgement and would create more opportunities to participate in new ideas.