nav-left cat-right

Our Team

 

Staff Board
Lydia Luk
Co-Executive Director/Community Developer: Health, Workshops, Special Projects
Anna White                    President / Co-Chair
Alanna MacLennan
Co-Executive Director/Community Developer: Youth, Operations, Special Projects
Joanne Magtoto
Vice / Co-Chair
Ben Keane o’Hara
Community Developer: Workshops
Natalie Ord
Secretary
Simran Sarwara
Youth Community Developer: Youth Workshops, Social Justice Tours, and Special Projects
Kenneth Magtoto
Treasurer
Mari Piggott
Communications – Operations and Administration
Parker Johnson
Director
Sabrina Bonfonti
HEC – Project Coordinator: Health Equity Collaborative Project
Caroline Manuel
Director

Our Staff Team

Lydia Luk

Co-Executive Director/Community Developer

Lydia and their family have roots in Chinese colonized lands of Hong Kong and have grown, played and (un)learned on the unceeded Coast Salish Territories of Musquem, Tseil-Watuth, and Squamish Nations. Through navigating between worlds and almost never fitting in, Lydia has had amazing opportunities to learn how communities and identity can intersect.

From her experiences working with seniors and extensive work with queer and trans youth across BC, Lydia brings their enthusiasm for intersectional community development and experience in community mobilization, engagement with social justice.

They believe in the importance of fostering connections between people and communities. Lydia is lucky that their paid work and community organizing are often intertwined with one another. The places were personal intersects with the political and is fueled by Lydia’s passion for justice and equity.

Lydia can be reached by email at lydia@peernetbc.com

Alanna MacLennan

Co-Executive Director/Community Developer

As a white settler, with English and Scottish heritage, my early life was spent between a city and an island.  Home was on Mayne Island, part of the W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip First Nation), and on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh nations (Vancouver). Geography (of land and people) and a grandmother who was my force of nature, cultivated my appetite to build connection, foster community and challenge systems of social injustice.

As a project manager and administrator, my commitment is to serve people, projects and ultimately community.  With a deep belief in participatory and mentor-driven processes, I am anchored by/in creativity, generosity and an entrepreneurial spirit.  My gratitude is renewed daily for the patience, courage, and wisdom of so many over the last 20+ years – who have shared learning and unlearning – along with the continued invitation to do each. In and out. Like breathing. Not always easy, but essential.

Alanna can be reached by email at alanna@peernetbc.com

Ben Keane O’Hara

Community Developer

Ben is an adopted queer and trans mixed person of colour who loves food, friends and felines. He has spent most of his life as an uninvited guest on the unceded lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.

When he is not dreaming of summer or being cozy inside, he spends his time facilitating workshops on gender, sexuality, power and anti-oppression.

Ben began facilitating over 10 years ago on the unceded lands of the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) Nation and continued to facilitate in various ways when he moved back to Coast Salish territories. He loves the element of surprise in facilitation and that there is always something new to learn from the curiosity of each new group he works with.

Almost 10 years ago he was a participant in an impactful PeerNet workshop, and is so happy and honoured to find himself contributing to PeerNet’s work and learning alongside co-workers, participants, and PeerNet community.

Ben can be reached by email at ben@peernetbc.com

Mari Piggott

Communications – Operations and Administration

Mari is a white settler who grew up on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh nations in East Vancouver. She is passionate about working with communities, organizations, and movements to create a more socially and environmentally just world.

Mari is a recent graduate of Quest University where she got a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences with a focus in Sociology, Environmental Justice and Critical Race studies.  During her time at Quest, she was a member of the University’s Diversity and Equity Committee, served as the Student Representative Council’s Minister of Human Rights, and organized the university’s annual Power, Race and Privilege Symposium.

For the last seven years, Mari has worked with youth internationally on anti-oppression and peer-counseling initiatives.  She believes that young people are a powerful force for change.  When she’s not at Peer Net BC, Mari can be found biking around the city, swing dancing, playing music, or eating ice cream.

Mari can be reached at admin@peernetbc.com

Simran Sarwara

Youth Community Developer

Simran Sarwara is a graduate of the Global Stewardship Program and is currently completing the Liberal Studies program at Capilano University. She is a first-generation, immigrant daughter from Punjab, India who has been settled on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations for 17 years.

Her involvement in community work as a young person led her to accumulate a diversity of experiences in relation to social issues that impact the communities around her. She hopes to contribute to a shift in narratives regarding youth leadership so that they are rooted in values of anti-oppression, intersectionality, and peer support.

Simran can be reached by email, at simran@peernetbc.com

Sabrina Bonfonti

HEC – Project Coordinator 

Sabrina Bonfonti is a facilitator, project coordinator and process designer who works with communities and organizations to engage collaboratively on issues of social-ecological justice, and collective healing / co-liberation. Sabrina is a queer woman, honoured and ecstatic to have joined PeerNetBC for 2019 to serve as Coordinator for the LGBTIQ2S+ Health Equity Collaborative!

As a white settler with Irish & Italian roots, Sabrina carries the heartfelt inquiry in her life & work – How does one live in a good way as a settler born onto unceded/stolen land?

Sabrina can be reached by email at health.eqt2.collab@gmail.com

The PNBC Board

Anna White

President  / Co-Chair

Anna White lives on the unceded land of the Coast Salish people. She has a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, with a focus on critical and cultural theories. As the Camp Director for UBC’s CampOUT! (http://campout.ubc.ca/) she works in collaboration with a diverse spectrum of students, faculty, alumni and communities across BC to support intergenerational community development, learning, leadership, mentorship and community engagement.

Her work is informed by 20 years of social justice leadership, facilitation, and program development in faith and secular settings. A lifetime fan of creating safer spaces for learning and dialogue, Anna is dedicated to working with an intersectional approach. Her passion drives community development projects which: strive to embody radical welcome, create space for personal and group development, share tools for building inclusive communities, and spark positive and meaningful social change.

You may also find her hiking in the forest with her Sodapup or reading nerdy science fiction to fuel her imagination.

Joanne Magtoto

Vice President / Co-Chair

I was born and live on unceded xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh territories. I am the daughter of parents who migrated to Canada in the 1970s during the initial influx of Filipino overseas workers. For the past 10 years, I worked in various healthcare settings in program development/evaluation and front line work. As a community social worker, my work focuses on creating space for unheard voices, honouring the lived experiences of people of colour who are impacted by systemic violence, and supporting people to meet their basic wellness needs.

Natalie Ord

Secretary

Kenneth Magtoto

Treasurer

I have worked all of my adult life while going through school to ultimately reach my goal of becoming a CPA and have enjoyed working in the professional field ever since. I currently work at John Fluevog Boots and Shoes, and have been employed there since July 2014. Outside of work, I dedicate my time to my wife and young family while I enjoy cooking, watching and playing sports, and spending time outdoors.

Parker Johnson

Director

Caroline Manuel

Director