Marissa (she/her) is the Senior Project Manager for Wisdom2Action. She is based in Toronto, which is the traditional land of many Indigenous nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. She was born and raised in Toronto, Dish with One Spoon Territory. She is of mixed ancestry from European settlers, Qalipu-Mi’kmaq First Nations and Cree.
Marissa is a community engagement expert, youth leadership engagement specialist, and an experienced facilitator on the following topics gender based violence awareness, reconciliation, gender/racial solidarity initiatives, MMIW2S awareness, Indigenous histories and present realities within Canada. She approaches all of her work through an anti-oppressive, equity lens, while centering community voices and perspectives at the forefront of all community initiatives to embody the ethos “Nothing for us without us”.
Marissa is passionate about youth empowerment, reproductive rights, LGBTQ2S+ mental health initiatives, Indigenous rights and gender/racial equity rights initiatives of which she has made her focus for both her professional and personal endeavors.
Prior to her work with Wisdom2Action, Marissa worked with Indigenous youth (14-29) and communities through the national organization CRE for over 3 years in a variety of roles. As the Eastern Programming supervisor she worked with Indigenous communities in predominantly Ontario, Quebec, and East Coast provinces focusing on youth engagement and community lead initiatives on what reconciliation means to them. Within this role she was able to provide training(s), and support to Indigenous youth along their journey in being the leaders of change in the community. In addition to the above work Marissa also worked as an engagement specialist where she coordinated community and public relations, designed and hosted trainings for educational and public institutions and worked on the public education initiatives.
Marissa is currently a member at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre (TRCC) as a peer support counsellor. In addition to providing support to service users of the TRCC she also works with incoming volunteers for the crisis line through training(s),and providing peer support guidance in their work.
Marissa holds a Honors Bachelor Degree in Women and Gender studies from University of Toronto. While at University of Toronto she was an active member of the women and gender student union where she worked as the political and educational liaison which allowed her to combine two of her passions in student(youth) engagement and community solidarity.
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