Introducing the African Canadian Provincial Advisory Council

The African Canadian Child Welfare Provincial Advisory Council (PAC) is a group made up of African Canadian community members tasked with providing recommendations and advice to the board, executive leadership and staff of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) on all child welfare matters affecting the African Canadian community in the province of Ontario.

The membership of PAC is comprised of African Canadian members of the Black community in Ontario. Currently there are five members of the PAC, referred to as Community Consultants.  The Community Consultants are all reflective of the intersectionality represented in the African Canadian community across the province. Over the next year, the PAC will continue to grow as representatives currently active on their local Children’s Aid Societies African Canadian Local Advisory Council (LAC) join the PAC members to help create sustainable change for African Canadian families in Ontario’s child welfare system.

What’s the criteria for PAC membership

PAC members must:

  • Have African ancestry
  • Have knowledge of the child welfare issues facing African Canadian families
  • Have a full understanding, belief in, and ability to articulate and implement the One Vision One Voice race equity practices
  • Demonstrate an understanding of anti-racism, anti-Black racism, child welfare, education, social justice, and systemic analysis
  • Have a leadership role within the African-Canadian community and/or mainstream professional organizations

To contact the African Canadian Provincial Advisory Council, email:

Dr. Julian Hasford

Dr. Julian Hasford is an Assistant Professor in the School of Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University, whose research and activism focuses on issues of African Canadian empowerment, anti-racism, systems change, and community-based prevention. He holds a Ph.D. in Community Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a M.HSc. in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto. He maintains an active program of research in child welfare, which includes needs assessments of African Canadians involved in the child welfare system, and evaluations of the Cross-Over Youth Project (a systems change initiative for youth dually involved in child welfare and youth justice systems) in various communities.

Dr. Hasford has extensive professional experience in residential and community-based youth work, including over eight years as a frontline worker in group home and foster care settings, and over 12 years as a Community Recreation Programmer with the City of Toronto’s Community Gardens and Urban Farms Program, where he was involved in engaging racialized youth in urban agriculture. Over the last several years, he has also been involved in anti-racist advocacy through work with organizations such as the Black Community Action Network of Peel, Tabono Institute, and the Ontario Association for Children’s Aid Society (One Vision, One Voice project).

Gouled Hassan

Originally from East Africa, Gouled Hassan is a committed community leader who has served in various sectors (Immigration, Arts, Culture, Economics and more). He served on the boards of several organizations. He was the vice-president for the Association Canadienne-Française de l’Ontario du Grand Sudbury and the Treasurer for the Provincial Union of ethno-cultural and visible minorities. He presently chairs the Board of Contact Interculturel Francophone de Sudbury. As a Northeastern consultant for the OAC, Gouled has built important connections to increase investment and support for the arts. For over 15 years, Gouled applied his leadership in many initiatives in Ontario, particularly in Northern Ontario to help marginalized young people and to create harmonious inter-generational relationships in the community. During his career, he has received several awards, including UPMREF outstanding award for his contribution and his social commitment. He holds two bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Economics and presently completing his MBA. In 2012, he was selected by The Governor's General's Canadian Leadership Conference as one of the 250th Canadian Young Leaders of Tomorrow. Gouled's engagements are aimed at creating a more cohesive society. He is a well-known advocate of the fight against exclusion and marginalization and the promotion of a sense of belonging and a harmonious inter- and intra-community relationships.

Joi Hurst

Founder of Coalition for Justice Unity, Joi Hurst is an advocate for families the communities of Windsor, Ontario. Through the coalition, Joi works to address equity issues facing the Black community, including within the child welfare sector. Most recently, Joi has joined the Windsor Children`s Aid Society (CAS) Black African Caribbean Canadian Advisory Committee, which has facilitated her work for Black and other community family members needing help with/understanding the processes needed to regain family stability through our court system and CAS. Joi is a graduate of Wayne County Community College (WCCC) and mother of four who has also researched Windsor’s Emancipation/Underground Railroad and its History extensively. Her work, along with fellow colleagues, has led to gaining City Approval for implementation of an Emancipation Monument within the beautiful Jackson Park, due to be erected in Windsor in the near future. Joi was also a co-creator of the “Windsor Westside Reunion”, an organization tasked with building community partnerships and sentiment through an annual Community Family Reunion, now in its 8th year.

Ikram Jama

Ikram Jama is the Equity Advisor in the Department of Equity Services at Carleton University and is responsible for developing and delivering programs that promote human rights, equity and inclusion on campus. Ikram has 20 years’ experience in the social service sector and has worked in the areas of violence against women, immigrant and refugee settlement, community development and youth programming. Ikram has initiated and led innovative programs and projects that focused on community identified solutions. Ikram started her community work as a volunteer while in university to support the settlement of refugee families from Africa.  She was one of the co-founders of the Somali Centre for Youth, Women and Community Development, an organization that supported the early settlement and integration of Somali families in Ottawa.  Most recently Ikram worked as the Manager of the Multicultural Liaison Officer Program (MLO) at the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization (OCISO). She is a volunteer with the Canadian Somali Mothers’ Association and the co-founder of the literary circle, Sahan Literary Forum, which focuses on highlighting stories and books written about the Horn of Africa. Ikram is committed to contributing to the creation of an inclusive community where social inequities are addressed effectively so that all can have access to opportunities and achieve their potential.  Ikram has a Masters of Political Science from Carleton University.

Notisha Massaquoi

Notisha Massaquoi is originally from Sierra Leone and has been an enthusiastic advocate for advancements in Black women’s healthcare globally for the past 25 years. She holds an MSW from the University of Toronto and is completing a PhD in Social Justice Education at OISE/U of T. She is currently the Executive Director of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre – the only Community Health Centre in Canada, which specifically provides primary healthcare for racialized women. Her research and publications have focused on the impact of racism on the health and wellbeing of Black women in Canada as well as anti-oppression social work practice. She is also a lecturer at the Ryerson Faculty of Social Work. Notisha is a proud adoptive mother and lives in Toronto with her partner and daughter.