Panel Discussion: Anti-Human Trafficking: What is Being Done and What Can Be Done

March 9, 2021: 7:30 pm -

Panelists:

Elisabeth Zimmerman - Executive Director, YWCA  Niagara Region

Elisabeth Zimmermann has worked for over twenty-five years in the non-profit human services sector, the last 15 years, as Executive Director of the YWCA Niagara Region, a non-profit organization working with homeless women and their families providing emergency shelter, transitional supported housing, ongoing support services and advocacy.

Her deep understanding of the importance of addressing the issues of poverty, and the need for quality support systems to minimize the long-term impact of systemic inequalities, has positioned the YWCA Niagara Region as a leader in addressing barriers with a women’s focussed-lens among community and government agencies.

Elisabeth’s expertise in the areas of poverty and homelessness is sought out and she is actively involved in committees throughout the Niagara Region to help raise awareness and implement change.  Sharing her perspective, Elisabeth is a member of Brock University Board of Trustees; Niagara Health Board of Trustees; Housing and Homelessness Action Plan Task Force; Non-Profit Council for Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce (GNCC); and Government Advisory Council for GNCC.

A valued guest speaker, Elisabeth has worked hard to raise awareness around the issues of poverty and its impact specific to women and children.  She believes in the importance of bringing to the forefront the need for action on the part of the government at all levels in addressing poverty and has been an active partner in drafting and carrying out the Region’s Housing and Homelessness Plan.

Elisabeth brings passion to everything she does and as a native of the Niagara Region, she has a strong connection within the community and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Niagara residents.

 Shannon Mitchell - Constituency Assistant for Wayne Gates MPP (Niagara Falls) and DSBN Trustee

As the Constituency Assistant for Wayne Gates MPP, Shannon Mitchell will provide an update on the Government of Ontario’s new Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy launched in March 2020. Ontario will invest $307 million over the next five years on a comprehensive action plan to combat human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. The government has taken a number of steps to strengthen existing prevention efforts geared to children and youth through Ontario schools. Additionally, the province is launching a new, province-wide marketing campaign that will build increased awareness of the systemic problem.

With a background in public health and degrees in political science and education, Shannon has worked internationally as an educator and a women's health advocate. Dedicated to serving her community, Shannon is also an elected Public-School Board Trustee for Niagara Falls and is proud to raise her son in the same neighbourhood she grew up in.

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