A Message from our Board Chairperson

Dear Friends,

As Board President, I am pleased to be part of such a fantastic organization that works tirelessly to help survivors of domestic violence on a holistic level. Dr. Roz’s Healing Place provides hope and healing to hundreds of clients every year through its innovative programs, counselling support and referrals. I am amazed at the efforts of the entire team of staff, funders, community members and volunteers who work to make a difference in the lives of abused women, children and youth.

Dr. Roz’s Healing Place continues to make positive shifts in communities on a local, national and global scale. In addition to sister organizations in Liberia and Trinidad, we are currently raising funds towards building The Changa House – Child and Youth Centre for Change, a place where children and youth who need help, inspiration and guidance will receive long-term support as they move into adulthood.

Please join us as we forge new paths on our journey to help eradicate violence. On behalf of the Board of Directors I welcome you to contact the incredible team here at DRHP to schedule a tour and see how you can contribute towards creating a safer future for those in need.

Thank you for your kind consideration and interest in the Dr. Roz’s Healing Place family. We could not do it without you.


Charlena Claxton

Board Chairperson


Board of Directors

2015-2016 Term

Dr. Roz Roach – Executive Director

Dr. Roz Roach is the Founder and Executive Director of Dr. Roz’s Healing Place – a Centre for Empowerment and Healing, for women and children who are victims and survivors of domestic violence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Roz is the first black woman in Canada to negotiate with three levels of government and raise $5 Million dollars to build Dr. Roz’s Healing Place. Beginning her career as a Registered Nurse in Montreal, Dr. Roz has graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Applied Social Science, followed by a Masters Degree in Trans-cultural Psychiatry. Further, she holds a Doctorate in Health and Human Sciences, and is a certified Psychotherapist, Psychoanalyst, Raw Food Scientist, and Acupuncturist. Along with her extensive experience in the medical field, Dr. Roz is also certified in Business Management, Finance and Non-Financial Management, Staff / Mentor Training and Management. At a National and International level, Dr. Roz has worked for over thirty-five years as a Consultant and Change Agent for over 30 organizations and institutes across the globe. Her personal philosophy in life is ‘A Life Without Violence Is The Only Life To Live’ and continues to spread this strong message of courage and bravery throughout everything she commits to.

Charlena T. Claxton – President

Charlena T. Claxton B.A. LL.B., has been practicing law in Ontario since 2005. She was called to the Nova Scotia bar and the Ontario bar in 2005. Charlena practices in the areas of criminal law, mental health law, civil litigation and family law. Prior to working at Claxton Law, she worked in the areas of criminal, class action, civil litigation, and short and long term disability law. She has experience representing clients at both the Provincial and Superior Court levels.  Charlena taught at Durham College, teaching its Criminal Law, E-discovery, Administrative and Insurance Law, and Civil Litigation classes.  Charlena has been a member of the Board of Directors or Foundation member since 2006. She represented Canada at the United Nations Conference against Racism, Xenophobia and other related Intolerances in Durban South, Africa in 2001. She was also past president of the Black Law Students Association of Canada.

Sabeen Makki – Vice-President  

Sabeen Makki is a Senior Transportation Policy and Planning Specialist for the Region of York. She holds a Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. She is committed to the study and application of transportation and land use studies and policies to efficiently manage regional growth and improve the way people travel. She has 13 years of transportation, land-use and policy planning experience at various levels of government. She has extensive experience dealing with internal and external stakeholders, including residents, department staff, municipal staff members, land owners developers and first nations groups.

Ishrat Sarwar-Butt – Treasurer

Ishrat Sarwar-Butt has been part of this organization for 14 years.  She was elected to the Board of Directors as the Treasurer in 2005 which was the year the centre opened its doors in this beautiful building. She continued her role as Treasurer up until 2011 when she stepped off the board for personal reasons; however she maintained her connection to the board when she accepted the position of Treasurer for the Dr. Roz’s Healing Place Foundation. The foundation is a work in progress and she is an active supporter of the foundation’s present project of building the Changa House a Centre for Youth. Professionally, Ishrat has over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry having worked for companies such as CIBC and TD Canada Trust. She is a licensed Mortgage and Real Estate Agent and also holds her Paralegal License. Presently, Ishrat is working for Abrahams LLP, a law firm that specializes in Real Estate and Civil Litigation.

Angela Gibson – Secretary

Angela Gibson is a Registered Professional Planner with over 10 years of urban planning experience focused on creating complete and connected communities through facilitating the synergies between land use and transportation planning. Angela leads the Performance Monitoring and Research division in the Transportation Services Department at York Region, where she uses a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving and consensus building. As a city builder Angela has led a number of major regional initiatives including transportation planning for urban growth centres, master plans, universal accessibility programs, development of new context sensitive guidelines for Regional streets and leading the prioritization of the 10-year Roads Capital Plan. Prior to joining the Region in 2010, Angela worked for the Town of Ajax in the capacity of leading transportation planning, including active transportation. Angela is an executive board member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Toronto Section and is on the Board of Directors for Dr. Roz’s Healing Place (a women’s shelter for women fleeing domestic violence). Angela is an alumnus of the University of Toronto Urban Planning program and has established a scholarship for visible minorities in the Urban Planning field at the University of Toronto to help support continued diversity within the planning profession.

Patricia Adimibe – Board Member

Patricia Adimibe graduated with a Bachelors degree in Social Work and soon after graduation, secured a job with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto as a Child Protection Social Worker. Patricia’s desire to study and learn more about Social Justice led her into pursuing a postgraduate study in Social Work. Again she was accepted at University of Toronto for her Masters Degree in Social Work. Patricia graduated with a Masters Degree in 2008, and she has remained a Social Worker with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. She intends to return to school for a doctorate degree in the nearest future.

Alexander Wilson – Board Member

Alexander Wilson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & History as well as a Master’s of Divinity. Alex has studied vocal music with Peggy Mahon, a jazz musician and actress, since 1995. His repertoire includes musical theatre, pop, jazz, country, sacred and gospel.  For the past twelve years, Alexander has enjoyed inner city ministry as a pastor in the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Currently he is the minister at St. Stephen’s in Scarborough where he preaches, reaches out to a diverse community and plays the drums. Church and politics are passions in Alexander’s life.

Andrea Anderson – Board Member 

Andrea Anderson is a criminal defence lawyer. She received a Master of Arts from the Centre for Criminology, University of Toronto and earned her Master of Laws at Osgoode Hall Law School.  Andrea is involved with organizations that are vocal around issues involving women, gendered & racialized violence and the administration of the criminal justice system. She is currently a PhD candidate at Osgoode. Her work is grounded in anti-Black racism and intersectionality.

Dr. Saj Sheth – Board Member

Dr. Saj Sheth is a Chiropractor with almost 10 years of experience focused on serving the Scarborough community.  He holds a Doctorate of Chiropractic from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and a Specialized Honours in Kinesiology from York University. He is the founder of Scarborough Village Physio & Chiro, a multidisciplinary clinic which encourages a preventative holistic approach to healthcare.  Dr. Sheth has taught Anatomy and Physiology at Seneca College and Royal Canadian College of Massage Therapy.  He continues to attend seminars and conferences to broaden his knowledge and hopes to spread good health to as many people as possible.

Farzana Taji  – Board Member

Farzana Taji is a Financial Advisor with RBC Royal Bank approaching the 10 year mark. She graduated from the University of  Toronto with undergraduate degree in Economics, English and Sociology. Farzana has been in the financial services industry for 16 Years on a full time basis and has her Certificate in  Personal Financial Services. She describes her first encounter meeting Dr. Roz as such, “When I met Dr. Roz, I felt like I’ve known her for decades and felt the need to participate and contribute somehow and in some way which prompted me to join the board as a public member. While my contribution hasn’t been enormous as I’m  still learning about Dr. Roz’s Healing Place, my pledge is to help and support the healing center’s cause.”

Nicole Nanjad – Board Member

Debbie Nicholls-Skerritt – Board Member

Hadriana Leo – Board Member

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