BA, RSW, MSW
Born and raised in the inner city of Toronto to immigrant parents, and exposed to early childhood trauma and community violence, Sylvia has a vested interest in supporting children and youth and the parents that are raising them. Sylvia has worked over a decade in Child Welfare, where she entered the field with the aim to get to know the system from within. Her previous experience in program development and community development has led her to her current interest in developing a community and health response to Child Welfare.
As a trained Circle of Security facilitator Sylvia also hopes to help parents recognize how their difficult life experiences can have an impact on how they parent. As a mother of two, and a survivor of trauma, Sylvia knows far too well the importance of having a circle of supports.
As the co-founder of The Asabiyyah Concept it is her vision to tap into the resiliency of families and communities to support and raise emotionally healthy children and youth.
Sylvia’s mission is to share knowledge around being trauma centered and learning about the importance of honoring and understanding our racialized communities by way of not only understanding their traumas but their resiliency as well.
Sylvia holds a Master's Degree in Social Work with a Specialization in Trauma and Resiliency within Indigenous Communities. Currently Sylvia is the Co-Chair on the Community Healing Project Advisory for the city of Toronto, and is also a registered Social Worker providing counseling to parents and youth. Sylvia has worked in the area of community development, youth diversion, and youth violence prevention.
Camisha Sibblis is a Registered Social Worker, a Counselling Hypnotherapist (C.Hyp), a certified Marriage and Family Therapist, and an Educator. Camisha has extensive experience working with youth deemed ‘at risk’ as a school social worker in the Peel District School Board expulsion/suspension programs, alternative programs, and mainstream schools. Specializing in child development, trauma, family mediation, and restorative practices, she spent several years as a child protection worker. She counsels families, individuals, and children in care as a psychotherapist in private practice, facilitating group and individual therapy in the foster and group home setting. As a clinical agent for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, Camisha conducts family assessments and provides custody and access recommendations to family court. As well, as a clinician/researcher she assesses the affect of anti-Black racism on the lives of convicts for courts to consider upon sentencing.
Camisha is a Professor in the Social Work program at the University of Windsor. For several years, she was the Chair of the Council for Adolescent Suicide Prevention in Peel and sat on the planning committee for the West End Sexual Abuse Treatment Program (WESAT). She is a Research Assistant on the Assets Coming Together for Youth Project (ACT for Youth), a community-university research partnership that is focused on developing a comprehensive youth strategy for the Jane-Finch community. Camisha is also a collaborator on a SSHRC Insight Grant project called “Schools, safety and the urban neighbourhood”.
Among her community work, she teaches for the Tabono Liberation Learning Academy - fostering activism among young adults. Camisha’s scholarship focuses on the politics of race, social identity and marginalized youth.
David was born in London, England to Jamaican parents and immigrated to Canada with them in the late 60’s. He has witnessed and experienced firsthand the differing treatment that racialized people were exposed to, in school, by the police and by the social service system. This instilled in him a strong desire to want to work with youth of color and help them improve their experiences going forward and strive to do better.
David has worked in Child Welfare for 35 years as a Social Service Worker and Family Support Worker and has always had a focus and passion for working with racialized parents and youth in the Child Welfare system. He was one of the founding members of the Black Education and Awareness Committee at the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto. This committee was Black focused with an emphasis on enriching the lives of the children in care thru afro-centric cooking, dance groups, university prep experience, and a yearly Black History Month celebration that took place at various venues throughout the city, with Daniel’s Spectrum being the last major venue. The children and youth also participated in a yearly Soul Journey to cities in both the United States and Canada to expose the youth to their rich and varied history.
David is currently retired and is now a foster parent. His desire to give back to children and youth is still strong and is committed to training present and future foster parents who are responsible for fostering Black and racialized youth. He believes in the importance not only having the caregivers that are looking after our children and youth be culturally sensitive but to also be trauma and resiliency focused.
Melody brings more than 20 years of leadership and management experience to her work with The Asibiyyah Concept. She believes that leadership is a key construct in initiating social change and growth and that this leadership can emerge from every area within an organization.
Melody brings years of experience with respect to managing change within organizations. As organizations evolve, she can help identify the changes needed to bring them to a Trauma-Informed Service Perspective. Providing those who deliver service with the tools they need to do so is critical for the health of clients, the staff who serve them, and the agency that supports them.
She has combined her child protection experience with her training, experience, and understanding of trauma informed practice to offer facilitation of creative, community-rooted initiatives that respond to the real needs of kids and their families.