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The Team

Director of Communications and Engagement

Amanda Dale


Amanda Dale is an international human rights activist specializing in access to justice and women's human rights. Best known for her decade as the Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Clinic, she is currently faculty at the Women's Human Rights Institute, Chair of the Board of Inter Pares, and a member of the Expert Advisory Panel of the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability. Her leadership was pivotal to the Jane Doe Audit of Toronto Police sexual assault investigations, the successful restriction of the use of religious arbitration in the settlement of family law matters in Ontario, and the development of a women’s shelter in the Arctic. Amanda holds a Master’s in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Research Director

Elaine Craig

Professor of Law, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University

Elaine Craig is a Professor of Law at Dalhousie University. She has researched and published extensively on sexual assault law in Canada. Dr. Craig is the author of Putting Trials on Trial: Sexual Assault and the Failure of the Legal Profession (2018 McGill-Queens) and Troubling Sex: Towards a Legal Theory of Sexual Integrity (2012, UBC Press). She has testified before Senate and House of Commons Standing Committees on proposed law reforms to the criminal law of sexual offences and is a regular public commentator on legal responses to sexualized violence.


Joanna Birenbaum

Lawyer, Birenbaum Law

Joanna Birenbaum is a litigator with expertise in gender equality and violence against women. Joanna has extensive experience in constitutional litigation, civil sexual assault claims, defending anti-slapp malicious prosecution and defamation claims targeting women who have reported violence, and representing women who have experienced harassment and discrimination in employment. Joanna prosecutes, including sexual abuse claims, for a regulated health college in Ontario and supports complainants before other professional discipline bodies. Joanna’s advocacy in this area also includes human rights tribunal claims, university tribunal and Criminal Injuries Compensation Board hearings, and supporting complainants through the criminal justice process. She has been a McMurtry Fellow at Osgoode as well as adjunct faculty at Osgoode teaching Law, Gender, Equality and co-directing Osgoode’s Feminist Legal Advocacy: Ending Violence Against Women clinical program. Joanna has lectured and published in the area of violence against women and women’s equality rights.

Member, Board of Directors

Jocelyn Downie

University Research Professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine, Dalhousie University

Chair, Board of Directors

Kim Brooks

President, Dalhousie University

Kim Brooks is the President of Dalhousie University. She previously served as the Dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie and before that the Purdy Crawford Chair in Business Law at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. She was Dean of the School from 2010 to 2015. She is a director of several other organizations, former Chair of the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (2005-2009) and former co-chair of the National Association of Women and the Law (2000-2005).

Member, Board of DIrectors

Michelle Williams

Associate Professor of Law and Lead, Dalhousie African Nova Scotian Strategy

Prof. Michelle Williams B.S.W. (Dal), LL.B. (Tor), LL.M. (NYU) is the Director of the Indigenous Blacks and Mi’kmaq (IB&M) Initiative at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University where she teaches criminal law and “African Nova Scotians and the Law”, and has served as an academic researcher on restorative justice. She is a member of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Race Equity Committee and the African Nova Scotian Access to Justice Judicial Committee, and helps to coordinate the Nova Scotia Judicial Mentorship Initiative. She is an active member of the African Nova Scotian UN Decade for People of African Descent (ANSDPAD) Coalition and Chairs the Coalition Committee on Legal Recognition for African Nova Scotians. In 2017, then Dalhousie University President Richard Florizone appointed Prof. Williams as co-lead of the university’s strategic priority on equity, diversity and inclusiveness, and she is currently leading the development of an African Nova Scotian Strategy for Dalhousie. Awards include the Dalhousie Law Students’ Society and Alumni Association Teaching Award for Excellence in Teaching Law (2015); and the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL) Pathfinder Award (2011). Under Prof. Williams’ leadership, the IB&M Initiative has received the Lexpert Zenith Award (2016), the Canadian Race Relations Foundation Award of Excellence in Education (2014), and the Canadian Bar Association Touchstone Award (2010).

Director of TLC

Sonia Lawrence

Associate Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School of York University

Sonia Lawrence is Associate Professor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School. Her work centres on the critical analysis of the legal conception of equality. Her research interests include gender, race, critical race feminism, feminism, equality law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Professor Lawrence served as the Director of Osgoode’s Institute for Feminist Legal Studies for over a decade until 2020, and has also served as the Director of Osgoode’s Graduate Program and Associate Dean First Year. Professor Lawrence clerked for Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of the Supreme Court of Canada and pursued graduate work at Yale Law School.

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