OUR BOARD

Our Board of Directors are volunteers who are impacted by and/or passionate about SWAN's vision and work, which​ includes addressing the conflation of sex work and trafficking, the unsound and often racist laws that result, and the disproportionate harms experienced by im/migrant women who engage in sex work. Directors are actively involved in overseeing the governance underpinning SWAN's operations and programming

Through specific roles, Directors commit to proactive engagement with the governance work the organization requires, and to additional committee work as SWAN's mission, campaigns or overall purpose may require. 

OUR CURRENT DIRECTORS

Board Chair

JACKIE WONG

pronouns: she/her/hers - Jackie works in Vancouver, BC as a facilitator, writer and editor.  She has a background in journalism and has spent the last six years working with social change organizations as a post-secondary educator. She is a dialogue associate with the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue and also teaches in the SFU Semester in Dialogue program.

"A lot of my work has me thinking about the conditions under which social change happens.  I'm really glad to join SWAN's Board - SWAN exists at an important intersection of anti-racist feminist work that is exciting to me because it is rare and necessary."   

Board Vice-Chair

JANE LI

pronouns: she/her/hers - Jane is a registered social worker with practice experience in victim services, gender and sexual health, youth substance use, newcomer supports, community-based research, and adult guardianship. A significant part of her work concerns critical perspectives on capability, risk, and difference.  She is grounded personally and professionally by epistemic humility, radical softness, intersectional feminism, Indigenous resurgence, and difference-centered ethics.

Jane first became involved with SWAN as a volunteer in 2012, later joining the team as an outreach worker. Her anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and critical social work practice approach is deeply informed by her experiences at SWAN. She returns to SWAN as a board member with the intention of furthering her commitment to sex work activism and im/migrant women’s rights.

“I joined SWAN’s board because I feel strongly about the impacts of oppressive policies and practices on im/migrant women engaged in sex work. I believe in the value of our work and uniqueness of this organization.”

Board Treasurer

MINDY ABRAMOWITZ

pronouns: she/her/hers - Mindy earned her designation as a Certified General Accountant in 2004 and is a member of Chartered Professional Accountants Association of Canada.  She works in public practice and for more than fifteen years has served many charitable and non-profit organizations in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. 

Mindy was introduced to SWAN through a like-minded colleague, and saw the opportunity to join SWAN’s Board as a way to learn more about the organization’s unique team and work while supporting both.

I have a particular interest in the interchange between financial information and advocacy.”

Board Secretary

KIM MACKENZIE

pronouns: she/her/hers - Kim first became involved with SWAN through research SWAN conducted on human trafficking laws and their impacts on the rights of migrant and immigrant sex workers.  She then went on to become an Outreach Volunteer in 2013.  In 2014 she was hired as a staff member and worked in a variety of roles - from Outreach Coordinator to Policy Analyst - until she relocated from Vancouver to Victoria in 2017.  She joined SWAN's Board shortly after her move. Kim holds  a  Masters of Public Policy and now works as a Research Officer with the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth.  She remains actively engaged in community organizing and municipal politics in Victoria.

Kim is passionate about sex worker rights, migrant rights, police accountability and poverty reduction.  Her current work and many years of political advocacy and community-based activism give her a deep operational understanding of government relations in BC and levers for policy and law reform.  When SWAN’s Board formally transitioned from an operational to governance structure, she volunteered to remain on as a Director without hesitation.  

“Given my time spent with the organization, I have a soft spot in my heart for SWAN and I couldn’t let it go.”  

Board Director

JENNY ZHANG

pronouns: she/her/hers - Jenny is a graduate of BCIT’s Software Development Program, and has worked in a variety of data research and management roles.  In 2005 through her previous employment with the BC Centre for Disease Control, she became involved with the Asian Society for the Intervention of AIDS, for their Orchid Project, an indoor sex worker and outreach service project in Vancouver.

Jenny has also worked extensively with Providence Health Care, and the Centre for Gender & Sexual Health  Equity's  AESHA  (An Evaluation of Sex Workers  Health  Access)  Project,  where she  conducted  translated surveys, participant interviews and outreach services.  

Jenny has many additional years of reception and management work within spas, and her direct connection to indoor sex workers remains strong. Through personal and professional ties with this community, she had always heard about SWAN’s unique services. 

“When the opportunity to join SWAN’s Board came up, I gladly took it.”  

Advisory Board Member

MENAKA RAGUPARAN

pronouns: she/her/hers - A long-time activist, researcher and socio-legal scholar, Menaka has served on the Board for the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the Exotic Dancers Rights Association of Canada (a collective of strippers and supporters that sought to establish minimum employment standards for strippers in Ontario from 1995 until 2004, when the organization disbanded).

As part of her doctoral project, (in 2014 and 2015) Menaka interviewed 40 sex workers of colour from nine cities in Canada, including Vancouver.  After vetting and evaluating the study’s benefit to sex workers of colour, SWAN was able to liaise with participants in Vancouver and vouch for the ethics and legitimacy of Menaka’s research, and participants’ safety in her interview processes.  Most recently she conducted a project for SWAN involving a global scan and assessment of capacity building strategies within NGOs serving marginalized and racialized populations.

 

Menaka recently relocated from her home of 20 years in Ottawa, Ontario to the United States to continue her academic career.  In August 2020 she began a tenure-track role in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she teaches criminology. 

“My interest in SWAN is couched in reciprocity - in my role as an advisory board member I am hoping to give back to a community that has given me a lot.”

SWAN's services are free and confidential. 

 

For direct services in English, Mandarin or Cantonese,

call or text 778-865-6343, send an email,

or contact us on WeChat.

 

SWAN operates independently from government, law enforcement and faith-based groups.

With gratitude for the wisdom of all First Peoples, 

we acknowledge that we live & work on the stolen lands

of the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Nations.  

 

 

 

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Charitable Registration # 853176295RR0001