Our Instructors

Israt Ahmed

Israt AhmedIsrat Ahmed is a community planner for Social Planning Toronto, where she supports community development initiatives, identifies needs and resources, organizes communities, advocates for policy change, and researches emerging trends for effective program development. Israt’s specializations include social and policy research, community planning, anti-poverty organizing, and advocacy. She is the recipient of the 2010 Leading Women, Building Communities Award for her volunteer contribution and capacity-building work, and in June 2013, the Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre in Scarborough recognized Israt with a Community Engagement Award. Israt holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and an MA in Social Science from University of Sussex, U.K.


Peter Clutterbuck, Academic Coordinator and Instructor for the Certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development

Peter ClutterbuckHon. BA (History and Political Science, York University, 1971)
MBA (School of Management Studies, University of Toronto, 1988)

Peter has a long association with Ryerson University. From 1989 to 1991, he taught the Health Promotion and Community Development course as a sessional instructor for the Faculty of Community Services. In the late 1990s, he also developed and taught the Critical Issues course for the Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Management program.

Peter took the lead in developing the Certificate in Community Engagement, Leadership, and Development for The Chang School, and he developed and taught the Community Engagement Foundations course in the program.

Peter has worked primarily in the nonprofit social and health sectors since 1972. He has worked in professional staff roles with the Canadian Association for Community Living, the G. Allan Roeher Institute, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto.

Peter served as the executive director of the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto from 1991 to 1998. He also served as one of two executive co-directors in the newly amalgamated Community Social Planning Council of Toronto (CSPC-T) from 1998 to 1999 (now Social Planning Toronto). Since leaving the CSPC-T, Peter has combined a community research role for the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) with independent consulting and research in both the nonprofit and public sectors.

The SPNO is a network of more than 20 local social planning and community development organizations across Ontario promoting inclusion and equity through research, policy development, and community education.

On behalf of SPNO, Peter worked with other community leaders to set up the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN) to give the nonprofit sector a stronger and more coherent voice to public policy-makers on issues of concern to the sector, and he served as co-chair of the ONN from 2007 to 2011.

Peter has researched and written many publications under his own name and in co-authorship with others.


Deena Ladd

Deena LaddDeena Ladd is an alumnus of Ryerson University. She graduated from the School of Social Work in 1992 and is thrilled to be back in a teaching role. For twenty years, Deena has been immersed in community and labour organizing, education, training and building various organizations to support the actions and voice of immigrant, racialized, women and low-wage workers in Ontario.

She was an organizer with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (now called UNITE) and worked with retail, garment, social service, warehouse and manufacturing workers. Deena developed training courses and education for young workers, women, workers of colour and LGBTQ workers in the trade union movement and Maquila Solidarity Network. She has been active in a number of community, international coalitions and networks such as HomeNet, North American Alliance for Fair Employment, Toronto Coalition against Racism, Desh Pardesh, Council of Agencies Serving South Asians, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change and the Good Jobs for All Coalition. She is one of the co-founders and is the coordinator of the Workers’ Action Centre (WAC) – a worker-based organization committed to improving the lives and working conditions of people in low-wage and unstable employment. WAC brings workers together to to fight for fair employment and to provide leadership in our struggle for fairness and dignity at work.


Marion Thomson

Marion Thomson has extensive experience working with community organizations. During her career, she supported leadership and capacity-building programs. She has worked in the field of equity and human rights, labour education, community and international development, participatory governance, organizational development, global education, and children’s and young people’s rights.

Marion has also worked in the social housing and community sector. She has had a hand in facilitating innovative programs and developing curriculum with staff, tenants, and community organizations in Toronto and Nova Scotia. Originally from Scotland, Marion has also worked overseas with communities in the UK and Ghana, West Africa. She has developed educational human rights programs linking Toronto and Ghanaian youth, and she has worked extensively with unions in Canada and internationally.

Marion has a MA and PhD in Education, with a special interest in popular education and arts-based education, equity and social justice, critical human rights education, critical pedagogy, labour history, oral/life history, and auto/biography.


Sheila Wilmot

Sheila WilmotSheila Wilmot is an experienced advocate, educator and organizer, in both community and workplace settings. She became a community organizer in the late 1980s, working with a range of people on local anti-racist, workers’ rights, feminist and anti-war organizing, as well as with a number of international solidarity projects. She is also the author of a number of articles and other publications. Her book, Taking Responsibility, Taking Direction: White Anti-Racism in Canada (Arbeiter Ring Publishing, 2005) is a reflection on her involvement in collective social change work.

In her position as staff Equity Officer at the Canadian Union of Public Employees local 3903, she carries out policy, education, advocacy and mediation work in relation to harassment, discrimination and accommodation. Sheila also holds a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Labour-community coalition organizing was the focus of her research. Her dissertation – The Social Organization of the Ontario Minimum Wage Campaign – is a contribution to understanding the challenging reality of anti-racist workers’ rights organizing today.