Claudia Medina has worked and volunteered in the HIV/AIDS field for 20 years. She was diagnosed with HIV in 1994 and began her journey in the HIV/AIDS sector by volunteering her time as a Board member for organizations such as The Teresa Group and Positive Youth Outreach. She has worked in partnership with Toronto Public Health for 10 years in the sexual health program as an HIV 101 Facilitator and as a community representative for the creation of Public Health resources regarding Women and HIV. She has been employed in organizations such as: Voices of Positive Women as the Support Worker and Community Development Coordinator, The Toronto People with AIDS Foundation as the Speakers Bureau Coordinator and Case Manager, the Prisoner’s with HIV/AIDS Action Support Network as the Hep C Federal Coordinator, the Women’s Prison Coordinator and now the Program Manager.
Claudia is the co-founder of Latinos Positivos, an organization for People living with HIV in the LatinX community. She has worked with many populations through the 20 years in the HIV Sector. Her primary passion and experience is working with people who have been incarcerated, cis women and trans women living with HIV, people who use drugs and deal with mental health issues. Claudia has also dedicated much of her time to work with racialized communities in the HIV sector that need support navigating the Immigrant and Refugee process in Canada.
Celeste Bilbao-Joseph is the HIV/AIDS Mental Health Clinical Counsellor for the HIV/AIDS Prevention Program at the Center for the Spanish Speaking Peoples (CSSP) . She has over 18 years of experience in the Mental Health field. As a Clinical Psychologist in Argentina, her home country, she worked in private practice and was also a Psychology Professor at several universities. She currently specializes in HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, crisis and trauma counselling. She also provides education and training on the sexual and mental health of migrant LGBTQ populations in Toronto.
For the last 11 years Celeste has been serving migrants and refugees from 22 Spanish-speaking countries, offering a variety of services (psychotherapy, educational workshops and research).
In the last few years, Celeste has specialized in counselling for the Trans Community, providing them with psychological support and educational resources. She has trained staff of multiple agencies in the GTA in trans-inclusiveness and cultural-specific services. Celeste is also the founder and director of Trans Latinas Ontario (TLO), the first group in Canada of its kind, supporting Latino Trans Women.
Her current research interests are global mental health, the relationship between social justice, power imbalance and ethno-privilege, the right to health equity of migrants and refugees, and community-based participatory interventions that have a real impact in the LGBTQ+ community’s lives.
Shaneequa is a 2-Spirit, transgender activist from Montana First Nation. Her spirit name is "Kakako" in the Plains Cree Language, which translates to "Raven".
Evana Ortigoza is a trans woman of colour and activist in Toronto. She
is a former sex worker who has struggled in life as a trans woman. She
has changed her life for the better and works for the trans community as an educator and facilitator. Evana works hard to help improve the lives of trans people and to teach the world about the lives of trans community. She is a former Trans Pride team lead, organizing the Trans Rally and the Trans March for Pride Toronto. She also is part of the Trans Priorities Project, which seeks to bring together trans woman to identify priorities for research around HIV. This is the first step in developing a national Trans Research Program. She is currently on the Steering Committee of Circle of Care at P.W.A. She also now part of The Trans People of Colour project at the 519 Community Centre.