Meet the Team
Lesley Bikos is an academic, consultant, workplace investigator, and expert witness based in London, Ontario. Her research interests are primarily in the intersection of gender and workplace culture with a current focus on policing. Currently, Lesley is a PhD candidate in Sociology at Western University, working on a nation-wide study of Canadian police officers and the impact of police culture on their on and off-duty lives.
Lesley is an active member of her community with a passion for social justice and politics.
Mercedes Caxaj has contributed to the ongoing success of multiple arts and non-profit organizations and festivals in southern Ontario, Canada. In these various roles, she has been responsible for logistics, recruiting vendors and exhibitors, marketing and social media, as well as scouting and programming artists. Mercedes attended the University of Waterloo where she completed her Masters in French Studies, and Postgraduate in Marketing. Mercedes is now the Co-Artistic Director for the world music festival, TD Sunfest, which presents thoughtful, innovative global arts programming in London, Ontario.
Sarah works in marketing and communications and loves making organizations matter more. She’s passionate about her adopted community of London, and loves to check out its many arts and culture events, along with its burgeoning local food scene. She’s also a proud Western alumna, avid reader, and tea lover. She lives in Old North with her husband Justin, and loves that they’re just a short walk away from the shops, markets and restaurants downtown.
Sue Hillis (Treasurer)
Sue has worked for many years in community-based health care, and has always been a passionate advocate for vulnerable people. Sue has been interested in politics from birth, and began advocating for equity for girls in sports when her daughter started playing them. These things have culminated in her continued passion to make a difference for women and girls in our community and beyond.
Najia is a lawyer based in London, Ontario, practicing primarily in the area of family law. A self-professed “political junkie,” she has long been involved in social justice and public policy advocacy, in both a personal and professional capacity. Najia is a graduate of Western Law and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2017, having attended law school as a mature student while raising two children. Over the years, Najia has volunteered with and provided extensive pro bono legal services to a variety of not-for-profit organizations, including the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). She has also recently served as chair of the Justice and Protective Services Committee of the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP). Prior to starting her own practice, Najia worked at a small law firm on Kettle & Stony Point First Nation.
While she grew up in Sarnia, Najia has called London home for over 20 years. Najia is an avid gardener and cook, and CBC radio devotee.
Maria-Fernanda has worked with a non-for profit, non-governmental organization for the last 14 years with a focus on human rights advocacy and education and directing community, intercultural, and interfaith programs. She has a special interest in public health issues and community health research.
She is relatively new to London, having recently relocated from Winnipeg. Most importantly, she loves spending time with her family and friends.
Jennifer holds a B.A (Hons) in Women’s Studies and Community Development and recently completed an M.S.W. at Wilfrid Laurier University with a focus on macro-level social work including research, knowledge mobilization, and social policy. Jennifer has a breadth of experience advocating and working with women in marginalized communities, specifically in long term care, addictions, homelessness and mental health settings. Jennifer brings a passion for including women in all of their capacities in politics and social change. Jennifer also brings multifaceted lived experiences including poverty, mental health, and identifying as a queer lesbian.
Maria Arango Londono
Maria currently works as a project manager and has a background in international development and political studies, currently finishing a Masters in Diplomacy and International Affairs. She is greatly involved in political projects national and internationally. Internationally, Maria has been involved in various non-profit organizations centred around humanitarian aid, sustainability and integration. She is a very active member in her community, especially with projects surrounding integration, education and community development. She is passionate about politics, women's roles in society and setting up fundations to help others succeed and live a better life.
Adela Talbot is a lapsed academic, a recovering journalist and current communications professional. Her professional background spans traditional news media, postsecondary instruction and corporate communications in higher education and the fitness industry. She is an avid reader and a distance runner with dozens of races, including the Boston Marathon, under her belt.
Amanda Miknev (she/her) envisions a Canada where women are equal representatives in our government. She is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with an Honours Specialization Degree in Political Science. After learning about the disparity in representation as a student at Brescia University College, Amanda set herself on getting more women involved in politics and has since involved herself in campaign politics at multiple levels. Most recently, she served as a Campaign Manager during the London 2018 Municipal Election. And, it was a natural fit for her to become a mentor for two young women in the Kings University College Campaign Management Community Engaged Learning program following that role. Beyond politics, Amanda is involved in supporting women’s access to menstrual hygiene products by volunteering with Tampon Tuesdays and providing individual menstrual hygiene packages to vulnerable individuals through her Fairy Pod Mother initiative.