About NYWC

North York Women’s Centre (NYWC) is a community of diverse women. Founded in 1988, we are a Canadian registered charity based in Toronto working to advance equality and empower women to effect positive change. Please see our land acknowledgement and accessibility statement below. We offer a series of free women’s empowerment group programs, skills development programs, a drop-in lounge to connect with other women, one-on-one support for individual women and much more.

NYWC also creates community, works for systemic change and hosts or participates in events for International Women's Day, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and other important dates.

Read What Women Say About Us to better understand how we help, plus visit our Media Coverage & Contacts section to see recent articles about NYWC.

The NYWC Vision

We envision a world where all doors are open for all women.

Guiding Principles Of NYWC

The following guiding principles inform and guide all aspects of the agency’s functioning. We define our guiding principles as:

  • Promoting equity, equality and social and economic justice for all women, and
  • Working within a framework of anti-oppression, anti-racism and feminism.

We practice feminism by:

  1. Asking questions from a women’s perspective,
  2. Acknowledging a power imbalance to the disadvantage of women, and
  3. Demanding that women’s personal experiences become recognized in public policies.
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NYWC Staff

Iris Fabbro, Executive Director

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Iris is proud to have led NYWC’s work to empower women since 1997. It was a chance volunteer gig three decades ago that ignited her passion for the non-profit sector. Iris found a like-minded community and work she loved at NYWC, and never looked back.

Above all, Iris looks for opportunities to drive change that leads to a better, kinder and more inclusive world. While the specific communities have differed, her work has always been rooted in gender equity and the experiences of precariously housed women, women living with HIV, immigrant/refugee women and women survivors of trauma and abuse.

Advised in her youth against being a “troublemaker” or getting “too much education,” Iris has proudly embraced both. Her passion for social justice is shaped by personal life experiences and fuels a commitment to forge a different future for her daughters.

Edna Anger, Program Manager

NYWC's Program Manager, Edna Anger

As the manager of NYWC programming, Edna appreciates being able to help women and families flourish. It’s a common thread behind her social work studies, her master’s degree in psychology and her volunteer work over the years with children, youth and adults who have experienced gender-based or sexual violence.

Edna arrived in Canada with young children in 2019. She celebrates her own tenacity and culture, and that of others. She is fluent in English, Yoruba and Ishan.

Madeline Lemire, Manager of Volunteer Resources

Madeline Lemire, NYWC's Manager of Volunteer Resources

Madeline is passionate about social justice and has strived to centre her work in intersectional feminism. Her role at NYWC will encourage volunteers and women to develop their chosen skills and amplify the change they want to make in their community. Madeline’s prior work and volunteer efforts in communications, the queer indie film industry and politics reflects her commitment to see more women in leadership roles in all realms of life. For example, she is proud to have helped recruit the most diverse and female-focused slate of candidates in Ontario NDP history. Above all, Madeline wishes to empower women to be able to champion their own voices and perspectives.

Amanda Yeo, Women’s Support Worker

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Amanda loves helping others, giving back to the community, and building connections with people. She’s excited to assist North York Women’s Centre in enabling women to reach their full potential and create a better future. A recent university graduate, she is now starting the Master of Social Justice Education program at the University of Toronto. She was also a member of the Ontario Provincial Youth Cabinet Ministry and has volunteered at many non-profit organizations including Kids Help Phone, London Food Bank, ANOVA (Women Shelter), and Regional HIV/AIDs Connection.

Program Facilitators

Yvonne Annobil, Program Facilitator

Yvonne Annobil

Yvonne believes in the strength and tenacity of women and youth. That’s why she helps facilitate NYWC’s Women Empowerment Series, in addition to her work at organizations such as Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter and North York Women’s Shelter.

With a master’s degree in social work and an undergraduate degree in early childhood education, Yvonne is known for her work ethic and kindness. As she says, "Learning is ongoing. Believe in yourself and change can happen at any stage of your life."

Elsie Tabemonso Bessem, Program Facilitator

Elsie Tabemonso Bessem

Elsie thrives on activism, advocating for women and offering support, as she does as an NYWC facilitator. That same drive powered her previous work as founder and executive director at non-profit IYEC Cameroon and her education in gender studies and project management.

Active listening, compassion and a culturally sensitive approach make Elsie’s feminist and anti-racist work powerful. Given her contributions to social justice, sustainable development and women’s empowerment projects over the years, it’s no surprise that Elsie has won scholarships to programs such as the Global Change Leaders Program and Advancing Women’s Leadership in Conflict Resolution and Peace Building for Community Development.

Danielle Di Prizio, Program Facilitator

Danielle’s compassionate nature and experience as a life coach shine through her work in NYWC’s Women’s Empowerment Series. After all, she has more than 15 years of experience developing workshops, coaching clients and helping individuals overcome barriers at non-profit organizations.

For Danielle, it’s all about building trust, helping women develop self awareness and confidence and identifying positive belief systems and actions that drive progress. As she says, “I love making people feel supported, empowered and proactive in living the best lives they can envision.”

Leanna Tuba, Program Facilitator

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Leanna thrives on supporting women and children and helps facilitate the NYWC Women’s Empowerment Series. She has also worked in a Violence Against Women shelter for more than 15 years. She knows that even a single warm and encouraging moment can change the course of someone’s life for the better. As she says, “Life is a journey of experiences.”

As an educator at the University of Guelph-Humber and other post-secondary institutions, Leanna shares insights from her experience and master’s degree in education to help students learn about the importance of advocacy, leadership, women, and children’s mental health and interprofessional collaboration through a social justice lens.

Veronica Williams-Dalrymple, Program Facilitator

Veronica Williams-Dalrymple, Program Facilitator

Veronica has coached many women to be resilient in the face of adversity, throughout her career and as a facilitator of NYWC’s Women’s Empowerment Series. She is a registered social worker-psychotherapist, the director of a community-based mental health agency that supports youth and families and has helped communities reduce and eradicate poverty through capacity building, policy development and implementation.

With an MSc in Leadership and Management of Human Service organizations, a graduate diploma in Organizational Behaviours and a B.Sc. in Social Work, Veronica makes behavioural and organizational change happen. It all comes back to her strong belief in female empowerment, anti-oppressive practice and the power of individuals to find their strength and change lives.

Rogue Witterick, Program Facilitator

Rogue Witterick, NYWC Program Facilitator

Rogue’s ability to spark transformative conversations about empowerment and agency inspires NYWC participants. An anti-oppression facilitator and activist, violence prevention consultant, youth advocate and writer, they have designed and facilitated programs and learning systems for organizations such as The 519, YMCA, SafeGuards Training and the Canadian Red Cross. Rogue is a queer parent with a disability who also speaks and educates powerfully about discrimination stress. In 2011, Rogue’s family was the subject of international media attention when they offered their youngest freedom from sex assignment. They’re now living in Tkaronto with their partner, three teens and a mischief making dog named Abbie.

Interested in helping NYWC? Follow us on LinkedIn to learn about career opportunities and find out how to become a member, volunteer, apply for a student work placement or make a donation. Also, read about our Board of Directors, Policies and our Annual Reports & Finances.

Accessibility of Our Women’s Programs

North York Women’s Centre recognizes the dignity and worth of all people and is committed to providing services fairly and equitably. NYWC strives to be accessible to all woman-identifying and non-binary people regardless of their race, ancestry, colour, creed, ethnicity, place of origin, citizenship, immigration status, age, disability, sexual orientation, receipt of public assistance, political affiliation, religious affiliation, literacy level, language and/or socio-economic status. We aim to create a harmonious environment free from discrimination, harassment and hate.

Talk with us about accommodations you need to participate fully in our programs and services.

Supporters

North York Women’s Centre is grateful for the financial support we receive from our funders, donors and other groups. It is because of their support that we are able to provide free programs and services. We thank them for working in partnership with us to address the needs of women in the community.

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Green Sanderson Family Foundation

Griggs Family Fund
Schachter Family Fund
Bertram Family Fund

Past Supporters

Land Acknowledgement

NYWC acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands. In the spirit of reconciliation, we commit to honouring the land and its Indigenous heritage.

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