The Jamii Team
Founder & Alchemist
Isorine obtained her Masters Degree in Performing Arts Management in France and has since acquired international work experience in arts organizations such as The Paris Conservatoire (France), L’École des Sables (Toubab Dialaw, Senegal), Le Centre National Chorégraphique Mathilde Monnier (France), Ausdance Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), and fFIDA-TIDF 06 (Toronto). Isorine was CORPUS' Artistic Producer from 2006 to 2018 and founded Jamii in 2011. The Esplanade neighbourhood is Isorine's home and she is a passionate advocate for her community.
Jonelle is a Canadian Soprano and currently a part of Jamii team as a Connector, thanks to the support of the Metcalf Foundation's Performing Arts Internship Program. Jonelle was named one of York University’s top 30 alumni under 30 for 2022 and in 2020 was one of CBC Music’s classical “30 under 30” performers and is a 2019 Dora award winner for “Outstanding performance of an Ensemble” in Vivier’s Kopernikus with Against the Grain Theatre. Jonelle holds an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of
Fine Arts from York University. Jonelle was recently a member of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program at Vancouver Opera for their 2021 and 2022 season. Jonelle believes that her work in opera can have a social and cultural impact and is proudly a mentor with Opera InReach, a collective of multidisciplinary artists who focus to embody equity, diversity, inclusion, justice, and accessibility to the operatic art form.
Maysam, Jamii’s Enhancer, is a Muslim settler with Palestinian and Syrian roots, who was born and raised in Tkaronto (Toronto) in the Esplanade community - Jamii’s home community. She is a graduate with a degree in Global Development Studies and Bachelor of Education with specializations in First Nations, Metis and Inuit studies, and History from Queen’s University. Maysam is an aspiring educator, a published emerging poet, and community organizer who has experience organizing with various grassroots collectives. Maysam has been involved in Jamii’s work off and on since 2011, as a participant, youth volunteer, artist, Summer project coordinator, and as Jamii’s first ever Enhancer. Maysam’s mission was to make things greater at Jamii. Not only did she enrich our voice through communications and marketing, she also contributed to Jamii’s operations and was co-leading Jamii's photo exhibit, "Seeing Evergreen" in early 2022 as part of our youth programming.
Iris has been working in marketing for almost a decade, in both Turkey and Canada. Before discovering her passion for creating ideas that have a profound influence on people, Iris completed her Bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering in Turkey and later received a diploma from Sheridan College in Advertising and Marketing Communications in Canada. Iris was thrilled to get an opportunity to engage in community-based work when she joined our team in 2021 as a Graphic Designer and became Jamii’s Amplifier in 2022. Iris is excited to continue engaging with the Esplanade neighbourhood, especially as she has been a proud Esplanadian since 2020.
Yusra is Muslim Toronto born and raised Yemeni and Eritrean. Her mission at Jamii is to do all that is needed to connect local older adults and seniors with artists and artistic experiences. Yusra is currently attending the Humber College Law Clerk Program and supports Jamii’s administrative operations. She also has a bachelor of Arts from Ryerson University in Child and Youth Care. Yusra has a wide experience ingrained in the community. Through the years, she has been a Project Coordinator with Jamii, a children’s program leader in the community, a caseworker, and early childhood assistant. She is also the youth rep of the St Lawrence Community Recreation Centre Advisory Council.
Hadeal was born in Toronto and raised in the Esplanade community. Hadeal is a current student at Wilfred Laurier, she studies Community Health with a concentration in Mental Health and Addictions. Hadeal’s studies and values align with her future mission of serving communities to gain access to equitable resources that allow residents to grow. Hadeal’s most recent experience with The Community Healing Project by facilitating the ‘Esplanade Healing Series’ workshops about the importance of self-care, and mental well-being and implementing that in neighbourhoods affected by community violence. Hadeal hopes to inspire communities to work together to make positive and impactful change within the city that allows future generations to flourish and she saw that Jamii was a step in that direction.
Nadifa received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Health Studies from the University of Toronto. Since being introduced to Jamii in 2017, she has been invested in our community as a volunteer, summer student, board member and most recently, a ‘Nurturer.’ Through her role, she hopes to be a supportive figure to the girls and women of the Esplanade by providing them with opportunities to foster their leadership skills through the arts.
The Nurturer position at Jamii is supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Afnan was born and raised in Toronto, in the Esplanade. She has a long-lasting relationship with Jamii as she has been a part of a few of Jamii’s projects growing up. She has also previously worked with Jamii as a Summer Student Coordinator back in 2020 and is now as one of Jamii’s Connectors. What she hopes to accomplish in her most recent position is to create a more deep-rooted relationship between people in the Esplanade community and Jamii. Afnan is currently studying Project Management at George Brown College, after graduating she hopes on obtaining a PMP Certification.
Board of Directors
A founding member of the Congress for the New Urbanism (Ontario Chapter) and a current Director of Communications in the Education Sector, Sharon McMillan has been an advocate for accessible, equitable and sustainable urban living for over 20 years. Inspired by the diverse and inclusive Esplanade community, Sharon moved her family here in 2014 and sought a way to contribute to the vitality of this neighbourhood. She soon became President of the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association and now looks forward to continuing to help empower and amplify the voices and aspirations of residents here in her new role as Jamii's Co-President.
Amanda Maragos is the Director of Client Services and Volunteer Programs for Philip Aziz Centre and Emily's House Hospices. A member of the Esplanade/St Lawrence Community for almost 37 years, she embraces this diverse, artistic and friendly neighbourhood where she lives with her family. With hopes to balance creativity, leadership, flexibility, accountability and openness; her goal is to contribute something good and lasting to Jamii's vision for the Esplanade/St. Lawrence Neighbourhood - a special place she calls home.
Aziza Virani is a higher education program manager focused on school-to-work transitions and international scholarships. Aziza holds a Masters degree in Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelors degree in Sociology and Spanish from McGill University. Aziza has over 15 years of experience in various aspects of education and learning, including coaching, teaching, workshop facilitation, program coordination, and administration. A passion for travel has led to a fluency in 2 additional languages - French and Spanish - and international lived experience abroad. Aziza works to help others craft their own paths with tools that are already their own. She values strong leadership, creativity, and life-long learning.
Jim Adams is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who combines his indigenous ways of being with contemporary art and scientific principles. He has worked as an indigenous educator in schools and institutions for the past ten years under his company Red Bear. Jim’s mother was a first generation Canadian, her parents having been born in Wales and Kent. He carries the DNA of the Swampy Cree and Innu from his paternal grandmother and the Mohawk from his paternal grandfather. This mix of nationalities gives Jim a great array of cultural connections to draw from. Both of his grandfathers were hunters and gatherers and knew their own respective cultural connections to the land and its inhabitants. This gentle yet profound understanding of the natural world has influenced much of his life and drawn him to seek the teachings of the plant and animal world.
Walter is a retired teacher with a life-long career teaching at Market Lane Public School, at the heart of the Esplanade community. Walter has taught several generations of Esplanadians.
Linda is a neighbourhood business owner who personally knows and understands the importance of community engagement. Linda has often volunteered with Jamii, and her business, The Berkeley Castle, has been a supporter of Jamii since inception. In 2017, Jamii welcomed Linda to the board.
Zoie Edwards has a Bachelor’s of Urban & Regional Planning from Ryerson University and a Master’s of Public Administration from The University of Western Ontario where she completed a MRP on “The Revitalization of Social Housing: An Analysis of Mixed-Income Housing in the City of Toronto”. From 2013 to 2017, Zoie was the Project Coordinator for Jamii and CORPUS working on various art-based community engaged projects and events in David Crombie Park on The Esplanade in downtown Toronto . Zoie is now Project Manager at Lura Consulting.