Executive Director and General Counsel
Moya Teklu is the Executive Director and General Counsel of the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC).
Moya has a long history of working to combat anti-Black racism in the justice system. At Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), Moya developed a plan that resulted in the delivery of clinic law services to hundreds of Black Ontarians; helped bring together and provided staff support to the inaugural board of BLAC; and authored LAO’s Racialized Communities Strategy.
Moya has delivered anti-racism training to hundreds of judges, justices of the peace, lawyers, regulators, adjudicators, and educators across the country. In 2019 and 2020, she was an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
Moya has participated in proceedings before the Supreme Court of Canada, the Federal Court, and the United Nations.
She graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law in 2009 and was called to the Bar in 2010.
Nana Yanful is BLAC’s Legal Director, deeply committed to community and legal work related to anti-Black racism, human rights, and anti-discrimination. As a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law, Nana received various awards including the Honourable Julius Alexander Isaac Scholarship, the Stitt Feld Handy Social Justice Fellowship, and the Lerners Cup Finalist & Top Oralist award.
Nana completed her articles at the Superior Court of Justice as a Judicial Law Clerk and was called to the Bar in 2014. Nana practiced criminal defence law at Simcoe Chambers in Toronto, appearing before all levels of court in Ontario.
Her writing on equity, policing and the trust-deficit has appeared in the anthology, Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity, For The Defence, Spacing Magazine and elsewhere. Nana is also a board member of Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre.
Lesa Francis is the Office Manager at BLAC responsible for day-to-day administration and human resources. She is committed to working with dynamic staff, students and volunteers to carry out BLAC’s mandate to combat anti-Black racism in Ontario.
Over the past 20 years, Lesa has worked as a Law Clerk for personal injury, family law and estate law firms in Toronto and as a Provincial Program Coordinator and Administrator for multiple specialty legal clinics in Ontario. As an Entrepreneur, Lesa also operates a Grant Writing Consulting company specializing in acquiring diverse funding for local and international artists, as well as grassroots, medium sized and national non-profit organizations. As an author, Lesa has also published literature on topics related to the Black Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory, Black motherhood and families, and Anti-Black Racism.
Lesa holds a Law Clerk Diploma from Centennial College and a Diploma (Hons.) in Business Administration from the Toronto School of Business.
Fareeda Adam is a Staff Lawyer at the Black Legal Action Centre (BLAC). She is a graduate of McMaster University and the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law.
After graduating law school, Fareeda articled at a criminal defence law firm. Fareeda continued to work in this field after being called to the bar of Ontario in 2015. She has worked for Legal Aid Ontario in various capacities, dealing with low-income Ontarians in both the family and criminal law context. Fareeda has developed a particular interest in the intersections of youth criminal justice and child protection law, human rights and police accountability.
Since beginning her legal career, Fareeda has learned of the importance of naming anti-Black racism and using a critical race framework to meaningfully understand the interactions Black people have with legal institutions.
Piera Savage is a staff lawyer at BLAC. She is committed to working towards racial equity by advocating for our clients and breaking down systemic barriers to equality. She began working in the clinic system prior to her call to the bar in 2016, starting at Parkdale Community Legal Services in the Social Assistance Violence and Health division, and then expanding her practice to housing, immigration and employment law as an articling student. Piera then worked at West Scarborough Community Legal Services for four years with a focus on Housing, Social Assistance, and Immigration law.
At BLAC, Piera continues her work by representing individuals at the Landlord and Tenant Board, Human Rights Tribunal, and Social Benefits Tribunal. She approaches her work from an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and trauma-informed lens.
Piera is a graduate of Concordia University and Osgoode Hall Law School. Outside of work, Piera loves to sing, cook, and write.
Melissa is proud to work for BLAC, where her lens on social justice can be put to good use. She is deeply passionate about all facets of promoting equity and challenging the intricate web of oppression faced by many around her, particularly as they relate to misogynoir.
Melissa has worked for nearly two decades providing administrative support to high-functioning teams in organizations and multiple sectors in Toronto. For the past several years, she has worked in disability justice and is excited to bring this experience to BLAC. She has also explored her many other interests over the years, including working in Brazil for a period of time teaching English. In addition to her work with BLAC, she devotes some of her time to using her training as a doula to support Black birthers and performing as a talented vocalist.
Communications and Outreach Specialist
Khaldah Salih works to ensure members of the Black community across Ontario have access to BLAC’s services and to legal information related to anti-Black racism. Khaldah facilitates BLAC’s community outreach and partnerships, conducts Public Legal Education sessions and coordinates BLAC’s communications. Khaldah is motivated to combat anti-Black racism within Ontario and across borders, while centering the experiences and needs of Black communities.
As an independent researcher, Khaldah has explored issues of surveillance and state violence as related to activism. She has worked in several humanitarian and development organizations in Khartoum, Sudan, including as a Protection Assistant at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) where she was a caseworker with refugees and asylum seekers. Most recently, Khaldah was a Project Coordinator at the Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA), working on housing rights policy and coordinating youth programming.
Khaldah Salih holds a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University in Political Science and International Development, and a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.
Executive Lead, Collective of Child Welfare Survivors
Josh is one of the co-creators of CCWS. Josh is a Black queer organizer, activist, law student, and child welfare survivor/abolitionist. Josh spent the first 3.5 years of his life in and out of foster care in rural Ontario until experiencing further racial displacement in adoption to a white home in another predominantly white rural town.
Josh’s community and academic work centres the intersections of Blackness, Disability and madness, child welfare survivorship, queerness and transness. Josh is the co-creator of various Black radical spaces that organize against antiBlack racism in institutions like post-secondary education. Josh’s award-winning research centres the abolition of child welfare through the experiences of Black child welfare survivors and families. Josh has his Bachelor and Master of Social Work from X University, and is currently a Juris Doctor Candidate at University of Windsor in his final year.