Marwo Abdi (she/her),

Support Coordinator

Picture of Marwo Abdi, Support Coordinator

Marwo Abdi is an Eastern African woman. She was born in Somalia and grew up in a refugee camp in Kenya. She has been an uninvited visitor living on the territory of the Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples for almost ten years. After living in a refugee camp for many years she was able to receive a scholarship to the University of Victoria where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. While living in the refugee camp Marwo did extensive advocacy work around gender-based violence and girl’s access to education. Marwo is passionate about social justice issues facing us in today’s world. She is extremely excited about being the Support Coordinator at the Anti-Violence Project and doing work around gender based violence and supporting survivors and people who have caused harm, while creating communities of care and consent.

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Elaine Balogun (she/her),

Community Coordinator

Elaine is a first-generation settler Canadian of Nigerian and Filipino descent raised in Calgary, AB on the traditional territories of the Treaty 7 people, which includes the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, and the Métis Nation (Region 3). Elaine is passionate about community development and has a background in student leadership, community and civic engagement, and anti-racist advocacy. She holds a BA in Psychology with a double minor in Anthropology and Women and Gender Studies from Mount Royal University and is currently completing a diploma in Intercultural Studies and Practise at the University of Victoria (UVic). In fall 2021, she will continue her learning journey as a graduate student in the MEd in Leadership Studies program at UVic. Elaine is excited to be the Community Coordinator at the Anti-Violence Project and looks forward to working on projects rooted in a culture of consent, liberation, transformative justice, and care.

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Paloma Ponti (she/her),

Education Coordinator

Born and raised on the territory of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, Paloma is a cisgender settler woman. As a white presenting person of “mixed-race”, Paloma often struggles to find the language to locate herself in ways that both acknowledge her Colombian roots and her own white privilege, and is continually deepening her learning about this. In 2016, Paloma joined the AVP staff team and served as the Volunteer Organizer for two years before becoming the Education Coordinator. Paloma recently completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Gender Studies and Social Justice Studies at UVic but continues to expand her understanding of systems of oppression and creating social change in her work at AVP. When not working, Paloma loves weaving, knitting and attempting to play the ukulele.

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Niko Mumford (they/them),

Volunteer Organizer

Niko is a white settler of Welsh and Scottish ancestry, who was born and raised on unceded Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ territories. They are so excited to be joining AVP as the new Volunteer Organizer. Their identities as a queer and trans person, as a survivor, and as a neurodivergent person greatly inform their work. You can also find Niko hanging around the SUB in their role coordinating the Gender Empowerment Centre. Niko’s background includes seven years facilitating violence prevention programs from a root cause, anti-oppressive perspective with the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and as a volunteer with AVP. Their work and organizing has included supporting youth-led social justice projects, community action, and programming on topics such as consent, gender and sexual diversity, food justice, bystander intervention, sex education, and supporting survivors of sexualized violence. In their spare time, Niko loves spending time with their pals, cooking for people, reading, hanging out with their cat, Delilah, and cracking dad jokes.

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