Working Towards a Stronger & Healthier Community
ASAAP is led by dynamic and passionate directors on the Board elected by the membership.
David KD Soomarie, He/Him/They/Them
David KD Soomarie has dedicated two decades of his life to advocating for those less fortunate in society, specifically the sexual health and reproductive rights for young people and women, people living with HIV, and members of the LGBTQ community. He was one of the founding members of a national coalition and openly advocated for the inclusion of sexual orientation in Trinidad and Tobago’s laws and lead a national HIV/AIDS organization, Community Action Resource (CARe) for six and a half years before he migrated to Toronto in 2016.
In 2019, he was the recipient of the INSPIRE LGBTQ person of the year and the POZTO awards. He is currently sitting on the board of PASAN and the PHA advisory committee for the Ontario AIDS Network. He openly identifies as indo-Caribbean, queer, and HIV positive.
Pragya Mishra, She/Her
Pragya works in public health research at Toronto Metropolitan University, looking at the impacts of communicable health burdens, such as COVID-19 and HIV, on multiple marginalized communities. Her passion for community empowerment and research drives her work in community-based research, health promotion, and advocacy for those who remain routinely overlooked in health policies and emergency responses. She holds a Master of Public Health and a graduate diploma from the United Nations University Institute of Water, Environment, and Health (UNU-INWEH) and continues to merge the world of public health and global health, such as through local initiatives supporting individuals with refugee status, immigrants, and those living with HIV, along with working with international nonprofits to promote sustainable development, and serving as a consultant to the Canadian Youth Delegate to the World Health Assembly. In her spare time, Pragya enjoys being active outdoors, pursuing creative outlets with community members, and spending time with loved ones and her pet.
jasleen kaur johal, She/They
jasleen has been a member of the Board since May 2019, and has acted as its Secretary since March 2020. Contributing to the governance of a vital organization like ASAAP has brought her closer to the amazing community of South Asians (and beyond!) who push the boundary every day for what is possible. She believes deeply in the potential for mutual aid and people-power in and around the City. She holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and is a staff lawyer at the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario, where she delivers legal services and legal education in English and Punjabi.
Harsh Sinha, He/Him
Harsh is a Program Manager managing a portfolio of complex automotive software projects, specializing in processes and policy. Born and raised in India, he traveled extensively before moving to Canada in 2019. He is deeply passionate about being of service to the community and helping the underprivileged. Harsh has volunteered extensively in fundraising, health advocacy, and event management. He has been an active volunteer at ASAAP since 2019 and joined the Board in September 2021. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and cooking.
Samilla Sivanathan, She/Her
Samilla Sivanathan works in risk management at CPP Investments and has over 10 years of experience in the financial industry. Samilla earned her Master’s degree in Finance at Queen’s University. She strongly believes in giving back to the community, her past initiatives include mentoring young professionals and fund raising for various charities. In her free time, Samilla enjoys travelling and learning about different cultures.
Sabra Rezaei, She/Her
Sabra Rezaei is an on-the-ground community activist, mental health worker, coordinator, and scholar. Sabra earned her Master's degree in Adult Education and Community Development at the University of Toronto and has been writing on queer diasporic studies and anti-capitalism and anti-imperialism in the Middle East. Sabra has been involved in political and social movements in Iran, where she has been born and raised. Sabra works as a coordinator and regional advocate on different projects related to incarcerated women and 2SLGBTQ+ communities at Elizabeth Fry Toronto and The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry (CAEFS). Sabra also works with 2SLGBTQ+ refugees as a therapist. Her mental health practice is informed by her ever-deepening understanding of anti-oppression, anti-racism, feminism, and decolonization. When she is not working or protesting in the streets, you find her playing and teaching Santoor (a Middle Eastern instrument) or listening to music while petting her cat.
Gulshan Allibhai, She/Her
Gulshan Allibhai, BSW, MSW, has practiced social work for 27 years, working as an educator and case manager in mental health, long-term care, and settlement of newcomers. She worked at CMHA Toronto in diversity, mental health promotion and community engagement and taught with the Internationally Educated Social Work Bridging Program and the Internationally Educated Psychology Bridging Program. She currently teaches at Seneca College in the Mental Health Certificate Program and at Wilfrid Laurier University in the MSW program. Gulshan was born in Uganda, Africa, and came to Canada as a refugee in 1972. Due to her own and her family’s experience as refugees, Gulshan’s main focus and interest are in the area of mental health and resettlement stress. She advocates for culturally competent services for newcomers in the area of employment and mental health.