MLPD Board Members and Staff

MLPD Board Members and Staff

MLPD Provincial Council


Jennifer Breddam

Current: Chair of the Manitoba League for People with Disabilities

Experience:

Jennifer is a social justice advocate at heart and endeavours to incorporate the values of inclusivity, equity, and authenticity into her life and work. Since 2020, Jenn has been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in labour studies with an Indigenous studies minor at the University of Manitoba. She will graduate in 2024 and aspires to pursue higher education within the human rights field. Before returning to university, Jenn built a successful career as a human resource and labour relations professional. She is passionate about her field, with a particular interest in the intersection of human rights and the world of work.
When she isn’t studying or spending time with loved ones, Jenn supports her community through volunteerism. Beyond her role as Chair of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities (MLDP) Provincial Council, Jenn is a board member of the Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties (MARL), President of the University of Manitoba Labour Studies Students’ Association, as well as several other meaningful causes close to her heart. Additionally, Jenn is a Burns Leadership Institute Fellow and has studied multilateral diplomacy leadership at the United Nations in Geneva. She has maintained a GPA above 4.0 since returning to the UofM and has achieved recognition on the Faculty of Arts Dean’s honour list each year. Jenn is humbled by the many awards and scholarships she has received as a result of her hard work in class and within her community.

Through the various advocacy hats she wears, Jenn hopes she can learn from and be of service to Canadians facing human rights barriers within and outside of employment. She seeks to be a change leader within the labour relations field, advancing worker rights and the labour movement through collaboration with Manitoba employers and their local community. Beyond these aspirations, Jenn is passionate about exploring the world near and far with her adoring spouse, Dave, being mom and step-mom to their four incredible kids, and is a bonafide “plant lady” with over 50 varieties adorning their home.


Joelle Robinson

Current: First Vice-Chair of the Manitoba League for People with Disabilities

Experience:
Joelle graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba in 1993 and received her Call to The Bar in 1994. She was a lawyer at Irwin Law Office in Dauphin, Manitoba until retiring from the practice of law in 2018. Joelle was active in the community serving as a director of Dauphin’s Countryfest, The Law Society of Manitoba, the Dauphin Skating Club, the Parkland Humane Society and the Parkland Crisis Center.  Joelle has lived with Multiple Sclerosis since 1997 and faces mobility challenges. She uses a scooter and walker and has limited use of her hands.

Following their retirement, Joelle and her husband Brad Collett launched the consulting firm “BC Advisory Group”. Joelle advises both private and public sector organizations on accessibility issues focusing on practical improvements to the built environment.

Joelle is working to make our world a more accessible place for disabled people by identifying physical barriers and proposing practical, cost-conscious solutions.


Alan Levy

Current: Second Vice-Chair of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Experience:
Through out his career Alan’s goal has been to foster and celebrate organizational and societal diverse and inclusive workplaces with a sense of belonging; he has been committed in his organizational and academic work to build teams that reflects a wide variety of skills, perspectives and backgrounds and feel free to express their opinions, this includes his work with whistleblowing. Believing in his research on whistleblowing which only strengthens organizations to be better in their service to all customers and to society, whether in the private or public sectors.

Alan holds a BA from the U of W, Masters of Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto and a Master of Laws from Osgoode Hall, York University.

Alan’s conflict resolution work is what separates him from most leaders. Both as an academic and practitioner of conflict resolution models of testing practicality apply to some of the most difficult disputes in the Country .


Erin Honke

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Experience:
Erin Honke is a student in her final semester of a Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Winnipeg. She loves young children and has spent the past 7 years working as a nanny.

After earning her undergrad, she will be getting a Master’s degree to become a licensed therapist. She has always had a desire to help others, and when she struggled with her own mental health challenges while coping with her chronic pain condition, she discovered how helpful therapy programs can be. This is one of the reasons she is passionate about MLPD.

She has been living with chronic pain for the last 10 years which has impacted her quality of life. However, she is energized, motivated, intelligent, and eager to learn.

For the last few months, she has been serving on MLPD’s Fundraising Committee. She has been attending committee meetings and completed her first grant application. In her four years at university, she has remained an honour roll student while also balancing work and volunteer positions, most recently acting as the organizer for multiple fundraisers for Save a Dog Network. She believes her education and psychology training, which included disability studies courses, allows her to connect with people in our community quite easily.


Kevin Linklater

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Experience:
Kevin is very interested in the well-being of those who live with a disability. He has had experience with the Manitoba Brain Injury Association as a board member and also as a member. While he was a board member, he saw the need for fundraising.  He also helped raise awareness of the Brain Injury Association for those who have just suffered a brain injury.  He is currently a student at the University of Winnipeg working towards his disability studies degree, with that degree he can be a community support worker for those in the disability community.


Pat Locken

Current: Provincial Council Member of the Manitoba League of Persons with Disabilities

Experience:
Pat is a former Business Education Instructor and Work Experience Coordinator with Red River College. Her interest in disability issues stems from experience trying to access services for family members. She has served on the SSCY (Special Services for Children and Youth) working group and RCC board, and helped to establish the Movement Centre of Manitoba (MCMI), working on fundraising and serving three terms as Board Chair.

Pat’s main concerns are currently about public accessibility, including education, and access to supports for adults with physical disabilities who are mentally and socially capable of independent living but do not qualify for funding to make this possible.

 

MLPD Staff

Melissa Graham

Current: Full-time staff at MLPD – Executive Director

Experience:
Melissa is a lifelong disability justice advocate based out of Winnipeg. She has over a decade of frontline experience, working for the Self-Managed Attendant Services Program in Ontario and other organizations in the disability sector. Melissa also holds her Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto, and was working towards her PhD before accepting her position with MLPD. She has a long history in disability policy and research focused on intersectionality, decolonization, social justice and accessibility.
Melissa is well-known for her activist background, particularly as the founder and lead organizer for the Toronto Disability Pride March She organized this annual event for 11 years while building relationships with other disability grassroots organizations nationally and internationally, and contributing to research on disability movement organizing. She has successfully passed the torch to other organizers to continue the march. She carries what she has learned from this work into the collaborative, social justice work of MLPD.


Debby McLeod

Current: Part-time staff at MLPD– Accessibility Coordinator

Experience:
I just want to say how happy I am working with MLPD. I have worked for all of my adult life in the Health Care Industry.
The last 20 years before retirement I worked as the Critical Equipment Specialist in the Adult Emergency Dept. at HSC, and in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.

I am recently new to the Disabled community. In November of 2020, I lost my left leg from below the knee due to a serious bone infection.
I am finding new challenges and adventures every day with MLPD. I am constantly learning about the world of Non- profit and funding. Takes me back to all the days of fundraising for my children for various sporting activities.

I look forward to continuing to learn with my new adventures in my new world and community. Thank -you for this opportunity.


Sheryl Peters

Current: Part-time staff at MLPD– Project Coordinator

Experience:
Sheryl is a Winnipeg-based social researcher, non-profit programs coordinator, and artist. She has experienced life-long invisible disabilities. Her previous work focused on social equity, a social justice approach to autism and disability, health and well-being of women and older adults, person-centred health care, and decolonizing/community-based approaches to research and community work. Sheryl’s creative projects include digital video and community arts – most notably digital storytelling projects with Autistic people, their families and educators, and Indigenous women and girls.