Tracy Porteous, Executive Director
Tracy Porteous is a Registered Clinical Counsellor in BC who first became involved in the anti–violence field over 30 years ago as a volunteer on the crisis line at the Victoria Women’s Sexual Assault Centre. She went on to join that agency’s staff and eventually became their Executive Director.
In 1995, Tracy relocated to Vancouver to become the Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of BC, a provincial association that supports over 220 anti-violence programs across BC who specialize in responding to sexual and domestic violence, child abuse and stalking. EVA BC develops resources, training and programs, and works collaboratively with a wide range of public authorities to develop and coordinate policy and practice to enhance safety for those who are vulnerable to violence and abuse.
In 2010, Tracy participated in BC’s first Domestic Violence Death Review Panel. She is also a member of the Provincial Integrated Recovery Council of BC, the National Victim Policy Centre’s Advisory Committee and has been working with related organizations in British Columbia for many years fostering better and more coordinated ways for the sectors to work together and increase safety. In March 2013, she was appointed to the Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, where she presented on engaging men and boys as allies in preventing violence against women and girls. In October 2014, Tracy was one of five women from across Canada honoured with the Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.
Habiba Rashid, Office Manager
Prior to joining the EVA BC team, Habiba was a Program Manager at Cornerstone Academy, coordinating a Computerized Accounting Program for individuals on Employment Insurance trying to re-enter the workforce. Habiba also worked at MOSAIC in different capacities, assisting to connect new immigrants with counsellors who spoke their language and coordinating jobs skills training programs. Her unique skill set has always been working with vulnerable populations and sensitive issue areas.
Passionate about her community, Habiba has taken on a number of volunteer roles focusing on children, education, women’s development and community building.
Habiba was educated in Pakistan where she earned her B.A. degree, majoring in Economics. She has been in Vancouver for 25 years with her husband and is a proud mother of two amazing children. In her spare time, Habiba loves sewing and gardening.
Laura Woods, Program Manager
EVA BC’s Program Manager, Laura Woods, has been working in the anti-violence field for almost 20 years, both as a program manager and a frontline support worker. Most of her experience has been in Community-Based Victim Services and in Women’s Centres, working with survivors of relationship violence and sexual assault and abuse.
Most of her frontline experience was in the Whalley area of Surrey. Her special interest was supporting and advocating for that area’s more marginalized women. This frontline experience stands her in good stead as the ‘go to’ person for questions and concerns from EVA BC members regarding service delivery, program administration and other issues or challenges programs are facing.
Laura shares her home with a very spoiled pug and two lazy old cats that are all rescues. She has one adult daughter of whom she is ridiculously proud. She could be an accomplished cook, gardener and writer if she did not waste so much time on social media.
Kate Rossiter, Research & Projects Manager and Safe Choices Program Coordinator
Dr. Kate Rossiter is a researcher and educator with expertise in the areas of gender-based violence and trauma, mental health, and criminal justice. She earned her PhD in Criminology from Simon Fraser University, before undertaking a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Canadian Observatory on the Justice System’s Response to Intimate Partner Violence. Kate is responsible for many of EVA BC’s research, training, and capacity building projects, and is the Coordinator of EVA BC’s Safe Choices LGBT2SQ+ Support and Education Program.Kate is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University, with the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, and Co-Investigator with the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations (cdhpi.ca).
Heather Conn, Communications Manager
Before she became EVA BC’s Communications Manager, Heather Conn led a Mentors in Violence Prevention program and organized Be More Than a Bystander events with six high schools on BC’s Sunshine Coast.
She is passionate about educating the public regarding abuse and trauma and helping survivors bring a voice to their experiences. Heather is completing a memoir about her own healing process as a survivor.
A former BC Transit communications manager and magazine editor for the BC Human Resources Management Association, she has written for more than 50 publications including The Vancouver Sun and Edmonton Journal.
Heather has worked as a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach and has taught writing at various post-secondary venues. She is the author of two nonfiction books and two fictional picture books. A history graduate from the University of BC, she has a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.
Heather is a trained SoulCollage facilitator and loves hiking, kayaking, environmental activism, travel, and arts and crafts.
Elsa Berland, Program Manager of Indigenous Services
Elsa Berland is Dakelh/Carrier from Fort St. James, BC. She offers great knowledge rooted in over ten years of front-line work, working towards Women’s Safety, both in Vancouver’s DTES as well as in her home community. Most of her urban-based front-line experience was with WISH Drop-In Society where she provided services to women engaged in Street-based Sex Work.
In 2014, she moved home was asked to run for council and was elected to leadership for her band Nak’azdli Whut’en. Elsa served her community with a strong focus on creating safer spaces for women in the North through supporting the development and eventual implementation of their Anti-Sexual Harassment in the Workplace policy. She continued to work front-line at Fireweed Collective Society’s transition home which supports Women and their Children, escaping Domestic Violence.
She offers a strong Indigenous lens and voice to the various agencies she’s worked for while staying connected to the front-line work. Working for primarily women’s only spaces, she has developed a passion for supporting the creation of safe space for Indigenous Women in all levels of society.
Most recently, she’s taken on the new role of Program Manager of Indigenous Services for Ending Violence Association of BC, where she aims to continue to advocate for the voice of Indigenous Women and Front-line Workers’ roles in anti-violence work.
Nour Kachouh, Training Manager
Nour (She/Her/Hers) is a Lebanese woman of colour who has been an uninvited settler on Coast Salish Territories for the past 17 years. Nour’s work is rooted in listening to community needs and advocating for systemic change through an intersectional, anti-oppressive, social justice, and social determinants of health lens. With ten years of experience in the community, grassroots, and anti-violence sectors, Nour recently completed her studies at the University of Western Ontario with a Master of Public Health and graduated with the Dr. M. Abdur Rab Award in Public Health Excellence. Working at the Public Health Agency of Canada as a Policy Analyst, Nour was able to bring her knowledge of community needs to support and advocate for systemic change at the policy level. Nour is passionate about mitigating the impacts of systemic marginalization and oppression by amplifying the voices of marginalized communities and addressing their needs, as well as breaking down the systems of oppression that continue to harm historically marginalized communities.
When not at work, Nour serves her cats and rabbits who rule her household.
Liza Hughes, Program Lead
Liza holds a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies and a law degree (Juris Doctor) from the University of Calgary. During her law degree, Liza was the recipient of the John W. Moyer Memorial Bursary and the Norton Rose Fullbright International Studentship. She volunteered for Pro bono Students Canada’s Innocence Project, and Student Legal Assistance. She also holds a Post-Graduate Certificate in International Conflict Management from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Liza was called to the Alberta Bar in 2016, and the British Columbia Bar in 2017.
Before joining EVA BC, Liza worked in private practice in the areas of constitutional law and Charter litigation, prison justice, human rights, assisted human reproduction and queer family law. She is now the Program Lead for EVA BC’s project for workplace sexual harassment prevention and response.
Jessica Lee, Project and Communication Coordinator
Jessica Lee is a graduate of University of British Columbia with a BA in Art History and English Literature. She has worked at various non-profit art galleries, often with a focus on public education programming. Jessica also has experience as a front-line Youth Worker at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, where she coordinated after school and settlement programs for at-risk and newcomer youth ages 8 to 18. More recently, she returned to the world of visual arts, working at a private art gallery as the administrative assistant. For fun, Jessica enjoys cooking, visiting contemporary art exhibitions, practicing yoga and nurturing her patio garden.
Misha Dhillon, Research and Projects Coordinator
Misha Dhillon recently completed her M.A. in Sociology at the University of British Columbia, where she engaged in research exploring South Asian female heterosexuality from an intersectional feminist perspective. Previously, she has worked as a teaching assistant in the department of Sociology and as a research assistant, developing curriculum materials related to gender, sexuality, and social inequality. Misha is passionate about anti-violence work, and is very excited to be a part of the EVA BC team.
Fiona Pierce, Administrative Assistant
Fiona Pierce is a graduate of Royal Roads University with a BA in Justice Studies. She has worked for organizations in the international cooperation and conflict resolution fields. Her roles have varied between administration, communications and customer service. Fiona loves to keep busy and volunteers for many different non-profits in the greater Vancouver area. In her down time she loves to spend time with family and friends, baking lots of sweets, and breathing in the fresh air while biking and hiking on the west coast.
Morgen Baldwin, CCWS Regional Coordinator
Morgen Baldwin is an anti-violence worker with 22 years of experience in the area of violence against women, working in specialized victim assistance, outreach, community development and coordination committees in a number of communities in BC including Prince George and Terrace. She is currently an independent consultant in the anti-violence field including work as a contracted Regional Coordinator with Community Coordination for Women’s Safety (CCWS). Her interests also include whitewater kayaking and fundraising for animal rescue volunteers.
Please note, Morgen is on a 6 month leave, starting January 2020.
Kristi Yuris, CCWS Regional Coordinator
Kristi Yuris joined EVA BC in July 2017 as one of the Regional Coordinators of the CCWS Program. She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University. Over the past 20 years, Kristi has provided support and legal advocacy to many marginalized communities including women experiencing violence and sexual assault, HIV+ prisoners and people living with mental health and substance abuse issues. She also has extensive experience providing workshops on public legal issues and practical skill building to clients, advocates and service providers across a range of sectors. In her spare time, Kristi enjoys hiking, yoga, reading and spending time with her dogs.
Nancy Regular, CCWS Regional Coordinator
Nancy Regular is a passionate anti-violence advocate who joined the CCWS team as a Regional Coordinator in July 2019. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies at the University of Calgary. Upon leaving Calgary she returned home to the East Kootenays to work implementing and coordinating the East Kootenay Sexualized Assault Response Team and to work front line in a transition house. In her spare time, she enjoys paddleboarding, reading, and spending time outdoors.
Natalie Dunbar, Legal Analyst
Natalie Dunbar joined EVA BC and the CCWS team as legal analyst in February 2019. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia and a law degree from the University of Manitoba.
Natalie has always been passionate about justice. From the start of her legal career, she worked in poverty, criminal and administrative law. She volunteered for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted. After a decade of legal practice, Natalie shifted gears to manage a transition house while completing a Justice Institute leadership program. Most recently, Natalie has worked as an arbitrator.
Natalie and her dog (Bugsy Malone) spend their spare time walking, reading and listening to vinyl with her husband, kiddos and large extended family.