Board of Directors
Michele Newton President Making Change -

Michèle Newton

President/Acting Chair - Making Change | Speaker | Panellist

Chair: Communications, Education, School Presentations Committees


Michèle Newton is guided by her “better together” philosophy - growing relationships, nurturing collaborations and facilitating partnerships, especially those with a shared focus on strengthening our community. As a community changemaker, she created Our Mosaic Lives™ - a passion project exploring diversity and inclusion, launched Community Conversations – a live D&I interview series, and co-founded Making Change.


Michèle writes and contributes a monthly Diversity and Inclusion column featured across’s seven publications.  She is a Board member with the Barrie Community Foundation and a member of the Black Community Council with Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions.  Michèle is a Director with both PMJ Inc. and Konvo Media, a black-owned public relations agency, and is a Mentor with the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre. She was recognized in 2020 as one of 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women and a YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka Peace Champion for her community work focused on Black Canadian Women, diversity and inclusion

Stephanie Gourlie

Director - Making Change | Speaker | Panellist

Chair: Business Outreach & Sponsorship Committees

Stephanie Gourlie is recognized as a strategic, creative and integrated thinker with over 15 years of experience in Human Resource Management, Sales and Marketing Relations and Creative Ideation & Productivity.  As a results-driven business lead, Stephanie has led multidisciplinary teams in the development of strategic change and organizational transformation across a range of teams, partners and clients. Stephanie has a passion for developing her successful and expanding businesses Discount Granite Plus & The Tile, Flooring & Design Co.. She continues to be involved in community organizations and initiatives working to see diversity and inclusion efforts continue to be incorporated into businesses and institutions across the county and beyond.


Stephanie was elected to sit on the Board of Directors for the Barrie Chamber of Commerce. She is an active member of Women in Construction, Young Leaders In Construction and volunteers with the Women & Children’s Shelter.  Stephanie organized the Making Change Voices of Black Women in Business Panel in 2020.

Alison Jacks

Director and Treasurer - Making Change

Chair: Finance Committee

Alison Jacks is an advocate for community work and volunteerism.  She believes that our community is what we make it.  By working together to support and help each other and promote positive change, we will build strong communities that encourage diversity and inclusion.  As a Client Service Manager at NVS Professional Corporation , Alison has developed strong business development skills which allow her to focus on facilitating and growing relationships between Making Change and the local business community. Her extensive bookkeeping and accounting experience make her an asset as the Treasurer of Making Change.


Alison has been volunteering in her community for over 25 years.  Currently she is also a Board member of Barrie & District Christmas Cheer , the Innisfil Lions Club, the Tottenham & District Community Recreation Improvement Committee (C.R.I.C.) and a long-time volunteer in local politics at federal, provincial and municipal levels.   

Youth Ambassador

Shondra Durrant

Youth Ambassador - Making Change | Speaker | Artist

Communications, School Projects,  & Education Committee Member

Shondra Durrant (She/her) is a young activist, who strives to better her community in terms of ending racial inequality, and the intersectionality it can hold. With a creative and outgoing approach, she is always trying to further educate herself and her peers. She has been recognized throughout her school and her community as not only a positive influencer but a change-maker.


With two younger siblings, Shondra strives to make her community a safer and more inclusive place for them as they grow up. She has been recognized for her art from the MacLaren Art Centre, involving the Youth Social Media Project: Change, in early June of 2020. Furthermore, she is known around her school for being a dedicated community builder, sharing her education, passion, and irrepressibility with her peers in a positive manner. 


As a dedicated activist, she is always trying to make connections with others who harbour the passion to make real change. Thus leading her to become a Youth Ambassador and future Board Director with Making Change.

Board Member Opportunities

 Making Change is recruiting additional board members with backgrounds in Education, Fundraising/Philanthropy, Legal, Corporate/Governance. Here's an overview of the requirements. Please contact us for more information.

Committee Volunteer Opportunities

 Making Change is recruiting volunteers for working committee membership. Our committees include: Education, School Programs, Communications & Marketing, Business Outreach & Sponsorship, Culture  Community Events, and Finance. If you're interested in volunteering and have relevant experience please apply here .

Purpose of the Corporation

1. Educate the general public about racial prejudice and discrimination through seminars and workshops
2. Organize and implement conferences, workshops and other symposia about institutional and individual forms of racism, discrimination, and stereotyping
3. Host discussion groups open to the public that raise awareness of racism and model alternatives to stereotyping and prejudice
4. Establish and maintain peer support groups among members of the Black community as well as members of the public to address issues of discrimination and the elimination of racism
5. Participate in and support a network made up of organizations supporting anti-Black racism and promoting positive race relations aims in order to share research, informational materials, or expertise and act as a resource to groups interested in developing these capacities
6. Organize and host activities meant to expose members of the general public to Black culture

Ontario, Canada

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