Staff Listing for the OWHR Institute - Quebec

Isaac Romano: Our Founder & Executive Director

Isaac Romano is founder and executive director of the Our Way Home Research Institute for War Resistance and Policy Alternatives - Quebec and co-coordinator of the Quebec chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. He is director of the Jewish Community Centre of the Eastern Townships and Montreal – NSP. Originally from the leadership of Seattle's Kadima, Isaac Romano's welcoming diversity skills and bridge-building programs have brought major media attention to his war resistance and community building projects in the US and in eastern and western Canada. Most recently Isaac Romano was invited to speak to 3,000 muslim women, men and children, as the lone jewish invitee to the december 2013 Palais des Congrès de Montréal conference opposing Quebec's discriminatory Charter of Values legislation.

Isaac Romano's work with children and families informed his peace and community building work toward creating a world without violence. Romano was among the Our Way Home Research Institute presenters at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Canadian Studies' International Conference, "Canada as Refuge" in may 2008, and his peace work is highlighted in both the Sunday New York Times and front page Los Angeles Times.


OWHR Institute - Quebec's Research and Social Policy Working Group

Our development team represents the peace we are striving for, for Canada and the world:

Catherine Richardson / Kianewesquao

Another member of our team is Catherine Richardson/Kianewesquao, Ph.D., Asssociate Professor, Family Therapist, Indigenous community violence prevention worker, activist, Director for the Centre for Response-Based Practice.

Dr. Catherine Richardson/Kianewesquao has presented her work at the United Nations “Nations State Responses to Violence Against Indigenous Women.” She is of Metis and Cree heritage.


Jonathan Hafetz

Advisory Specialist to the OWHR Institute’s “Monitor and Policy” Working Group and the OWHR Institute’s Amnesty Working Group.

Professor Jonathan Hafetz is an expert on human rights, constitutional law, national security, and international justice issues. He joined Seton Hall Law School in 2010. Professor Hafetz is the author of Habeas Corpus after 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System (NYU Press 2011), which received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, Honorable Mention, and the American Society of Legal Writers, Scribes Silver Medal Award. He is the editor of Obama’s Guantanamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison (NYU Press 2016) and the co-editor (with Mark Denbeaux) of The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law (NYU Press 2009). Professor Hafetz’s scholarship has appeared in many publications, including the Yale Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Wisconsin Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, International Journal of Human Rights, and Cambridge Journal of Comparative & International Law, and has been cited by numerous courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is currently working on a book about international criminal justice, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Hafetz is also an internationally recognized constitutional and human rights lawyer. Prior to joining Seton Hall, he was a senior attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, a litigation director at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, and a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons, P.C. He has litigated numerous cases at all level of the federal courts, including Al-Marri v. Spagone, 555 U.S. 1220 (2009), Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674 (2008), Rasul v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 466 (2004), Meshal v. Higgenbotham, 804 F.3d 417 (D.C. Cir. 2015), Salahi v. Obama, 625 F.3d 740 (D.C. Cir. 2010), and Jawad v. Obama (D.D.C. 2009). Professor Hafetz has authored or co-authored more than thirty amicus curiae briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals.


Matt Adams

Advisory Specialist to the OWHR Institute’s “Monitor and Policy” Working Group and the OWHR Institute’s Amnesty Working Group.

Matt Adams, along with his litigation team, has played a critical role in successfully challenging President Trump's discriminatory travel ban.

Matt Adams is the legal director for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, where he has worked since 1998 representing immigrants from all over the world. He has an extensive practice in federal courts with thirteen published decisions granting relief to his clients in the United States Courts of Appeals. In addition, he has served as class counsel in several successful class action challenges before federal district courts, including Franco-Gonzalez, et al. v. Holder, et al., where the district court granted class certification on behalf of detained individuals with mental impairments, and issued a permanent injunction, ordering the United States to create the the very first appointed counsel system in the immigration courts. Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder, 2013 WL 3674492 (C.D.Cal. 2013). He was also class counsel in A.B.T. v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2013 WL 5913323 (W.D.Wash. 2013), representing a successful nationwide class challenge to practices preventing asylum applicants from obtaining employment authorization. Much of his litigation is focused on challenges to immigration detention.

Matt is a member of the King County Public Defenders Advisory Board and the National Immigration Project’s Board of Directors. Matt graduated from UC Berkeley Law and received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University.


Steven Fischler

OWHR Institute-Quebec Filmmaker-In- Residence and staff advisor. Steven Fischler will prepare the “Immigration and Immigrant Rights” multi-media video installation to accompany “The Welcoming” Immigrant Rights Peace Sculpture placement in cities around the world, working in collaboration with each city-partner, telling each city’s detailed story of immigration and immigrant rights.

Steven Fischler is a recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film, Emmy Award, Cine Golden Eagles and the John Grierson Award for Social Documentaries. He and Joel Sucher founded Pacific Street Films in 1971, and they have produced and directed documentary films for venues as diverse as the United Nations, the BBC and commercial and public television in the United States. These include portraits of Hollywood artists like Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Jessica Lange, as well as investigations of police surveillance and misconduct. Pacific Street Films produced many social and historical documentaries, such as “From Swastika To Jim Crow,” which tells the story of Jewish Refugee scholars driven from Germany by the Nazis who found teaching positions in the Jim Crow South. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Film Archives have honored Pacific Street Films with career retrospective programs.

Pacific Street Films has produced major museum exhibitions. They partnered with the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC on an exhibit -- based on their documentary -- entitled, “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges," which toured African American and Jewish venues nationwide for several years. They have also produced exhibits for the Museum of Natural History and other institutions. Steven Fischler was the director of the PBS documentary, “Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans & The Movies” and the producer of “Dressing America: Tales From The Garment Center,” broadcast in 2014. Fischler wrote and directed the documentary, “Five Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History,” based on the best selling memoir by Helene Stapinski, which had its broadcast premiere on Thirteen/WNET in March of 2017.


Yaya Maria de Andrade, Ph.D.

Yaya de Andrade, Ph. D, is a Registered Psychologist from Vancouver. In the last 4 decades, she has actively worked providing a wide range of direct and coordinating services through mental health centers, hospitals, public schools, private practice and university. As a therapist, she assisted those traumatized by experiences and overwhelming circumstances. She also has been involved in teaching and training through projects locally, nationally and internationally. She is one of the founders of the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture, and was awarded the International Humanitarian Effort Commendation by the B.C. Psychological Association. Currently she is an Associate Faculty with the City University of Seattle, campus Vancouver.

Peter Golden

Peter Golden has practiced law in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada since 1992 with an emphasis on immigration and refugee law. He has been an independent election observer in Mexico and El Salvador. As a board member of the Victoria Coalition for Survivors of Torture he has been an advocate for an international oversight committee for health professionals involved in torture.

Gubara Said Hassan, Ph.D.

Dr. Gubara Said Hassan is a specialist in International Relations with a focus on Islamic Governance, Middle Eastern and African Politics. He is currently a lecturer at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Brunei, where he teaches Islamic Governance, International Relations, Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. He is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada. He had been a researcher and lecturer at Bishop’s University and Carleton University, Canada, the University of Helsinki, Finland, University of Oklahoma at Norman, U.S.A. and a Fulbright visiting scholar at Texas A&M University, U.S.A, and University of Bergen, Norway.

He has also contributed significantly to policy reports on International Terrorism and Foreign Aid and Darfur for the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2003 and the Government of Finland and the European Union (2007) respectively. Dr. Hassan has also co-authored and published many book chapters and articles and participated in various international conferences, forums and symposia


Father Patrick Musumba

Father Patrick Musumba, Kenyan Catholic priest who speaks and prays with peace and unity as his core. Father Patrick is of the Mariannhill Congregation now serving in South Africa, while staying connected to his Kenyon diacece, following four years with the Mariannhill Missionnairies in Sherbrooke, Qc.


Khalil Hajeri

Khalil Hajeri is co-coordinator of the Quebec Chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Holder of a degree in Philosophy and Law, this young thinker, philosopher and journalist stands against all forms of discrimination in our world.

Khalil works as a humanitarian, promoting a universal message of peace to every inhabitant of Quebec and all of Canada, saying that we should all cohabit in a peace-loving and fraternal way, honoring the indigenous territories on which we live.


Colin Bossen

Reverend Colin Bossen  PhD Candidate, American Studies, Harvard University, and Unitarian Universalist Minister. The Reverend Colin Bossen is a Unitarian Universalist minister and PhD candidate in American Studies at Harvard University. His academic work focuses on the relationship between theology and social movements. He has been involved in justice struggles for more than two decades, primarily working with indigenous communities, migrants, and marginalized workers in the transportation industry. He was a co-founder of CASA - Colectivos de Apoyo, Solidaridad y Acción, an organization which from 2001 to 2011 coordinated solidarity work with indigenous communities in Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico. Currently, he is part of forming a faith based committee to support the work of the IWW (The Industrial Workers of the World) Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee in their effort to build a prisoners union. Reverend Colin Bossen is co-author, along with Julia Hamilton of "Resistance and Transformation: Unitarian Universalist Social Justice History."


Father Reegan Soosai

Le père Reegan Soosai c.m.f. exerce actuellement une présence pastorale auprès de la Mission Catholique Latino-Americaine de Sherbrooke (Qc) qui réunit une assemblée de fidèles de près de 200 personnes tous les dimanches.

Fr. Reegan Soosai cmf, is a Claretian Missionary Priest of the Roman Catholic Church who lives in Sherbrooke, Quebec. He holds a degree in Philosophy and in Theology. He is a Claretian Vocation Director for Canada. Fr. Soosai is a member of Ecumenical, Pastoral Counseling, Intercultural and Development and Peace committee of the Archdiocese of Sherbrooke. He is also the Pastor of Catholic Latino American Mission in Sherbrooke. He has a vast experience of having lived and worked with people of many cultural and linguistic backgrounds and has lived in Spain, India and Canada. He hails from the Southern State of India called Tamil Nadu. He is a liberation and people’s Theology proponent. He likes to walk the talk and he is working tirelessly to create a culture of Dialogue, Solidarity, Justice, Generosity and Peace which are values he holds high from his faith.


Peter Cohen

Peter Cohen holds a Masters Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and a Masters degree in TESOL from New York University. Primary field and expertise, Cross-Cultural Relations. Peter Cohen has spent twenty-five years as an educator in New York City, Mexico, Spain and China. Peter is an instructor in the Humanities Department of Champlain College in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. He is also Program Director of the Cross Cultural Center at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Peter Cohen sits on the Advisory Board of the Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy.


Alden Chorush

The anthropocentric model of Western civilization is unsustainable. What comes next? A renaissance of respect for existence, and the human animal restored to its proper place, as one of a multiplicity of equally valuable subjectivities.

Alden Chorush

OWHR Institute’s War Resistance Writer-in-Residence, Alden Chorush is in the Ph.D. program in English literature at Montreal’s Concordia University. A recipient of the Feige and Sydney Gasco Graduate Scholarship in Creative Writing, he brings a perspective that extends the institute’s scope of justice, pacifism and compassion to the nonhuman animal.


Kyra Shaughnessy

OWHR Institute’s Artist-in-Residence, Kyra Shaughnessy was raised with a deep respect and connection to the land, in a multilingual environment, with roots criss-crossing from India to Ireland. Kyra Shaughnessy’s identity as an artist is nourished by an uncommon diversity of experience and by a profound commitment to global healing and positive transformation.

Listen to all of her great songs

OWHR Institute - Quebec's Working Group Advisory Staff

Our “Circle of Allies” to the OWHR Institute’s Policy Working Groups

Dieter Duhm

Noted OWHR Institute Advisor is Dr. Dieter Duhm and the Institute for Global Peace Work, Tamera (Portugal). Advisory specialist to the OWHR Institute’s Foreign Policy Working Group.

Vikki Reynolds

Advisor to the OWHR Institute’s Monitoring and Policy Working Group

Vikki's experience includes consulting, training and clinical supervision with refugees and survivors of torture. She has developed curriculum and taught Group Work, Trauma, and Diversity courses at Vancouver Community College, Adler University and the University of British Columbia. She received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Instructor from City University where she has taught for more than ten years. Vikki has presented her work internationally in Australia, New Zealand, U.S., and Ireland.

Acknowledging the traditional peoples and territories here in Quebec and Montreal

The traditional peoples of the Montreal area are les Haudenosaunee(Mohawk). In Quebec, we also acknowledge the Inuit, les Abenakis, les Algonquins, les Atikamekws, les Crees, les Malecites, les Mi’kmaqs, les Innus, les Naskapis, les Wendats and Mohawks and the Metis (les Metisses).