Keep6ix is a not-for-profit Toronto-based organization, serving the Greater Toronto Area, that was founded in 2017 to make a meaningful difference in the lives of at-risk youth from racialized communities who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.
Keep6ix offers various programs and services to help youth avoid going down a disempowering path toward incarceration. We also support and advocate for those who are currently incarcerated and provide post-release support so that they can overcome systematic barriers and stigma and begin to reintegrate positively into the community.
The ultimate vision of Keep6ix is to reduce youth’s risk of involvement in present and future crime and violence by:
- Providing multifaceted services which aim at addressing and alleviating poverty as a mechanism to de-incentive crime among youth.
- Supporting criminalized, marginalized and racialized communities to attain positivity and break the odds.
- Paying attention to the particularities of Black, Indigenous, refugee and newcomer youth needs because they are overrepresented in the criminal justice system.
- Advocating for systematic change in criminal justice by challenging the system of oppression and discrimination in the justice system.
- Educating the key stakeholders in the justice system, such as the police and court, to center Anti-Racism, Anti-Opression, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in their work.
- Offering transformative and restorative justice as an alternative to the criminal justice system.
Our mission is to prevent criminalization, re-criminalization and recidivism for youth by:
- Providing holistic and integrated services that social-economic and culturally empower youth through entrepreneurship, music programs, and employment placement to youth involved in the justice system.
- Preventing youth from encounters with the law by providing one-on-one mentoring, career counselling, employment skills training and core life skills counselling to help build on their communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.
- Promoting health, well-being and healthy self-esteem in youth through mental health support, trauma-informed and harm reduction services.
- Partnering with other agencies to provide legal, housing, immigration and education support.
Integrity, transparency and accountability, honesty, companionate, non-judgemental space, inclusion and respect for all our stakeholders regardless of their identity.
The History Behind The Name:
Founder, Richard Miller, explains how he came up with the name.
To make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who have been impacted by the Criminal Justice System.
Board of Directors
Opal McKenzie is the President of Keep6ixOrg, and actively serves her community with over 20+ years of experience in various volunteer and employment capacities. Opal has experience supporting her community in conflict resolution and crisis intervention, working with multiple outreach and mobile crisis teams. She provides support to clients and their families, with a diverse caseload, ensuring that the societal disadvantages of those from marginalized communities are considered. Opal sat on the board of the Toronto Adventist District School Board from 1996-2017, and served as vice-chair on the board from 2004-2006. From 1999-2018 Opal volunteered with Black Business Professional Association working on the yearly Martin Luther King Jr. production. Opal is passionate about helping individuals realize and achieve their full potential, prioritizing her focus on the Black community to ensure full support for success.
Herman Henry studied Sports Administration at Durham College. Herman worked at VIA Rail Canada as a Steward waiter, he then moved on to work with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services as a Correctional Officer and Acting Manager. Herman is a sports enthusiast who enjoys Boxing, Kickboxing, Soccer, Football and Basketball. As a Prince Hall Mason, Herman is involved in charity activities.
Audny-Cashae Stewart is a student at the University of Toronto studying Women and Gender Studies. Audny advocates for issues pertaining to the Black Community. At age 12 years old, Audny started creating Black History Month Assemblies for her Elementary school. Audny has a passion for educating people about her culture which led to the creation of the first Black student Union and Alliance in Guelph, Ontario.
Patricia Nelson as an extensive work history in the area of Social work. Patricia worked as the Divisional Coordinator for the United Way for many years. Patricia managed vulnerable caseloads for Shelters, Homeless, Addiction and Guns and Gangs Program. Patricia is a Learning Therapist who developed learning strategies for learning disabled/behavioral and gifted students.
Nellie Viveiros is a serial entrepreneur who has over 20 years of Corporate experience working with individuals from all backgrounds. Nellie dedicates her time to giving back to the community by organizing fundraising events and other activities. Nellie left the corporate world to study Entertainment Management. Nellie is actively managing a few artists as well as coaching others to succeed in their music career.
Audrene Kerr-Brown is a Professor at Humber College in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Innovative Learning. Since 2004, she has taught both Psychology and Criminology at Humber Collegea and in later years, at the University of Guelph Humber. She is the inaugural co-chair of the Black/African Employee Resource Group at Humber College
Audrene is passionate about the classroom, but also enjoys the dynamics and the energy of community life. She has worked as a volunteer in the community for many years, both in active civic engagement as well as in research. She has investigated and delivered academic papers on community policing, youth at risk, and gang membership to academic, non-governmental and governmental audiences. She holds degrees in Media and Communications, Psychology and Criminology from the University of the West Indies, and the University of Toronto.
Audrene believes every life has worth and every person purpose. As such, she has given much time to motivating and guiding others towards seeing that worth and finding that purpose. She enjoys travelling, fishing, and hanging out with her family.
Alison Craig is a criminal defence lawyer and partner at Lockyer Posner Craig in Toronto. She articled at Lockyer Campbell Posner in 2005 and has been with the firm since. In 2007 and 2008 she was counsel for nine individuals at the Inquiry into Pediatric Forensic Pathology in Ontario who were convicted of homicides as a result of the flawed pathology work of Dr. Charles Smith. Today her practice is focused on homicide, sexual assault, and drug cases. In addition to her work in the courtroom, she is a prisoners rights advocate and former board member and vice-president of the Kingston chapter of the John Howard Society.
Mr Case is the CEO at Gold Legion Multimedia. Isaiah is the creator of the Drip or Drown event series and a diverse investor. Isaiah was previously a youth member of the K.I.N.G.S program( alumni mentoring youths) Isaiah is doing his part to impact his community.
Christine Miskonoodinkwe-Smith- is a Saulteaux woman from Peguis First Nation and the author of “These Are the Stories: Memories of a 60s Scoop Survivor” published by Kegedonce Press in December 2021. She is an author, editor, writer, and journalist who graduated from the University of Toronto with a specialization in Aboriginal Studies in June 2011 and went on to receive her Master’s in Education in Social Justice in June 2017. Her first non-fiction story “Choosing the Path to Healing” appeared in the 2006 anthology Growing Up Girl: An Anthology of Voices from Marginalized Spaces. She has written for the Native Canadian, Anishinabek News, Windspeaker, FNH Magazine, New Tribe Magazine, Muskrat Magazine and the Piker Press. She has also co-edited the anthology Bawaajigan with fellow Indigenous writer Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler.
Sharron Reddick is a Metis from Nova Scotia who grew up in Toronto. Sharon has worked with the Indigenous community for the past 14 years as a Case manager, and Housing worker, Anti-human trafficking support worker for victims and survivors. Sharon lost her son Shawn to gun violence in 2014.
Jacinta Kanakaratnam holds a B.aS (Hon) degree in Justice Studies and a diploma in Law and Security. She has worked tirelessly for justice reform through her previous governance role at a legal clinic in Scarborough. Jacinta has led initiatives across the public, private and non-profit sectors with an emphasis of facilitating conversations around equity, collaboration and amplifying issues in under-served communities.
Sandrine is motivated to combat racism within Ontario and across borders while centering the experiences and needs of racialized and marginalized communities.
As an independent researcher, Sandrine examines the issues of surveillance, state violence, and systemic racism in relation to social death and activism.
Equally important, Sandrine explores how systems of oppression, such as institutional racism in the criminal justice system, immigration, education, health, and employment sectors, produce and sustain inequalities.
Sandrine holds a BA and a BSc degree from the University of Toronto, specializing in Political Science and Population Health and a Master’s degree from the University of Waterloo in Peace and Conflict Studies.
Sandrine’s academic and lived experiences have shaped her to become an individual who is committed to promoting racial equity and social justice by utilizing intersectionality, feminist, decolonial, and critical lens theory.
Jordana H. Goldlist
Andria Barrett is an Advocate, Speaker & Founder of The Diversity Agency. She is a SheEO Activator, former member of Brampton Mayor’s COVID 19 Economic Support Task Force, an active investor supporting women entrepreneurs, and serves on the boards of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, PACE (Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education) and has been appointed as a member of Humber’s Program Advisory Committee (PAC). In 2021, Canadian SME named Andria one of the Most Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs & Business Leaders.
Andria is active in her community and volunteers and donates to several organizations working to create positive change in society.