ABOUT US

ABOUT

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 towards incarceration. We also support and advocate for those who are currently incarcerated and provide post-release support so that they can overcome barriers and begin to pasitively re-build their lives within the community.

Our Vision

  • Supporting criminalized and racialized communities to attain positivity and break the odds.
  • Overcoming systemic barriers to support at risk youth and those criminalized by the justice system.

Our Mission

At Keep6ix our mission is to:
Providing holistic and integrated capacity-building programs to youth involved in the justice system.
Preventing youth from going down a disempowering path by providing one-on-one mentoring, career conselling and employment skills training.
Promoting healthy self-esteem in youth through core life skills counselling to help build on their communication, interpersonal and leadership skills.

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

Richard Miller

Founder

Richard Miller is the Founder of Keep6ix and a driven community leader, dedicated to assisting underserved youth. After experiencing and witnessing misrepresentation, racism, corruption, and injustices experienced by black youth and minorities, Richard decided to establish Keep6ix. It is his passion to bring healing to individuals who have been through traumatic experiences, by ensuring resources and programming are available to prevent incarceration. Richard is an experienced and savvy entrepreneur, who believes in training and developing the next generation of young professionals. He believes that with a second chance, and the right opportunities present, our young people can thrive and become successful.

Opal McKenzie

President

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.

Rachel Xyminis-Chen

Executive Director

As a street-involved youth, Rachel saw many of her friends and loved ones fall into the entrapment of the criminal justice system. Supporting a close family member through his federal incarceration, was the turning point for her when she experienced firsthand the struggles of supporting an incarcerated loved one. In pursuit of understanding the construct of the system, Rachel pursued Criminology & Criminal Justice, her passion for reform has granted her the blessing of working with Keep6ix to advocate and support those impacted by the Canadian criminal justice system. She is determined to break the stigma associated with incarceration and provide a safe space for families and loved ones to support one another through their journey. Never one to conform to colonizers standards, Rachel’s mission is to promote self-love and reflection while staying true to ones authentic self. 

Keep6ix Team

Jordana H. Goldlist

Jordana H. Goldlist is a criminal defence lawyer, business owner, public speaker, and youth mentor.  A former homeless, high school dropout, Jordana aims to teach youth how to use their struggles to their advantage by recognizing transferable skills.  
She also aims to show the ways in which the justice system is a trap, designed to keep people stuck. Jordana uses her own journey from street kid to criminal lawyer to explain her views on the system in her TEDx talk, “Who Judges The Judge?” (available on YouTube). 

Audrene Kerr-Brown

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.

Arlene Jane Pitts

Psychotherapist, Registered Social Worker

Academic, Rebel Girl, Mama, Leo and Boss Babe. Arlene comes from a colourful history of being street involved and experiencing criminalization. Arlene persevered through many of life’s challenges while recieving a Master of Public Policy, Admin & Law, B.A. and has been awarded for her advocacy and work with those impacted by the war on drugs and the criminalization of sex work. 

Naira Velumyan, Ph.D., RP

Founder of the Academy of Social Competency, Ph.D. in Psychology, Forbes Councils Member, Registered Psychotherapist, International Speaker, Entrepreneur and Etiquette Expert. The programs incorporate many years of accumulated theoretical and practical knowledge which Naira has successfully applied in her life and generously shares with her clients. Her main focus is to train people’s self-confidence, communication and relationship building skills. As a certified specialist in Jungian Analytical Psychology, Family System Therapy, Psychodrama, Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Therapy, Dr. Velumyan also provides offline one-on-one, couples, family and group psychotherapy. Being the owner of a few businesses, and with vast experience in human resources management and anti-crisis counselling, Naira Velumyan coaches professionals and entrepreneurs in developing successful careers and growing their net-worth.

Alison Craig

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.

Helen Kim

A 25-year veteran of the Insurance Industry, Helen Kim is a Vice President and Senior Underwriting Specialist for General Reinsurance Corporation.  Her experience includes identifying and analyzing risk exposures, reviewing contracts and developing strategies to manage and mitigate risk.   Having experienced race-based and gender-based discrimination growing up and in the corporate workplace, Helen has a passion for social justice, mental health and fundraising and is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equality.

How You Can Get Involved

Call 1-800-640-3075 to Donate Or Contact Us to get Involved

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