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.
- 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.
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 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 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.
Richard Stephenson currently works for the Construction section of the Toronto Transit Commissions Engineering Construction and Expansion Department. His work focuses on Construction Management.
Richard is involved with a variety of infrastructure projects throughout the City of Toronto. He has a background in various aspects of construction gained through his time in the private sector doing design and inspection and his current time with the TTC doing inspection and construction management.
Richard’s dream has always been to build his City and for the past several years has been able to achieve and thrive within that dream. During this time, however, he has observed the lack of diversity within construction specifically trades-persons.
Jamaican born, Nikki Clarke, holds a Diploma in Social Sciences from John Abbott College and at, McGill University, studied Film and Communications. Nikki was an instructor at Sheridan College, in the Faculty of Early Childhood Education, the School of Business, and Community Development from 1999 to 2009. Nikki was elected the President of the Ontario Black History Society November 9, 2015. Nikki’s third book, Transforming Lives, One Story at a Time: Powerful Stories of Success and Inspiration, an anthology of empowering reflections was published September 22, 2017. Nikki is the founder, producer and host of the Nikki Clarke Show. Nikki was the NDP MPP Candidate for Mississauga-Malton. Nikki serves on the The Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking in Peel. Nikki is an ordained lay pastor and the Pastor to Children, Youth and Families at St Cuthbert’s Leaside Anglican Church. Nikki serves as a director for the Ontario Black History Society as well as the United Achievers Community Services.
Jordana H. Goldlist
Natacha P. Pennycooke, MSc., RP
Natacha P. Pennycooke is a passionate Psychotherapist registered with the College of Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario.
Natacha has experience in community, clinical and forensic settings, providing psychotherapy to a culturally diverse clientele of youth and adults since 2010. She has provided psychotherapy to those struggling with anxiety, trauma, self-esteem, depression, grief, anger management, emotional crisis, interpersonal issues, substance abuse, addiction, adjustment difficulties and personality disorders.
Natacha’s clinical approach is based on person-centered, cognitive behavioural therapy, dialectical behavioural techniques, motivational interviewing, positive psychology and mindfulness skills. Natacha takes pride in demonstrating a high standard of cultural awareness and inclusive counselling, all within a healing focused, anti-oppressive and trauma aware framework.
Natacha received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada), where she specialized in Cultural Psychology and minored in Biology. She received her Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology at The University of the West Indies – CaveHill campus (Barbados); and completed her clinical practicum internship at the Department of Community Health & Psychiatry of The University Hospital of the West Indies (Kingston, Jamaica). Where she was part of a multidisciplinary team assigned to provide patients with holistic care. She completed her master degree researching fatherly affirmation and its impact on self-esteem and fear of intimacy of Caribbean-Canadian Women.
Natalie M. Leon
Dr. Rai Reece
Dr. Rai Reece is a Professor in the Community Justice Services program in the Faculty of Social and Community Services at Humber College. In July 2020, she will begin a position as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University. Since 2005 she has been involved with anti-prison work with prisoners and ex-prisoners. In 2007 she conducted one of the first research projects in Canada to exclusively examine the intersections of race, incarceration, and the meaning of Canadian citizenship as it pertained to federally sentenced Black women in Canada. In 2018 she received Humber College’s Research Excellence Award for her research project titled “One Seed at a Time: Evaluating the Impact of the Horticulture Technician Pre-Apprenticeship Program on the Lives of Incarcerated Women.” In addition to this research project, Dr. Reece was one of the co-investigator’s along with Professors Dr. Soheila Pashang and Tonia Richard MSW, in a research project titled “Pedagogy and Practice: Teaching Diversity in Classrooms”. Rai has published in the areas of ‘Race’ and Racism, Feminism, and Criminological studies and her most recent co-publication in the Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice examines Harm Reduction practices in Federal Prisons. Dr. Reece holds a PhD in Women’s Studies from York University and teaches in the areas of Canadian Criminal Justice, Anti-Black Racism, Scholar-Activism, and Punishment and Penology. In 2020 Dr. Reece was honoured as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women.
Montana specializes in working with children and youth with special needs and has successfully served a range of clients though her experience in working 1:1 in various environments, including but not limited to schools and camps which led to her developing and implementing a summer camp program that encompassed effectively supporting children with various social and behavioural needs, became the camp’s first 1:1 camp counsellor, as well as offered complimentary tutoring to primary school aged children with special needs on an
Passionate about reintegration work, Montana actively strives to learn about the barriers that individuals who are reintegrating into society face, and ways around these barriers, which is why she decided to join Keep6ixOrg because the work they do strongly aligns with her vision of a healthier society. Montana enjoys teaching people about forgiveness, overcoming barriers, and is a strong advocate for justice and change. Montana is no stranger to advocating for change and enjoys the task of challenging the system & its current norms through various speaking engagements, projects, and programs.