Karlene is the manager, direct services at The 519 in Toronto, where she co-ordinates the LGBT Refugee Program. A fierce advocate for LGBTQI+ human rights, Karlene has rallied for our communities for more than 18 years, both internationally and in Canada.
Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Karlene served as co-chair and chair, respectively, of Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) and Women for Women (WfW) for over seven years. Karlene has always been a visible advocate and activist for the human rights of LGBTQI+ Jamaicans.
Although Karlene is professionally trained in business administration and worked for several years in the finance industry, she put that experience aside after moving to Canada to follow her passion and work with newcomer LGBTQI+ communities.