Shereen Denetto is currently the Site Director at IRCOM, for IRCOM Ellen. Her adventurous and hard-working parents arrived from India and landed in Montreal 52 years ago, and eventually moved to rural Northern Ontario where she was raised in the country with her brother, several chickens and a cow. At the age of 17, Shereen made her way to Southern Ontario to study at McMaster University in Hamilton where she received her undergrad degree in Bio-Psych. She ignored her parents’ good advice and did not attempt to enter medical school, and rather worked at a shelter for abused women and their children, and then later went back to school to get her Master of Social Work degree from Carleton University where she worked at the university coordinating anti-racism initiatives and focused her Master’s research on conflict between daughters and parents in South Asian families.
Shereen has worked in many settings: with abused women and with refugee and immigrant youth; as a community mobilizer working with low-income women and developing neighbourhood networks; and as a community-based researcher and program coordinator on issues such as employment equity, sexual health in newcomer communities, intergenerational conflict and violence against women. She has published several book chapters and articles on topics such as newcomer men’s perspectives on violence against women, cultural competence and working with newcomer women in a health setting, traditional health and cultural practices within newcomer communities and change processes, and social and immigration policy. She has also been a university instructor in community development.
Her greatest joy comes from being a mom to her two beautiful sons. In her spare time she likes to watch Netflix (sadly she used to read more), listen to music, bike and do crafty things with her children. Shereen has been involved in social justice activities since her 20s and strongly believes in IRCOM’s value, “We are Agents of Change.”