Solidarity Alliance

The Solidarity Alliance is a working subgroup of the Rainbow Community Council (RCC) that formed in recognition of gaps in services and essential resources for LGBTQ+ newcomers/refugees/immigrants to Waterloo Region.  This working group is now composed of community members and representatives from agencies who in some capacity work with LGBTQ+ newcomers.

We are currently seeking LGBTQ+ newcomers to join the working group so that they can drive the direction of the Solidarity Alliance through the importance of their lived experience.  One of our most important long term goals is for the decisions of the working group to be driven purely by LGBTQ+ newcomers.  If you are interested in working with the Solidarity Alliance, you can contact us at

A list of agencies with representatives in the Solidarity Alliance includes: KW Counselling Services, ACCKWA (The AIDS Committee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area), KW Multicultural Centre, MCRS (Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support), Carizon, SPECTRUM, YMCA Immigrant Services, and Reception House Waterloo Region.

Our goals also include aiding the creation of LGBTQ+ newcomer services in Waterloo Region, outreach to newcomer communities, and capacity-building for agencies and services within the region that serve LGBTQ+ newcomers in some way.

Since our founding in August 2015, we have hosted trainings for lawyers, paralegals, legal staff, counsellors etc. to network and improve their capacity to aid LGBTQ+ refugees in their claims and navigating the legal system.  We’ve also organized trainings in 2017 and 2019 with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), to build capacity for agencies who serve LGBTQ+ newcomers in Waterloo Region.

Contact Info:

Victor LeFort, ACCKWA (email or 519-570-3687 x312)

Priscilla Muzira, ACCKWA (email or 519-570-3687 x309)

Bruce E. Walker, community member (website)

Kathy Muratis, Carizon Family and Community Services (email)

Jaqui, KW Multicultural Centre (email or 519-505-4499)

Georgina de Barros, KW Counselling Services (email or 519-884-0000 x212)

Tony Van Giessen, MCRS (email or 519-571-1912 x107)

Shane Bauman, SPECTRUM (email)

Katherine Peterson, YMCA Immigrant Services (email or 519-742-2008)

Sam Giesler , Reception House (email or 519-741-7060)


ACCKWA – The AIDS Comittee of Cambridge, Kitchener, Waterloo & Area  

Carizon Family and Community Services

KW Counselling Services 

OK2BME – KW Counselling Services

Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Centre 

MCRS – Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support 

Reception House Waterloo Region

SPECTRUM – Waterloo Region’s Rainbow Community Space 

Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Positive Spaces