Criminalization & Policing Campaigner
— Tonye is a Black African and a non-binary, queer, disabled and chronically ill person currently living on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). Tonye was born in the UK and their family hails from so-called Nigeria and Zimbabwe. Like so many before them, Tonye’s family came to Turtle Island as economic migrants seeking opportunity and stability outside of their respective homelands.
Tonye’s lived experience as a sex worker, a survivor of gender-based violence and of the racist and classist drug war is what brings them to this work and keeps them organizing in solidarity with folks sharing those same intersections. Tonye is passionate about deepening their relationships in community and working closely with others to foster more access to and opportunities for accountability through, transformative and disability justice frameworks that centre needs of those most negatively impacted by the criminal legal system.
As an organizer and community worker, Tonye prioritizes proliferation of institutions and responses that affirm life and nourish it, while continuing to build the case for, defunding, demilitarizing, and abolishing police, as well the immediate decriminalization of poverty.