Josephine is a widowed single parent of 4, a grandmother, and a social housing tenant. She is dedicated to cultivating human rights based solutions to humanity’s greatest challenges: extreme inequality, non-sustainability, and climate chaos.
Josephine Grey has been a human rights advocate, community organizer and public speaker for more than 30 years. In 1986 she co-founded Low Income Families Together (LIFT) in Toronto, a resource center run by and for low-income people. LIFT does community education on human rights, economic and political literacy, incubates community projects and helps provide a voice for low-income people. Josephine was a founding director and co-chair of Foodshare, 1988 to 94 and a Founding Director of the Center for Social Justice, The Income Security Advocacy Centre, and the St. James Town Community Co-operative. She also helped build the first permanent housing for survivors of domestic abuse, Project Esperance.
In 1995 Josephine was appointed Canada’s Official Observer for domestic issues to the UN World Summit on Social Development. She then coordinated, authored and presented the Ontario People’s Report to the UN committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) in 1998, a report on Civil and Political Rights in 1999, and another on ESCR in 2006. She served as the International Secretary for the National Anti-Poverty Organization (NAPO) and liaison to the Hemispheric Social Alliance, a network of over 300 national organizations that challenged and helped defeat the FTAA. Her work has taken her to 7 continents and many world summits and social forums.
Currently, she is engaged in mentoring youth empowerment and climate change resilience projects, and advocating for a rights based guaranteed basic income. She helped organize and present to the North American Basic Income Conference- Hamilton, May 2018 as a member of the Basic Income Canada Network, and Basic Income Toronto. She is developing a healthy food and water security project in St James Town including climate resilient urban agriculture: the OASIS project, and several related social enterprise co-operatives.