Mennonite New Life Centre introduces new Executive Director Dwayne O’Connor

July 6, 2023

Toronto, ON – The Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto (MNLCT) is thrilled to announce our new Executive Director, Dwayne O’Connor. Dwayne has extensive experience in executive leadership roles confronting the social and economic inequities that give rise to poverty, homelessness, mental health and addictions, and other barriers that the Centre’s vulnerable newcomer clients face.

Dwayne has been actively involved in anti-racism through his work as the Chair of the Diversity Council at University Health Network, a member of the Health Equity Tribunal, and member of the Color of Poverty Network. He is also active in the Indigenous community and certified as a Feather Carrier, to help those in the community combat suicide and to celebrate life. Dwayne brings first-hand experience and compassion to his new role, arising from his own experience of homelessness as a youth and as an immigrant in his adult life.

At our recent Annual General Meeting, Dwayne expressed his enthusiasm on joining the Centre, saying, “I am humbled by seeing how great a team we have to work with and to have such a great set of leaders to go along with that. I cannot wait for us all to get working together.”

Dwayne’s comprehensive understanding and practice of collaborative community work combined with his ability to engage diverse stakeholders will serve the Centre and our communities well.

The MNLCT embarked on an extensive search for a new Executive Director after the announced departure of the previous ED in late 2022.

Dwayne’s experience in fundraising and working closely with government and community members will not only ensure the continuation of the existing innovative services provided by MNLCT and the excellent staff but champion the continued growth of the Centre to support the urgent needs of the increasing newcomer community.”

    – Rochelle Fine, MNLCT Board Chair

Dwayne is the MNLCT’s fourth executive director, building upon the efforts of our board, leadership, staff, clients, and communities over the past 40 years.

This fall, the Centre will host a drop-in event to welcome Dwayne; invitations will follow closer to the date.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dwayne, please contact:

Tracy Docheff
Communications Manager, MNLCT
647-812-1332 (ext. 5014)

About the Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto (MNLCT)

MNLCT has been serving newcomers for 40 years, founded by local Mennonite churches with a vision of service and solidarity with refugees and displaced peoples. The organization offers holistic settlement services, language instruction, job preparation and career bridging training, mental health and wellness counselling, counter-human trafficking supports and more, with programs evolving to meet the needs of an ever-changing immigrant population.

“Walking together with newcomers since 1983.”

For more about MNLCT, visit or

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"The Mennonite New Life Centre and its BEMC program came in very handy for me at the lowest ebb of my life by providing a lifeline and I am eternally grateful for that,”

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