Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic Honours Carla Neto and Kirsten Mercer with 2024 Spirit of Schlifer Award 


Toronto, ON, April 16, 2024 – The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic proudly announces the recipients of the 2024 Spirit of Barbra Schlifer Award: Carla Neto and Kirsten Mercer. This esteemed award recognizes individuals who demonstrate exceptional dedication to supporting women and gender-diverse individuals experiencing violence.  

Carla Neto, currently the Executive Director of Women’s Habitat of Etobicoke, brings much experience in social work and intersectional feminism to her role. Her leadership, informed by anti-racist/anti-oppressive and trauma-informed principles, has been instrumental in advocating for survivors of violence.   

Kirsten Mercer, an intersectional feminist lawyer and advocate, has dedicated her career to advancing women’s equality and human rights. With a background spanning law, government, and the non-profit sector, Mercer has tirelessly worked to end gender-based violence and promote accountability and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.  

The Spirit of Schlifer Campaign, an initiative aimed at supporting survivors of violence, continues to raise vital funds for the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. Despite ongoing challenges such as inflation and the housing crisis, the Clinic remains steadfast in its mission to provide trauma-informed services to those in need. With the support of generous sponsors, donors, and community members, the Campaign strives to reach its goal of $200,000 to sustain and expand its operations.  

Deepa Mattoo, Executive Director of the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, extends her “heartfelt congratulations to Carla Neto and Kirsten Mercer for their exceptional contributions,” said Mattoo, emphasizing their remarkable dedication.” Carla Neto and Kirsten Mercer have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and impact in supporting survivors of violence,” Mattoo added.  

She emphasizes the urgency of standing with survivors in the face of adversity and urges individuals to contribute, regardless of the size of their donation, to ensure the success of this year’s campaign. Reflecting on the resilience of survivors, Mattoo states, “These difficult times underscore the urgent need to stand with survivors. Their resilience is remarkable, but they need our collective support. Let’s join forces to make this year’s campaign a resounding success.”  

The Spirit of Schlifer Campaign supports women and gender-diverse people who have experienced violence by raising the funds needed to provide trauma informed services from the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic. With the ongoing generosity of our loyal sponsors/ partners and individual donors, the Campaign raises critical funds in support of our operations, programs, and services. In 2023, the Spirit of Schlifer Campaign raised $163,345 and the Clinic provided services to over 14,300 survivors of violence.    


Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic   

Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a specialized clinic for women and gender-diverse people experiencing violence, established in the memory of Barbra Schlifer. The Clinic offers trauma-informed legal services and representation, counselling and multilingual interpretation, and drives system transformation to support women and gender diverse people who have experienced violence. Rooted in the foundations of intersectionality, innovation, and a client-centred approach, we foster the skills and resilience of the people we serve and amplify their voices to create individual and collective change.  

Together, we can make a difference and provide the necessary support to those affected by violence. To learn more about the 2024 Spirit of Schlifer Campaign and how to get involved, please visit our campaign website through  


For additional information or media inquiries for interviews and quotes, please contact Madison Buckley at [email protected] 289-497-1048.  




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