Rest in Peace Glen Flett, L.I.N.C. Founder
In trouble with the law since he was a child, Glen spent twenty-three years behind bars. He was sentenced to 21 years to life in 1980 for shooting to death a Hudson’s Bay store manager during a Brink’s hold-up in Toronto.
After years of living a violent crime filled life, Glen became a Christian while he was at Kent Institution in 1982. The Lord then began to move in his life in a mighty way. Glen’s sentence was reduced by the Ontario Court of Appeal to 14 years to life. In 1987, he married his wife Sherry at William Head Institution. Paroled in 1992, Glen is the founder and co-facilitator of L.I.N.C. (Long-term Inmates Now in the Community).
In 1996, Glen was awarded the University College of the Fraser Valley’s volunteer of the year award for another programme he developed called Partners in Learning which pairs tutors from Ferndale Institution with at risk youth in alternative schools in Mission and Abbotsford. He believes strongly in the concept of restorative justice with its empowerment of victims and ultimate goal of a safer community for all.
Unfortunately, Glen passed away of small cell lung cancer on October 26th, 2019. Though Glen is no longer with us in person, his life’s work, vision and dream of transforming the Canadian justice system continue through the L.I.N.C. Society.
Sherry Edmunds-Flett, L.I.N.C. Executive Director
Sherry was born and raised in the “prison capital of Canada” Kingston, Ontario. She graduated from Queen’s University in 1982 with a BA Honours in Sociology. She wrote her Honours thesis under the direction of Hans Mohr of the Law Reform Commission. A year later, Sherry graduated with a Bachelor of Education in English and Music from Queen’s.Her graduate degrees include: a Masters in African Area Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (1988) and doctoral candidate status in History from Simon Fraser University.
Sherry is a founding member of the Black Canadian Studies Association and a lifetime member of the Association of Black Women Historians. A published writer, her work includes a chapter in Telling Tales: Women in Western Canadian History (UBC Press Fall 2000) and two entries in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (University of Toronto Press Fall 2005). Sherry met and married her husband Glenn Flett while he was in prison. She taught adult basic education in provincial prisons in B.C. for seven years before becoming the executive director of the non-profit L.I.N.C. Society which she co-founded with Glenn. Glenn and Sherry live in Mission along with the love of their life- their thirteen year-old daughter Victoria aka “Twinkie”, their dog Lilly, and their cats Bianca, Bugsy, Magic, Little Kitty, Matt and Tippy.
In 2012 Sherry was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.
Victoria Edmunds-Flett, L.I.N.C. Marketing
Cherished daughter of Glen and Sherry, Victoria maintains L.I.N.C. Marketing.
Victoria is passionate about food security, alternatives to plastics and fostering communities of inclusion and support. Victoria takes care of L.I.N.C. media releases and social media updating. With strong organization and communication skills, web and social media literacy, and a background in management, Victoria ensures L.I.N.C. programs and projects reach wide audiences, clearly articulate our philosophy of fostering social and environmental sustainability, and create as much impact as possible. Victoria believes in her fathers vision.
Zach Thomas, Co-Manager, Emma’s Acres
Zach is long-term partner to Victoria. Together, they have one son, John-Oliver, grandson to Glen and Sherry.
He is an innovator and pragmatist with excellent research skills, and a passion for sustainability. Zach’s natural abilities in sustainable farming have contributed much to Emma’s Acres, L.I.N.C.’s sustainable agricultural social enterprise. He has a strong focus in permaculture, natural farming methods and open source information sharing. Zach successfully introduced both ginger and biochar to Emma’s Acres.
Working for L.I.N.C. since 2016, Zach’s managerial role at Emma’s covers overseeing day to day activities, crop planning, new & niche crop development, site infrastructure, enhancement and development, biochar cultivation, compost development, soil amendments & natural pest management. Zach enjoys plant propagation and building and inventing new things to improve the farm.
Zach is also a trained audio engineer.
Shay spent the better part of 20 years in and out of prison. A trans male, Shay found place and community after his years of work inside prison for LGBTQ2S+ people, work which led to significant positive change. He and his now wife, Nyki challenged discriminatory conditions that used to prevail against LGBTQ2S+ persons in prisons, and established the 1st LGBTQ2S+ committee in a federal prison. Together they advocated for change and inclusion, including organizing PRIDE celebrations in prisons for years. Shay began volunteering for L.I.N.C. while incarcerated, and has become a valuable member of L.I.N.C.’s core team as co-manager of Emma’s Acres.
His managerial role covers overseeing day to day activities, crop planning, greenhouse management, records management, farmers markets, site tours, quality control, shipping, sales & customer service. He is passionate about environmental responsibility, food security, water conservation and alternative energies.
Now well established in the community, Shay is also an experienced facilitator, and he continues to advocate for people in prison, especially LGBTQ2S+ identifying persons. Through his work with the Walls to Bridges Collective, Shay has years of experience conducting workshops and has received multiple trainings and certifications to keep his skills up to date and relevant. Additionally, he is an active member of the Gladwin Heights United Church.
Nyki Kish-Field, L.I.N.C. Executive Assistant
Nyki is an academic, advocate, and singer-songwriter. Hired by L.I.N.C. while incarcerated, Nyki was the first person post-Harper era to earn a living wage from prison. Now in the community, her work with L.I.N.C. includes grant writing, project coordination, research, program development and evaluation, administrative support and general assistance to Executive Director Sherry Edmunds-Flett. Nyki is dedicated to the work LINC does, and she brings her rich experience in working with community initiatives. At twenty-two, she became the director of a small non-profit she developed that brought reading material and support programs into Ontario jails and prisons, called Books to Bars.
Her work for the LGBTQ2S+ population in prison achieved significant social change. She developed the 1st LGBTQ2S+ committee in a federal prison, replicated the group in a second prison, and successfully challenged previous criminalization of same sex relationships in prison. She is a trained Positive Space Champion, and it was her and her husband’s advocacy which allowed incarcerated peoples to receive the training. Alongside Shay, they have organized PRIDE celebrations in prisons for years.
Nyki put herself through university while in prison. She is presently completing her Bachelors degree. She is also employed by the Walls to Bridges program as the BC Program Coordinator. She hopes to eventually obtain a PhD.