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Meet some of our current students 

Sarah Alam, EdD Candidate


Sarah Alam

EdD Candidate

Social scientists have described the practice of bonded labor as the most prevalent form of modern-day slavery in Pakistan, since many sectors of the economy thrives on this coarse form of human exploitation, primarily in domestic and entertainment service, textile, agriculture, brickmaking, soccer ball manufacturing, and carpet-weaving sectors. Nearly half of Pakistan's population is vulnerable to become amongst those who are victims of modern slavery. As a social justice issue, Sarah's research investigates the connection between bonded labor and modern slavery. The research seeks to determine what role, if any, colonialism and capitalism play in its spread in Pakistan? The research identifies risk factors and presents what needs to be done to prevent and eradicate bonded labor. 

Keywords: Modern Slavery, Bonded Labor, Exploitation, Capitalism, Colonialism  

Arij Elmi, PhD Candidate


Arij Elmi

PhD Candidate 

Arij's research explores the effects of interpersonal, familial violence that occurs within the context of social violence (i.e., anti-Black racism, colonialism, heteropatriarchy and islamophobia). Arij uses therapeutic apologies to understand how Canadian Muslim women conceptualize violence that they experience. Her work is broadly focused on the question of what does violence do and what can we do with violence? Using the work of Lauren Berlant and Sylvia Wynter, she examines how violence produces an adherence to hierarchies and creates hierarchies anew. Going beyond liberal sentimentalism, Arij's work argues that recovery from violence - and justice itself - requires newly imagined ways of relating to womanhood, Muslimness and humanness.

Keywords: Trauma, Violence, Restorative Justice Practices, Islamophobia 

Miggy Esteban, PhD Student

Jose Miguel (Miggy) Esteban

PhD Student

Miggy engages with dance practices and methods of research-creation to rethink the relations between disability studies and educational praxis. His work considers the obvious and not so obvious ways we are introduced to certain “ordinary” expectations of embodiment through narratives of normalcy that construct an ideal dancing body. Encountering these narratives as choreographic, he engages with the inspiration and repetition of gestures to reveal new possibilities for interpreting a return to our bodies, to our belonging within space, and to our movement in relation with one another. Centring the work of disabled dance/movement artists and practitioners, he hopes to discover new orientations to a critical and creative pedagogy of dance.
Keywords: Disability Studies, Dance Studies, Embodiment, Interpretive Methods, Research Creation

Diane HIll, MA Student



Diane Hill

MA Student

Diane's work is concerned with how Indigenous people and communities are engaging with ideas of sovereignty through food sovereignty, environmental justice and climate action. Her interests seek to understand how communities and people can further mobilize self-determination and looks at the ways in which Indigenous people are recovering relationships to lands, waters and more-than-human kin. Diane's work hopes to contribute to evolving and emerging critical scholarship on Indigenous sovereignty and resistance, and to support organizers and communities in their movements of sovereignty. These particular interests about relationality and kinship have guided Diane's ideas and considerations within her master’s thesis. Her project focuses on the relationship that Indigenous young people have to movements of urban food sovereignty. 

Keywords: Indigenous Sovereignty, Resistance, Climate Action, Environmental Justice, Food Sovereignty

Yollande Pitta, EdD Candidate


Yollande Dweme M. Pitta

EdD Candidate

Yollande’s research focuses on studying the integration of French speaking sub-Saharan African professionals within the field of teaching and education. Yollande’s work examines how said professionals facilitate their own paths of integration into academic communities and additionally examine how said communities influence their own work and identities. Yollande’s research poses questions such as: Is said integrational approach viable for those whose education come from abroad? How do the processes of integration within French-language schools shape one’s professional identity? And how do their participations in communities of practice impact their avenues of accessing teaching professions? 

Keywords: Immigration, Education, Francophonie, Diversity, Integration 

Kimberly Todd, PhD Candidate

Kimberly Todd

PhD Candidate

Kimberly's research interests include education, dreams, decolonization, and teacher praxis. Her learning goals revolve around exploring dreaming as a site of spirituality and examining teacher praxis and teacher wellbeing in the current school system. Her research questions include what are the decolonial potentialities of dreaming? How can we begin to decolonize our schools considering the current colonial systems and structures? What roles do spiritual technologies have in creating pathways to envisioning and building decolonial futures?

Keywords: Education, Dreams, Decolonization, Teacher Praxis, Spirituality



Elaine Cagulada

PhD Candidate

Elaine Cagulada’s research engages single stories produced by and within the institution of police, revealing, through counterstory, beautiful possibilities for how we might understand deafness, disability, race, and policing differently. Calling for a critical narrative turn to the beginnings and endings we place on the human condition, her work encounters carceral enclosures and practices as sites of dependence and resistance. Influenced by teachings abound in disability studies, Black Studies, Indigenous philosophical traditions, and alternative sociology, Elaine wonders: what different meanings of deafness, disability, and race, what radical possibilities for Being, might be let loose with and through interpretation?

Keywords: Interpretive Disability Studies; Philosophies of Race; Deafness; Policing; Carceral Practices

Jessica Wright


Jessica Wright

PhD Candidate

Jessica’s research focuses on the concept of sexual consent in relation to the lived accounts of sex and harm of youth who self-identify as survivors of trauma. In her research, Jessica strives to understand if contemporary consent education—as the most popular form of gender-based violence prevention education—is trauma-informed and hence reflects the needs of youth trauma survivors. Her work thus far has revealed that contemporary consent education urgently needs a trauma-informed lens in order to address how the psychosocial impacts of trauma complicate consent processes. In relation to her work, Jessica asks how sex and relationships education can help foster a more caring, less harmful society. She seeks to understand what social changes are needed to help create a greater sexual ethic of care, and how these shifts can be supported through trauma-informed consent education.

Keywords: Gender-Based Violence Prevention; Sex Education; Sexual Consent; Sexual Ethics; Trauma-Informed Pedagogy

Tshweu Moleme


Tshweu Moleme

PhD Student

His research work is focused on areas such as labour, education, technology and the future of work, social change/justice, young workers, youth activism, and unions, in both Canada and the African continent, specifically Southern Africa. His work seeks to understand workplace dynamics, from knowledges and the transfer of knowledges within the workplace, generational and otherwise, to the power of work and workers, as well as ways in which change takes place within the workplace. His work also looks at young workers, their role and space-making (self-determination) within the area of work; the power of and challenges for young workers. Tshweu is also not only a labour activist and leader, but a keen researcher of unions, to see how they have or are evolving and their role in society.

Keywords: Education, Labour, Unions, Social Change/Justice, Young Workers/Activism

Emiko Newman's Photo


Emiko Newman

MEd student

Emiko is a master’s student in Social Justice Education with a collaborative specialization in Environment and Health. She is passionate about exploring intersections of social justice and climate justice, seeking connections between climate change and injustice and violence committed against marginalized communities. Prioritizing an intersectional environmental justice framework, Emiko seeks to assess ongoing projects such as the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion in order to more equitably evaluate potential risks. Emiko is guided by questions such as: How can an awareness of power relations, coloniality, and intersecting layers of domination shape environmental and health assessments? In what ways do space, place, and race shape the struggles of immigrant settler colonial communities?

Keywords: Intersectional Environmentalism, Climate Justice, Decolonization, Settler Colonialism, Environmental Racism