PhD Students

Joanne Azevedo

Photo of PhD student Joanne Azevedo Academic History: BA (University of Waterloo, 1987), BSW (York University 1993), MSW (York University, 2004)

Research Interests:
Child Welfare, Sanism, Critical Race Feminism, Social Policy and Feminist Political Economy

Dissertation Title: 
Working Title: Service Implications related to Working conditions for Child Welfare Workers in Ontario.

Professional Experience:
Over 2 decades of frontline child welfare work and over 2 decades of frontline union activism

Chapman, C., Poole, J., Ballen, R and Azevedo, J (forthcoming) “A Kind of Collective Freezing-out:” How Helping Professionals’ Regulatory Bodies Create “Incompetence” and Increase Distress. In Bonnie Burstowed. Psychiatry Interrogated, Chapter 3. Palgrave.

Azevedo, J. (2004) ""What we can learn from children in care who repeatedly self-harm?” MSW dissertation, York University (Academic Advisor, Dr. Brigitte Kitchen)

Lectures & Presentations:

June 3 2015 – ‘Us and them: The impact of mental health diagnosis for practicing social workers in Ontario.’ Part of panel presentation at Congress of the Humanities; In whose interests? Un/Fitness to practice, ‘mental health’, and the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

June 2, 2015 – ‘Us and them: The impact of mental health diagnosis for practicing social workers in Ontario.’ paper presentation for CDS, Congress of the Humanities.

September 25, 2012 – Workplace Bullying in Child Welfare: Implications for anti-racist & anti-oppressive practice. York University School of Social Work symposium.

Marisa Barnhart

photo of Marisa BarnhartAcademic History: MSW (Carleton University), Hons. BA in History (Trent University)

Research Interests:
Competency logics, the disciplinary and colonial contours of competency, critical social work, professional subjectivities, biopolitical governmentality

Professional experience:
Over 10 years clinical experience in child and youth mental health. My current work is as a social worker in a hospital, working with survivors of sexual violence and intimate partner violence.

Publications/Conference Presentations:
Barnhart, M. (2016). Review [Review of the book Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States, by A. Simpson]. Canadian Review of Social Policy.

Barnhart, M. (2018).  Oppositional Defiant Disorder: The psy apparatuses and youth resistance.  Journal of Progressive Human Services, 29(1), 6-27.

Conference Presentations

Barnhart, Marisa, Chizuru Nobe-Ghelani, Julia E. Janes, Maria BernardDisturbing Inclusionary Technologies of Colonial and Racial Governance. Toronto: Canadian Association of Social Work Education, Congress 2017, May 31, 2017.

Barnhart, Marisa. Investments in Competency: The Canadian debates concerning the development of a National Competency Profile. Toronto: York University School of Social Work, Research Symposium 2017, April 21, 2017

Barnhart, Marisa. Visual discourse analysis and Ottawa: Canadian

Barnhart, M. & Hermiston, A.  Why does everybody pick on the fat kid?  Moral regulation and the construction of at-risk subjects. Toronto:  National Social Work Conference, May 25, 2008.

Barnhart, M.  Negotiating citizenship and the entrepreneurial self: Funding, income assistance, surveillance and resistance in the advanced liberal society.  Saskatoon:  Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work, Congress 2007, May 31, 2007.

Morris Beckford

Academic History: Hons. BA (York University, 2004), B.Ed (York University, 2005), M.Ed (University of Toronto - OISE, 2011), Community Health Leadership Certificate (Rotman School of Management, 2013), Health Quality Ontario, IDEAS QI Designation and Cert. (U of T), York University School of Social Work Doctoral Student (2016-Present)

Research Interests:
Leadership: Race and Leadership, Masculinity and Leadership, Diversity, Social Inclusion and Leadership; Non-profit organizations; Community Development and Engagement
Dissertation Title
“A Raisin in a Box”: The Experiences of Racialized Black Males in Leadership Roles in the Non-Profit Sector 

Professional Experience:
2019 – Present  Humber College, School of Social and Community Services
2016 – Present  York University, School of Social Work
Teaching Assistant
2013 - 2018   Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services
Director, Community Health and Wellness
2009 - 2013  Doorsteps Neigbourhood Services
Executive Director
2005 - 2009  Doorsteps Neighbourhood Services
Program Manager

Relevant Professional Affiliation/ Memberships/Service
Ontario College of Teachers, Member
Branded Youth Marketing Conference, Co-Founder
York U. School of Social Work’s Global Local Community Engagement Committee, Member
Humber College Bachelor of Community Development, Program Advisory Member

Journals and Magazines
Beckford, M (2018) Epistemology and community-worker education: Questioning the knowledge we value/ valuing the knowledge we question. Whanake: Pacific Journal of Community Development.

Beckford, M; Alamgir, A; Janczur, A; Nerad, S; Saroli, M. (2017) “Implementing an Evaluation Audit Practice: Access Alliance Case Study”.  Canadian Executive Magazine.

Beckford, M. (2012) “Boss Man: Damieon Royes”. Toronto: Boss Magazine pp 17 – 18

Book Chapters
Beckford, M (2017) “Balancing Act: Community agency leadership in Multiethnic/ Multiracial communities”. In Gary Craig (ed). Race, Ethnicity and Community Development. Bristol: University of Bristol Policy Press.

Beckford, M (2018). Access Alliance Youth Program Evaluation. Toronto.
Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services; Beckford, M (2017). Promoting Green Living and Environmental Leadership among Newcomer Communities: Determinants, Challenges and Planning Implications. Toronto.

Beckford, M and Wedderburn-Johnson, J. (2017) Local Economic Development Re-Activation Project Report. Toronto: Delta Family Resource Centre.

Beckford, M; Burdon, J; Black, N; Heward, D; Moyer, R;  Mohammed, K; Melro, S; Rugeles, N; Singh, M; Steele Gray, C;  (2012) “Outcome Evaluation Framework and Tooklit”. Toronto: York Institute for Health Research.

Beckford, M (2017) “Locating Self” YouthRex Online Lecture Series

Beckford, M (2014, November) What Would You Do With 3.75?” Toronto: Newcomer Health Matters.

Conference Presentations and Lectures
Beckford, M (2018) Accessing the Green: Access Alliance's Green Access Action Research Project. International Federation of Settlement Conference, 2018. Helsinki, Finland.

Beckford, M; Anucha, U; Anucha, R; Srikanthan, S (2018) The Politics of Evidence: The Youth Rex Model for Supporting Youth Sector Organization with Program Evaluation. Society for Social Work Research, 2018. Washington, DC, USA.

Beckford, M (2017) Colouring the Sector:  Missing Voices, Wasted Opportunities, Redefining Ways to Include People of Colour in Non Profit Leadership Roles. ACDA & IACD Community Development Conference 2017. Auckland, New Zealand.

Beckford, M (2016) Creating Inclusive Workspaces, Panelist at Diversity Conference. Toronto, Canada.

Beckford, M; Duff, L; Harper, L (2015) Community Hubs, an Opportunity to Catalyze Neighbourhood Change at Building Opportunities Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Beckford, M; Green, E.  (2014) Building Community Wealth through Vertical Revitalization at Community is the Answer, Glasgow, Scotland.

Maria Bernard

photo of maria bernardAcademic History: MA in Journalism & Communication (Carleton University), B.Ed English - Junior/Intermediate (University of Western Ontario), Hon. BA in English and Communications - Double Major (York University)

Research Interests:
Inclusion/exclusion of racialized youth, examining how positive inclusionary technologies of power such as participation reinforce racial neoliberal order. Utilizing critical race theories, and Foucauldian racial biopolitics and governmentality framework

Professional experience:

Collective Impact for Toronto Youth (CITY), Toronto ON, Backbone Project Staff (Part Time), 2014 - 2016.

Ryerson University & York University, Toronto ON, Project Coordinator 2014 - Spring 2015. Project Coordinator- Elder Abuse in Immigrant Communities

For Youth Initiative (FYI), Toronto, ON, Director of Programs and Sustainability, 2012 – 2013. Director of Community Engagement and Communications, 2010 – 2012.

Canadian Tamil Youth Development Centre (CanTYD), Toronto, ON, Programs & Operations Manager, 2008 – 2010.


Bernard, Maria. (Spring 2016). Politics of Youth Inclusion & Affirmative Governmentality: Youth Voice in Policy & Practice. Canadian Review of Social Policy, 75. (Refereed)

Anucha, U., & Bernard, M. (Spring 2017). The Well-Being Of Youth From Immigrant Families. In M. Chung Yan, and U. Anucha. (Eds), Working with Immigrants and Refugees: A Handbook for Social Work and Other Human Services. Toronto: Oxford University Press (Refereed)

Conference Presentations:

Bernard, M. (2016). Exploring Institutional Racism in the Youth Sector & the Included Racialized Other.  National CASWE-ACFTS Conference. Calgary, ON. June 1.

Matsuoka, A., Guruge, S., Bernard, M. & Giacomini, M. (2015). Looking at elder abuse in the face of Canada's changing older population: Respecting strengths and resilience of older people, 44th Annual Scientific and Educational Meeting, Canadian Association on Gerontology, Calgary, AB. October 24.

Bernard, Maria. (2015). Understanding Global Citizenship and Plural Identities: Canadian Tamil Youth's Practices of Belonging in a Time of Crisis in their Homeland. Social Work at the Intersection of Ideas, Languages and Cultures. National CASWE-ACFTS Conference. Ottawa, ON. June 3.

Bernard, Maria. (2015). Spaces of Youth Participation: Practices of Governmentality, Self-Surveillance and Performativity. Critical Social Work Research Symposium. Toronto. ON. May 8.

Bernard, Maria. (2015). Global Citizenship Education: Moving from Epistemological Blindness to Seeing Complex and Layered Identities. Sovereignties & Colonialisms: Resisting Racism, Extraction and Dispossession. Critical Ethnic Studies Conference. Toronto, Ontario. On. May 2.

Guruge, S., Matsuoka, A., Bernard, M., Seifi, S. (2015). Focusing on Leadership, Resilience and Capacity Building to Address Elder Abuse in Immigrant Communities: Lessons Learned. Poster Presentation. Faculty Achievement Celebration at Faculty of Community Services, Ryerson University. Toronto, ON. April 2.

Michael Brown

Academic History: PhD Candidate (York University), MSW (Wilfrid Laurier University),
BSW (University of Waterloo), Social Services Diploma (Conestoga College), BA in Philosophy and Religion & Culture (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Research Interests:

Social Work; Poverty; Social Change; Community-Based Research; Canadian Social Policy; Corporate Social Responsibility Activities of Leading Companies

Dissertation Title:
Studying Corporate Social Responsibility Activities for Low Income Individuals and Communities at the Canadian Banks

Professional Experience:

Outreach Worker and Affordable Housing Policy in Kitchener-Waterloo, 2004-2011, 2016-present.

Co-Founder and Volunteer for Voice and the Voiceless Productions, Inc. (documentary company), Waterloo, 2002-2006.

Publications/Conference Presentations:
Good Gingrich, L., Swift, K. & Brown, M. (2016). Social work education: The challenge of neoliberalism. In I. Taylor, M. Bogo, M. Lefevre, and B. Teater (Eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Social Work Education.

Brown, M. (September, 2012). Critical discourse analysis of bank documents. Paper presented at the PhD Social Work symposium, York University, Ontario.

Fiona Edwards

Academic History: BA in Sociology, MSW (York University)

Research Interests:
Youth mental health, specifically the experiences of Afro-Caribbean youth who are diagnosed with a mental illness and the role stigma plays in influencing help seeking behaviours and attitudes.

Professional Experience:
I am a registered social worker providing psychotherapy/counselling support to youth and their families. I hold an advanced certificate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Additionally, I am a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor providing Mental Health First Aid training and education to adults who interact with youth to better assist in responding to a mental health crisis situation and to recognize signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder. I am also a registered safeTALk trainer whereby I train youth and adults in suicide awareness to better identify and support a person who is having suicidal ideation.

Jasmine Ferreira

Academic History:  BA (University of Ottawa)
MSW (Wilfrid Laurier 2013)

Research Interests:
Social Work, Nature & Ecology, Critical Animal Studies, Social Justice, Mental Health

Professional Experience:
Jasmine Ferreira has worked in non-profit settings for 10+ years. Her work experience includes direct practice, psychotherapy, outreach, program delivery, communications, health care policy, employment counselling, and crisis intervention. A Registered Social Worker in Ontario, she also has her Child and Youth Counsellor (CYC) designation.

Lectures & Presentations
Begun, S., Ferreira, J., McSween, V., & Rankin, V. (2018, November). Advocacy in Action Across the Lifespan of Your Social Work Career. Presentation to the Ontario Social Work Provincial Conference, Toronto, ON

Ferreira, J., Matsuoka, A., & Sorenson, J. (2018, October). Barriers to Inclusion of Animals in Ontario Social Work Practice. Presentation to the Animals and Us: Research Policy and Practice Conference, Windsor, ON

Ferreira, J. (2017, May). Mood Walks for Youth in Transition. Presentation to the National Aboriginal Physical Activity and Wellness Conference, Guelph, ON

Ferreira, J. (2017, March). Mood Walks for Youth in Transition. Presentation to the Canadian Parks Conference, Banff AB

Ferreira, J., & Mitchell, S. (2016, September). Mood Walks for Youth in Transition. Presentation to the Annual Canadian Mental Health Association National Conference, Toronto, ON

Kuir ë Garang

Academic History:  Master of Arts - Integrated Studies (MA-IS), Athabasca University (2016)
Graduate Philosophy Courses at the University of Calgary
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy (Major) & Political Science (minor), McGill University (2007)

Research Interests
International Social Work, Race, Racism and Identity, Practical Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Race, Leadership and Institutionalism, Human Rights

Dissertation Title:  Working title: Morality of Blackness

Professional Experience
Graduate Teaching Assistantship at York University
Immigrant settlement practitioner at Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth at both the front line and leadership level for over nine years.

Media Appearances

Book Chapter
Garang, K. (2018). “Failed Leadership: Corruption, Kleptocracy, and Democratic Exclusion.” In Steven C. Roach & Derrick K. Hudson (Eds.), The Challenge of Governance in South Sudan: Corruption, Peacebuilding, and Foreign Intervention. New York: Routledge.

Journal Article
Garang, K. (2016). Rethinking Race and Racism. Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies R & D, 1 (6).

Independently Published Books
Garang, K. (2017). South Sudan: The Dying Optimist in Me (Political Essays: 2004 -2013): Calgary: The Nile Press.
Garang, K. (2013). South Sudan Ideologically: Tribal-Socio-Democracy, SPLM Ideologues, Juba Corruptocrats, Khartoum Theocrats and their Time-Frozen Leadership, Calgary: The Nile Press, 2013
Garang, K. (2013). Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful? Dehumanizing Ethics of Descriptions and Vilifying Philosophies of Naming. Calgary: The Nile Press.
Garang, K. (2017). Angelina and Adut and Their Multicultural Trifles. Calgary: The Nile Press.
Garang, K. (2013). The Pipers and the First Phase. Calgary: The Nile Press.
Garang, K. (2013). Deng Nyan-Nhialdit and the Talking Crow. Calgary: The Nile Press.
Garang, K. (2016). The Carcass Valley. Calgary: The Nile Press.
Garang, K. (2012). Exegesis of Despotism. Calgary: The Nile Press.
Garang, K. (2016). Twilight Murders, Other Poems and Essays. Calgary: The Nile Press.

Lectures & Presentations
Garang, K. (2018). The effects of Tribalism on Leadership, Institutional Development and Coexistence. July 30, 2018. South Sudan Youth of Canada Conference. MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta.
Garang, K. (2015). Settlement Hopes and Settlement Despair: From Hopelessness of Refugee Camps to The Complexity of Canadian Life. October 31. Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) ESL Conference. Delta Lodge Kananaskis, Alberta.
Garang, K. (2014). The Role of South Sudanese Diaspora in Peace Building in South Sudan. Dialogue on South Sudan. September 27. Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Garang, K. (2012. Feb.16). When Are You a Refugee?: A War-child’s Perspective on Multiculturalism. Calgary Teachers’ Convention.
Garang, K. (2014, July 8). Immigrant Settlement Sector and Refugee life. Panel Presentation to Social Work Students. University of Calgary. (Dr. David Este’s course)

Personal Website:

Chizuru Ghelani

Academic History: MSW (Wilfrid Laurier), BA in Global Studies (Wilfrid Laurier), BA in English (Kansai Foreign Language University, Japan)

Research Interests:
Critical social work, non-status migrants, citizenship, border, the politics of human rights, settler colonialism, construction of refugeeness

Dissertation Title:
(Working title) - The politics of citizenship in settler colonial Canada: Social work with non-status migrants in the city of Toronto

Professional Experience:
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture, Riverdale Immigrant Women's Centre

Conference Presentations:
June 1-4 , 2015, “Towards critical social work with non-status migrants – Theoretical approaches”, Canadian Association for Social Work Education, Ottawa, Ontario

May 24-26, 2013, “Emergence of ‘refugees’ in Japan - Discourse analysis of Indochinese/ Vietnamese arrival between 1975-1981”. The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies, Osaka, Japan

May 28-31, 2012, “The politics of knowledge production in social work - The case of “refugees”. Canadian Association for Social Work Education, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario

April 27-28, 2012, “In/Justice in refugee advocacy”. Centre for Refugee Studies Graduate Student Conference, York University, Toronto, Ontario

February 10-12, 2012, “Refugee making and national identity in Japan”. 21st Annual Columbia Graduate Student Conference on East Asia, Columbia University, New York City

Catherine KaptynPhoto of PhD student Cathy Kaptyn

Academic History:

York University, School of Social Work, PhD Candidate,
MSW (York University), Hons. BA in Social Work (York University), Hons. Addiction Studies Certificate (McMaster University), Certificate Program, TAPE, Introduction to Mental Health (University of Toronto), BA in Social Sciences (University of Western Ontario)

Research Interests:
Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Gender Issues, Mental Health, Addiction, Critical Social Work  Practice and Intersectionality.

Dissertation Title: Walking on Eggshells? A critical ethnography of the social construction of masculinity in Intimate Partner Violence Men’s Programs

Professional Experience:
Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS) Sessional Trainer:  “Collaborating to Address the Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)/Violence Against Women (VAW) and Child Safety”.
Teacher’s Assistant, School of Social Work, York University, Clinical Social Worker in Private Practice and Consultant, Clinical Supervisor, York Region Family Services - (Direct Accountability Program and Partner Abuse Response Program), Co-ordinator Partner Abuse Response Program Family Services York Region, Group Psychotherapist, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Child and Family Clinic, Part-time Group Facilitator, Muskoka-Parry Sound Community Mental Health Service, Addiction Counsellor, York Region Addiction Services, Women’s Counsellor, Men’s Counsellor, Transitional Support Worker, Resolve Program, Family Services and Credit Counselling Services, Community Service Order Program, Probation and Parole, Practicums: Mental Health Social Worker, HIV AIDS Clinic, Sunnybrook Health Sciences, Centre and Case Manager at York Support Services Network (YSSN)

Publications and Presentations:
Trainings for the York Regional Police Department’s Domestic Violence Course
Trainings for new Partner Assault Response Program (PAR) Coordinators, PAR Group Facilitators and Partner Contact Workers
Trainings for York Region CAS workers with respect to the PAR Program and Caring Dads Program
Training Group Facilitators for the Direct Accountability Programs (DAP) including Stop Shop Theft, Alcohol and Drug Awareness and Anger Management
Providing PAR Program presentations for Judges, Crown Attorneys, Victim Witness Office, and defence counsel as well as numerous community agencies

My writing includes a PAR Facilitator Training Manual, a Partner Contact Counsellors Training Manual under the supervision of Family Services York Region (FSYR) and the curriculum for the Ontario Direct Accountability Program (DAP) Anger Management Program under the supervision of the Ministry of Attorney General – Ontario Victims Services.

Najwa Eidda

Academic History: MSW (McGill University, Nov. 2000), Advanced Diploma in Social Work Supervision (Bethlehem University, Bethlehem, Palestine, June 1996), Hons. BA in Social Work (Al-Quds University, Jerusalem, Palestine, June 1986)

Research Interests:
Community-based Action Research, Community Organization, The Philosophy of Voluntarism, Program Planning and Evaluation in Community Advocacy Organizations, Human Rights and Empowerment, Pedagogy under Siege.

Silwadi-Eidda is greatly interested in the organizing experiences and activism of Palestinian women living under Israeli settler colonialism, and their ability to transfer their everyday struggle against multiple sites of oppression to agency and creative methods of resistance. To examine her research subject, Silwadi-Eidda builds on her first-hand experience working for 20 years with women, their children, families, and community who are facing different types of violence from the institutions, policies and practices of the settler colonialism such as home demolitions, limited access to education, family unification, and lack of freedom to move or speak.

For her doctoral research, Najwa hopes to build more space for these women’s experiences and agencies to be heard and recognized. Through the voices and stories of Palestinian women, she hopes to make a contribution to understanding the intersecting relations of power manifest in their experience of organizing to resist the humiliation and injustice that face them everyday.

Professional Experience:
Community Action Center (CAC), Jerusalem 1999-2013. Non-profit rights-based organization, affiliated with Al-Quds University Founding Director.

Jerusalem Community Advocacy Network (JCAN), Jerusalem 2009-2011 Expansion of CAC model to a network of rights-based centers operating in marginalized areas in East Jerusalem Founder & Organizational Consultant.

Jerusalem Unity, Office of the President, Ramallah 2001-2010 EU funded project in the Jerusalem Unit in the Office of the President of the Palestinian Authority Consultant. Commissioned by the Office of the President to conducted community-based research to evaluate the welfare sector in Jerusalem, as part of a multi-sector review.

Legislative Activity
Testimony before United Nations Secretariat of the International Fact-Finding Mission on Israeli Settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory on the impact of settlements in East Jerusalem.

Community Service
The Welfare Association, Ramallah-Palestine; volunteered to coordinate strategic plans of welfare organizations in Jerusalem in accordance with the Presidents Office welfare report (2003-2005); Parent-Teacher Association of the Ramallah Friends School, Ramallah-Palestine; president (2003-2005); The Palestinian Authority’s Elections Committee of East Jerusalem; member (2006); Al-Quds Capital of Arab Culture, Jerusalem; member and organizer in the planning committee of the opening and closing ceremonies (2009-2011); Cooperation International South South (CISS), Hebron-Palestine; facilitated training of group of women activists in Hebron on women’s empowerment in theory and practice (2010); The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), Ramallah- Palestine; conducted training for women elected representatives in municipal councils on community mobilization (2006).

Publications/Conference Presentations:
Invited Conference Presentations
• Silwadi, N. (August, 2012). Community Education: the Case of the Community Action Center; Long Life Learning in Palestine Conference at Glasgow University, UK.

• Silwadi, N. (July, 2011). Community Mobilization and Gender Empowerment in East Jerusalem. Napoli, Milano and Roma; Italy.

• Silwadi, N. and Ben White (May, 2010). Capital Murder: Inside Israeli Authorities’ Regime of Discrimination and Control in Occupied East Jerusalem. Amnesty International, London, UK.

Research Studies
• Silwadi, N. and Mayo, P. (2012, November). Pedagogy under siege: long life learning in Palestine. Glasgow University

• Silwadi, N. (2011, March). Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR): A practical experience expanded community engagement in East Jerusalem. Community Action Center.

• Massarwa, L. and Silwadi, N. (2010, April). Community Case “Wisconsin Plan: From Welfare to Work; Palestinian Action, against Privatization and New Slavery, Community Action Center.

Theophilus OsawePhD student profile pic_Theo Osawe

Academic History: B.Sc. in Political Science & Public Administration (University of Benin, Nigeria), B.A. in Law and Society (York University), M.A. in Public Policy and Administration

Research Interests:
Critical International Social Work (Privatization, Globalization and Knowledge Capitalism in the Global South)

Professional Experience:
I am a Policy/Research Project Coordinator/Program Adviser with the Government of Ontario. Prior to joining the PhD program at York, I worked as a Policy and Project Coordinator with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in dealing with social policy issues. As a Program Adviser with the Office of the Fairness Commissioner, I worked with Ontario's Regulated Professionals to ensure transparent, objective, impartial and fair registration practices for both local and foreign trained professionals.

Hsin-Yun Pengjadenpeng-1

Academic History: MA in Gender Studies (Shih Hsin University, Taipei, Taiwan)- Thesis: In the Face of Marriage: Survival Tactics of Taiwan's Nutongzhis (Lesbians), BS in Mental Rehabilitation, renamed Clinic Psychology (Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan)

Research Interests:
LGBTQ, Gender Studies, Employment Services, Immigration and Newcomers

Professional experience:
Project coordinator at Butterfly, Asian Migrant Sex Workers Support Network,Toronto
Case Manager at Taipei City Employment Services Office, Taiwan
Project manager in Taipei Parents Association of Autism, Taiwan

Wing Yeung Vivian Leung, Yidan Zhu, Hsin-Yun Peng, A. Ka Tat Tsang. (2018). “Chinese Immigrant Mothers Negotiating Family and Career: Intersectionality and the Role of Social Support", British Journal of Social Work. (Online)

Hsin-Yun Peng. (2018). Book review: “Decentering Citizenship: Gender, Labor, and Migrant Rights in South Korea”, Transnational Social Review, 8(3), pp. 339–341.

Hsin-Yun Peng. (2018). “Intersectionality of ethnicity and sexuality: LGBTQ+ newcomers workshop”, Happiness of Yangpu, (22), 46-47. (Printed in Chinese)

Hsin-Yun Peng. (2013). “The Reflection on Sexual Discrimination in Workplace”, edited by Taipei Women’s Center, Department of Social Welfare in Taipei City Government. Taipei Women (86). (Printed in Chinese)

Hsin-Yun Peng. (2011). “LGBTQ Social Movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China: Oral History Chronicle”. Forum in Women’s and Gender Studies 94:76-85. (Printed in Chinese)

Denise Tse Shang Tang, Hsin-Yun Peng. (2010). “The Girl is Looking: Musings on a Young Girl’s Po Subjectivity in Zero Chou Mei-Ling’s Drifting Flowers” in The Research of Taiwan directress 2000-2010. (Printed in Chinese)

Conference Presentations:
Hsin-Yun Peng, Di Tang (2018, Nov). “Asian Queer Women (Im)migrants support project in Toronto”, Poster presentation at Ontario Association of Social Workers Provincial Conference in Toronto.

Hsin-Yun Peng, Elene Lam (2018, Aug). “Life, work, and immigration: Asian migrants sex workers in Toronto”, oral presentation at Social Work and Sexualities Conference in Montreal.

Elene Lam, Hsin-Yun Peng (2018, Aug). “Rights not Rescue: Case study of how migrant sex workers advocate their rights and stop the harm of anti-trafficking campaign and policy”, poster presentation at Social Work and Sexualities Conference in Montreal.

Wing Yeung Vivian Leung, Hsin-Yun Peng (2018, Jul)."Family vs. Career: Negotiating Experience and Mobility of Chinese Immigrant Mothers in Toronto", oral presentation at the XIX ISA World Congress of Sociology in Toronto, Canada.

Hsin-Yun Jaden Peng (2018, Mar). “Overcoming barriers of health care for Chinese Lesbian newcomer couples in Ontario”, Poster presentation in Rainbow Health Ontario’s 2018 Conference: Because LGBTQ Health Matters, Sudbury, ON.

Hsin-Yun Peng, Deng-Min Chuang, Wing Yeung Vivian Leung, Yunxian Huang, Ka Tat Tsang (2018, Jan). “Professionalization and Colonized Body? the Career Rebuilding of Chinese Immigrants in Toronto Canada”, Poster presentation in Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference, Washington, DC, USA.

Wing Yeung Vivian Leung, Hsin-Yun Peng, Deng-Min Chuang, Yunxian Huang, 
Ka Tat Tsang (2018, Jan). “Negotiating between Family and Career: Chinese Immigrant Mothers' Experience and the Role of Community Support in Toronto, Canada”, Oral presentation in Society for Social Work and Research 22nd Annual Conference, Washington, DC, USA.

Hsin-Yun Jaden Peng (2017, Jul). “Ignored Subjectivity: A Critical Review on Chinese Lesbian immigrant Literature”, Oral presentation in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Conference at SungKongHoe University, Seoul, Korea.

Hsin-Yun Jaden Peng (2016, Oct). “Life Experience and Career Plan of Chinese Lesbian and Gay Migrants in Canada”. Oral presentation in Global Labour Research Centre, Graduate Student Symposium 2016, York University, Toronto, ON.

Hsin-Yun Peng (2016, Mar). “Work Conditions and Health of LGBTQ Employees in Taiwan.” Poster in Rainbow Health Ontario’s 2016 Conference: Because LGTBQ Health Matters. London, ON.

Donna RichardsPhD student profile pic_Donna Richards

Academic History: MSW in Social Justice & Diversity (University of Toronto), BSW, Honors (Ryerson University), BA (Sociology, University of Toronto)

Research Interests:
Black women, Caribbean women & mental health distress, access to mental health services, immigration, race, gender & the discourse (or not) of mental illness, post- colonial feminist & critical race theories

Professional Experience:
Over 10 years clinical experience in mental across diverse populations, in both private practice and the governmental sector.

Richards, D.,Gateri, H., and Massaquoi.,N. (2018). The effects if intersectional stigma and discrimination on the mental well-being of Black, LBQ, female youth 18-25 years old. In S. Pashang, N. Khanlou, & J. Clarke (Eds), Youth Mental Health- hope, power, and resilience.

Gateri, H. and Richards, D. (2018). Exploring barriers refugees and refugee claimants experience accessing reproductive health care in Toronto. Literature Review. Journal of Refugee Review. 1 (3), 122-131.

Taylor, D. and Richards, D. (2019). Triple Jeopardy: Complexities of Racism, Sexism and Ageism on the Experiences of Mental Health Stigma among Young Canadian Black Women of Caribbean Descent. Frontiers in Sociology, 4(43), 1-10.

Gateri, H., Richards, D., & Edwards, F.(2020). What is the Psychological Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Social Workers, in Ontario? Journal of Concurrent Disorders

Conference Presentations:
Richards, D. November 2, 2017 -  “When Black Women Start going on Prozac”:Exploring the Experience of Stigma on the Mental Health and Help-seeking Behaviour of Black Female Youth (18-29 years)in Toronto, Ontario.  Strangers in New Homeland Conference, University of Manitoba

Banahene Adjei, P., Richards, D., Gateri, H., & Issahaku, P. May 31, 2018 - “ An Octopus Skating, the sensation of moving while still standing: A critical look at the racial diaries of Blacks in Canada”- at Congress of the Humanities, University of Regina

Banahene Adjei & Richards, D. November 8, 2018- Race to the bottom: Trump`s Election Victory and the Perceived Insidious Greed of Whiteness- Dialoguing and living well together: Decolonizing Conference at OISE

Banahene Adjei, P. & Richards, D. November 9, 2018 – When RIP (Rest in Peace) means `Return if Possible`: The Agony of Seeking Justice as a Black person in the United States and Canada.. Dialoguing and living well together: Decolonizing Conference at OISE

Rahma Siad-Togane

Academic History: Hon. BA in International Development Studies & Sociology – Double Major (York University, 2009), M.Ed. – Language, Culture & Teaching (York University, 2011),

Research Interests:
Surveillance and policing, neighborhoods and housing, urban poverty/income polarization, youth development, race and policing, immigrant and diaspora communities, identity development and citizenship,

Professional Experience:
Over 15 years’ experience in immigration settlement and counselling, health and wellbeing of Black youth and Black immigrant women, and non-profit management (grant-writing, evaluation and curriculum development). Extensive experience in grassroots community organizing addressing community health needs in the areas of housing and victims of community surveillance/ police brutality.

Dissertation Title: Working Title: State Surveillance and Social Control of Urban Poverty and the Racialized Poor


Anucha, U., Srikanthan, S., Siad-Togane, R. & Galabuzi, G.E. (2017). Doing Right Together for Black Youth: What We Learned from the Community Engagement Sessions for the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan. Youth Research and Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX). Toronto, ON.

Siad-Togane, R. (2012). Disproportionalities of Streaming, Suspensions and Expulsions in the Education of Black Youth: Considering the lived realities of Black students living in the inner-city. (Unpublished Thesis). York University, Toronto, ON

Conference Presentations:

Siad-Togane, R. Challenges and Opportunities in Employment and Equity-Seeking Youth. 11th Annual Diversity at Work Conference. Skills for Change, Toronto, Ontario. November 24, 2020

Siad, Togane, R., Anucha, U., Hagar, A., Cromwell, C. Reflection, Engagement and Action against Anti-Black Racism in Ontario- Part II. Scholars Hub. York University, Toronto, ON. June 19, 2020.

Siad, Togane, R., Cromwell, C., Bernard, M., Youth Work in Ontario is… A Provincial Knowledge to Action Exchange: The Youth. The Work. The System, Data and Stories for Action. YouthREX, York University. October 25, 2018.

Siad-Togane, R. & Anucha, U. Growing Roses in Concrete? Problematizing Youth Resilience in a Canadian Urban Neighbourhood. Pathways to Resiliency; Global South Perspectives. Resilience Research Centre, University of Pretoria, South Africa. June 14, 2017.

Siad-Togane, R., Srikanthan, S., Cromwell, C. Social Investments, Neoliberalism, and Ontario’s Youth Sector. Canadian Association of Social Work Education. Congress, Ryerson University. May 29, 2017.

Siad-Togane, R. & Anucha, U. Growing Roses in Concrete? Problematizing Youth Resilience in a Canadian Urban Neighbourhood. A Provincial Knowledge to Action Exchange: The Youth. The Work. The System. YouthREX, York University. October 28, 2016.

Siad-Togane. R. & Trevelayn. Improving Mental Health Services in the Jane and Finch Community: Research with the Afro-Caribbean, Latin-American, Somali, Tamil and Vietnamese communities. Diversity and Mental Health, Hong Fook Mental Health Association. May 3, 2013.

Barrett, S, Barkaoui, K., Alidina, S., Dahya, N., Sameroo, J., Siad-Togane, R. Towards an Inclusive Approach: Opportunities, challenges and next steps. School Community Engaged Education Summer Symposium. York Centre for Education and Community. York University. August 18, 2010.

Gray, B., Brand, D., Siad-Togane, R. Inner-city Youth and Mental Health. Young Leaders Project & Griffin Centre Research Launch. Griffin Centre, Driftwood Community Centre. November, 2008.


Siad-Togane, R. (2021). Lessons from Research and Consultations about Black Youth in Ontario. Centering Black Youth Wellbeing- A Certificate on Combatting Anti-Black Racism. YouthREX, York University.

Siad-Togane, R. The Policy Context of Ontario Youth Work. Critical Youth Work Certificate. YouthREX, York University, January 17, 2019

Siad-Togane, R. The Policy Context of Ontario Youth Work. Critical Youth Work Certificate. YouthREX, York University, November 22nd, 2018

Siad-Togane, R. Social Work Practice with Refugees and Asylum Seekers. Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees Course. School of Social Work, York University. November 21, 2017.

Siad-Togane, R. Honouring the Wholeness of Identities and Communities: Reflecting on the Inter-relatedness of People, Spaces and Struggles. Spirituality and Critical Social Work Course, School of Social Work, York University. June 5, 2017.

Edward Wongprofile

Academic History: York University - Master of Social Work;  University of Toronto - Honours Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies, and Historical and Cultural Geography

Research Interests:
Social work and violence, state violence, processes of racialization, psychiatry/social work and colonialism, mutual aid, social work history, Chinese diasporic history, anti-authoritarianism and anarchist thought
Professional Experiences:
Mental health: Canadian Mental Health Association: Transitional Youth Program; Mental Health and Justice; Safe bed Hong Fook Mental Health Association: Public Education; Community Work
Community Organizing:
No One Is Illegal/Education Not Deportation; Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty; Chinese Canadian National Council - Toronto Chapter and National Office; Ontario Public Interest Research Group - Toronto
Selected Publications:

Wong, E. H. S., & Vega, T. (in press). “Is that man going to be of use to Canada?”: The Construction of Disability in Canadian Immigration Policy as a Means of Social Control. In C. Brooks, M. Daschuk, & J. Popham (Eds)., Exclusion and Resistance: An Introduction to Social Control in Canada. Winnipeg: Fernwood.

Fortier, C., & Wong, E. H. S. (2018). The Settler Colonialism of Social Work and the Social Work of Settler Colonialism. Settler Colonial Studies.

Wong, E.H.S. (2018). The Detachment of Intersectionality from its Black Feminist Roots: A Critical Analysis of Social Service Provision Training Material Based in Ontario. In R. Robbins, & S. Nayak (Eds)., Intersectionality in Social Work : Activism and Practice in Context. London: Routledge.

Wong, E.H.S. (2016). “The brains of a nation”: The eugenicist roots of Canada’s mental health field and the building of a white non-disabled nation. Canadian Review of Social Policy, 75.

Wong, E.H.S. (2012). Not Welcome: A Critical Analysis of Ableism in Canadian Immigration Policy from 1869 to 2011. Critical Disability Discourse, 4.

Conference Presentations:

"The Settler Colonialism of Social Work and the Social Work of Settler Colonialism". Ryerson University. Canadian Association for Social Work Education Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2017.

"The Settler Colonialism of Social Work and the Social Work of Settler Colonialism". York University. York University 10th Annual Social Work Research Symposium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2017.

“The brains of a nation”: The eugenicist roots of Canada’s mental health field and the
building of a white non-disabled nation. York University 9th Annual Social Work Research Symposium, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2016.
“The Foreign Invasion of Canada”: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Representation of
Race, Immigration, and Foreignness in Canadian Mental Hygiene Movement Literature from 1918-1921. York University Social Work Graduate Practice Research Paper Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2013.

Heidi Zhang

Academic history                                 

BA (Sociology and English, University of Toronto)
BSW (York University), MSW (York University)

Research interest
Race and racialization, governmentality and biopower, (post)coloniality, nation building and empire, discourse and subjectivity, critical mental health, critical social work theory and pedagogy

Professional experience
Clinician in mental health services working with children, youth and their families; community mental health case manager and researcher; non-profit curriculum development; lead research assistant for the Canadian Experience Media Project (Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto)

Sakamoto, I., Anum Syed, M., Zhang, H., Jeyapal, D., Ku, J., & Bhuyan, R. (2018). Social work with immigrants and the paradox of inclusive Canadian identity: Toward a critical view of 'difference'. Canadian Social Work Journal 20(1), 88-110.

Zhang, H. (2017). How “anti-ing” becomes mastery: Moral subjectivities shaped through anti- oppressive practice. British Journal of Social Work 48(1), 124-140.

Sakamoto, I., Okamoto, A., Zhang, H., Mifune, J., Kuge, T., Sato-Atiyota, Y., and Reeves, C-T. (2016). Social inclusion of Japanese Canadians: A view from Toronto. Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work & Development, 26(1), 1-18.

Sakamoto, I., Fang, L., Bhuyan, R., Ku, J., Jeyapal, D., Zhang, H., and Genovese, F. (2013). An overview of discourse of skilled immigrants and “Canadian experience”: An English-language print media analysis. CERIS Working Paper Series. No.98, 1-35.

Zhang, H. (2016). The birth of a well-adjusted individual in neoliberal times: self-esteem discourse and its implications on bodies of color. Presented at the 2016 Practice Research Paper Conference. School of Social Work, York University, Toronto, Canada.