Citizenship, Equity, Rights, Community, Inclusion and Social Justice


Current Graduate Students

Andrea Choi

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Andrea Choi.

Research Interests

Racism in education; North American universities; alternative pedagogical approaches; the production of geographical knowledge; Critical Race Theory; Canadian nationalism; place.

Current Research

The slow-growing demographic of racialized geographers has raised a number of vital questions about the nature of the discipline. Despite a steady increase in visible minority populations in both the United States and Canada, the practice of geography and the bodies of geographers remain predominantly white. For my doctoral research, I am examining the relationship between the historical/colonial origins of the discipline of geography and the evolution of anti-racist geography in the US and Canada. During this research, I will illustrate the factors perpetuating racism within geography by investigating the factors allowing for the continued weight of whiteness in the practice of geography. By tracing of the progression/regression of geographic thought through the oral histories of geographers of colour engaged in anti-racist geography, I seek to provide the lineages between individual geographers and contemporary understandings of the role of race within the practice of geography.

Nel Coloma-Moya

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Nel Coloma-Moya.

Research Interests

My research interests lie within the fields of social, cultural, and political geography and cover a range of topics including racism/anti-racism, citizenship, institutional geographies, geopolitics, and human rights strategies. My Masters work examined the experiences of racism of second generation Canadians of colour and their influence on feelings of belonging in Canada. In my doctoral research I look at the institutionalized anti-racism initiatives of organizations and the factors that influence their effectiveness. Combining a range of qualitative methods, I assess the factors that influence the strategic directions and decisions of the organizations through an examination of three different research sites and their respective policy interventions. The research contributes to geographical knowledge of the processes of institutional social change at a range of sites from the local to the international. By positioning institutionalized anti-racism initiatives as the focus of study, this research fills a gap in geographical literature in anti-racism.

Alexandra Giancarlo

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Alexandra Giancarlo.

Research Interests

A sample of my research interests include critical race studies, the American South, the negotiation of identity in public spaces and its connection to citizenship, qualitative research methodologies, mobility, and disability studies.

My Master’s research focused on the post-Hurricane Katrina recovery of the New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, an area that experienced profound devastation in the wake of the storm and came to epitomize the racial and socio-economic disparities in aid and recovery efforts. My doctoral research focuses on the racial politics and cultural activism of Louisiana Creoles with particular emphasis given to their practice of trail riding (recreational horseback riding), which I contend functions as a highly visible display of their rural heritage and constitutes a locus of identity for Creoles. I have also edited and authored publications in the field of critical disability studies as well as disability-related policy.


Shannon, David, Alexandra Giancarlo, and Mary Ann McColl. 2015. “More than voting booths: Accessibility of electoral campaigns for people with disabilities in Ontario.” Canadian Journal of Disability Studies 4 (1): 89-110.

Carney, Jeffrey A., Dylan Wade, Alexandra Giancarlo. 2014. “Five Feet High and Rising: Barriers to Implementing Solutions in Coastal Louisiana.” Proceedings of the 45th Annual

Conference of the Environmental Design Research Association New Orleans, Louisiana.

Colten, Craig E., Jenny Hay, and Alexandra Giancarlo. 2012. “Community Resilience and Oil Spills in Coastal Louisiana.” Ecology and Society 17 (3): 5.

Colten, Craig E., Alexandra Giancarlo. 2011. “Losing Resilience on the Gulf Coast: Hurricanes and Social Memory.” Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, July-August.

Giancarlo, Alexandra, David Shannon, and Audrey Kobayashi. “A New Road for African Nova Scotians With Disabilities: Some Possibilities Arising From The United Nations Convention On The Rights Of Persons With Disabilities,” submitted to the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies (2015).

Shannon, David, Alexandra Giancarlo and Ulysses Patola. “We Were All Equal In The End: Equality, Dignity, Vulnerability And Assisted Suicide In Canada Today,” submitted to the Journal of Law and Equality (2015).

Nemoy Lewis

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Nemoy Lewis.

Research Interests

I’m a fourth year PhD student in Geography, and my doctoral research analyzes the current foreclosure crisis and how it has affected the lives of racialized people, low-income families, and economically disadvantaged communities in two of the hardest hit cities across the United States: Chicago, Illinois and Jacksonville, Florida. To further the work that I have already undertaken in these two cities, I intend to situate the foreclosure crisis as the most recent installment in the long history of racialized inequality in the American housing market. It is my goal that this research may ultimately contribute to the eradication of racial inequalities within the U.S. housing market.

My research interests include: Housing, Social Justice, Critical Race Studies, Urban Policy, Economic Geography and Political Economy.

Sean Patterson

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Sean Patterson.

Research Interests

From 2009 to 2012, I completed my master’s degree under the supervision of Dr. Stefan Kipfer in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. I am now pursuing a Ph.D. in the Department of Geography, undertaking a comprehensive study of the industrial cleaning industry in the Toronto and Hamilton regions. In this project, working with Dr. Audrey Kobayashi and Dr. John Holmes, I seek to examine the advocacy efforts by union and non-union organizations to improve working conditions for immigrant workers. I am particularly interested in employment conditions in the cleaning industry and the union and non-union strategies, and government policies addressing issues related to precarious employment and the service sector. My areas of academic research interest are work, labour and employment and precarious work, and industrial cleaning and the union movement and government policies.


  1. Ph.D. Research (Queen’s University – Geography)
    Supervisors: Dr. Audrey Kobayashi and Dr. John Holmes
    Advocating for Immigrant Workers in Toronto and Hamilton’s Industrial Cleaning Industry

  2. M.A. Research (York University- Environmental Studies)
    Supervisor: Dr. Stefan Kipfer
    An Empirical Case Study of the Workers’ Action Centre: Re-regulating Ontario’s Labour Market from the bottom-up. My master’s research employed an empirical case study of the Workers’ Action Centre in Toronto to explore how labour markets are being reshaped and legislation strengthened to mobilize workers. My research demonstrated that, in this instance, a nonconventional workers’ organization was instrumental in achieving improved employment standards for precarious workers. My key finding was that colour-blindness to the processes of class exploitation on the part of organized labour hindered the development of solidarity between temporary workers and their permanent co-workers at the scale of the individual workplace. It also hinders non-unionized workforces developing and strengthening relationships at a more macro scale. The race/class dynamic is crucial for labour organizations to take into consideration when attempting to organize workplaces.

Rebecca Pero

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Rebecca Pero.

Research Interests

I completed my Master’s degree in the Department of Sociology at Queen’s University in 2011; my Ph.D. work is a continuation of my Master’s project, entitled “The New Local Governance of Immigration in Canada: Regulation and Responsibility.” I am more specifically interested in immigrant perceptions and experiences of immigration policies, immigration policies in practice in small- to medium-sized Canadian cities and the Local Immigration Partnership model. In addition, I have conducted research and analysis in the areas of surveillance, Latino geographies and border studies and am attentive to issues of social justice and activist methods of research.

Research Contributions

Pero, Rebecca. 2015. Book Review: Liquid surveillance: A conversation by Zygmunt Bauman and David Lyon, Polity Press: Malden, MA, 2013; vii + 152 pp., $12.95 pbk (ISBN 9780745662831). New Media and Society, 17(3): 478-480.

Pero, Rebecca and Harrison Smith. 2014. “In the ‘Service’ of Migrants: The Temporary Resident Biometrics Project and the Economization of Migrant Labor in Canada.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 104(2): 401–411.

Pero, Rebecca. 2014. Book Review: Immigrant settlement policy in Canadian municipalities edited by Erin Tolley, and Robert Young, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal, QC and Kingston, ON, 2011; viii + 331 pp., pbk $29.95 (ISBN 9780773538887). The Canadian Geographer, 58(2): e34-e35.

Research Reports

Egan, Rylan. 2014. Project Evaluation: Enhancing Registered Nurse Job Readiness and Patient Safety Outcomes Through Clinical Simulation report. Produced by the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Queen’s University for the Queen’s School of Nursing. (Researcher).

Qayyum, Adnan and Meyer Burstein. 2012. Organizational Best Practices
of Local Immigration Partnerships. Welcoming Communities Initiative. Produced for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. (Researcher).

Non-Refereed Contributions

Pero, Rebecca and Harrison Smith. 2014. A Five-finger Discount: The Governance of International Migration and Biometric Information-sharing Regimes. Conference Presentation. International Political Science Association World Congress, Montreal, QC. (Co-Presenter).
– Conference presentation, International Political Science Association World Congress, July 2014. Session: “The Technologization of Mobility Governance: Trends and Concerns.” Organizers: Martin Geiger, Carleton University and William Walters, Carleton University.

Pero, Rebecca. 2013. Biometrics and the Economization of Migrant Labour in Canada. Conference Presentation. Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA. (Presenter).
– Conference presentation, Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, April 2013. Session: “Borders, Surveillance, and the New Politics of International Mobility.” Organizers: Harrison Smith, University of Toronto and Martin Geiger, Carleton University.

Pero, Rebecca. 2012. The New Local Governance of Immigration in Canada: Regulation and Responsibility. Conference Presentation. Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, New York City, NY. (Presenter).
– Conference presentation, Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting, February 2012. Session: “Non-Metropolitan Regional Development and Migration.” Organizer: Tim Elrick, University of Erlangen.

Ronald J Roy

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Ronald Roy.

Research Interests

Recent global flows of people and culture bring new challenges to citizenship and belonging. Negotiations of identities are taking place as people migrate to new cities where experiences of exclusion challenge the relevance of social justice. I focus on people’s social constructions of difference and how these differentiations impact people’s lives as they move through places in the city.

My current research considers the experiences of recently arrived French-speaking people in minority Francophone cities in Canada. In the French places of the city – such as community centres, schools, health centres, and Francophone organizations – race and language differences are foremost in challenging newcomer “integration” and how members of Francophone minority communities imagine themselves and the world around them.

My subsequent research involves the expanded use of mobilities in qualitative methods and looking at how new media technologies impact migration.


Roy, R.J. (Forthcoming). Acadian Nationalism on parade: The diversity of National Acadian Day. In Celebrating Canada: National holidays, commemoration and identity politics, edited by R. Blake and M. Hayday.

Roy, R.J. with Godlewska A, Leger A, Adjei J, Schaefli L, Finlay J, Whetstone S, and Massey J. (Forthcoming). Place Matters in Learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education.

Roy, R.J. (Forthcoming). The emergence of urban cosmopolitanism: Cultural diversity as commodity in everyday consumption landscapes.

Roy, R.J. (Forthcoming). “Walking Westboro: Examining opposition to neighbourhood intensification in Ottawa, Ontario.”

Roy, R.J. 2013. Book review: Cities in translation : intersections of language and memory.” Urban Studies 50 (5).

Roy, R.J. 2012. “A review of Dix ans d’études urbaines au Québec. Bilan et perspectives d’avenir.” Canadian Geographer/Le Géographe canadien 57 (1).

Conference Presentations

Roy, RJ. 2014. Francophone Places of Inclusion and the Politics of French-Canadian Identity. At the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies Canada: Place, Space, and the Politics of Identity conference. Toronto, Ontario.

Roy, RJ. 2012. Les traits et les formes de l’oppression que rencontrent les immigrants francophones dans les petites villes en Ontario et au Nouveau-Brunswick. At Métropolis. Toronto, Ontario.

Roy, RJ. 2012. The types and forms of oppression faced by Francophone immigrants in small cities in Ontario and New Brunswick. At the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting. New York, New York.

Media Interviews

2012 “Déclin du français au Canada.” Interview concerning Statistics Canada’s report on language use in Canada on Y a pas deux matins pareils. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

2012 “Compressions: recherche sur l’immigration?” Interview concerning Metropolis funding cuts on Y a pas deux matins pareils. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

2011 “La francophonie entre deux communautés.” Interview concerning linguistic communities in small cities on Grands Lacs Café. Toronto: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Ricardo Smalling

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Ricardo has degrees in Geology, Natural Resources Management, and Law. His PhD research focuses on indigenous rights in the Canadian constitutional context with an emphasis on its applicability to non-renewable resource extraction. As part of this research work, and more broadly, his research is concerned with issues of race and the underlying structural biases that indigenous persons in Canada face in the legal system when trying to vindicate their rights. His research also touches on aspects of identity and the role the law plays in shaping identities.

Cheryl Sutherland

Ph.D. Candidate | Email:

Portrait of Cheryl Sutherland.

Research Interests

My research interests include: social geographies of race and gender; geographies of social justice, citizenship, and human rights; place and the construction of community; emotional geographies; activist geographies; and smaller city geographies. I am particularly interested in the ways in which racialized women experience smaller Canadian cities and my PhD research will explore how racialized women negotiate and contest their identity(ies) within this geographic location.

Past Students

Eda Acara

Ph.D. | Email:

Portrait of Eda Acara.

Research Interests

My research interests draw from a number of topics, which include cultural geographies of memory, place and spatiality, environmental geographies of neoliberalism in the Global South and postcolonial and feminist geographies of Middle East. I am also interested in alternative methods for knowledge production and dissemination, such as digital maps and environmental history databases.

With my current PhD dissertation, I look at social constructions of river pollution in Turkey, specifically Ergene River. Located at the Thrace region of Turkey, the Ergene River, a tributary of the Meric (Maritza) River crosses the border between Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. The river is considered a “dead river,” with level four pollution, according to the Turkish Ministry of Environment (2004). Through an examination of environmental narratives and contextualizing these narratives within the neoliberal development and changing environmental governance strategies of the current government, I explore the conflict geographies of pollution across different ethnic local communities and between communities and the state in an era of neoliberal water and pollution governance.

I work in the Editorial Board of Feminist Critique (FE) Journal since 2009, published by Ankara University, Turkey. In the past, some of my articles were published by several non-academic publications such as local newspapers and/or journals.

Academic Publications

  1. Acara, Eda. 2010. “The Militarization of Henna”. Fe Journal 2(2). Ankara, Turkey.
  2. Acara, Eda. 2010. “A Case Study on the discourse of Women`s Conscientious Objection in Turkey”. MA Thesis: St. Mary`s University, Halifax, Canada.
  3. Acara, Eda and Saritas, Ezgi.“Image of Women in new Turkish commercials: I would both be a mother and have a career at the same time”. 2004. 1st Interdisciplinary Meeting on Women’s Studies Symposium Book 2. Yeditepe University, Istanbul

Conference papers and workshops

  1. Acara, Eda. (2012). Colors of the Nation. Paper presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geography (AAG), New York.
  2. Acara, Eda. (October 2011) Water, Fish and Bowl: Translocal Ecologies Mobile Workship. Workshop participant, Kingston, Ontario.
  3. Acara, Eda. (2011). Counter-geographies of non-violence: Discourse of Women`s Consicentious Objectors in Turkey. Paper presentation at Women`s World Conference, Ottawa. (Travel funded by Queen`s University, Geography department).
  4. Acara, Eda. (2011) Sur-veil-ling Borders: The Gaze on Veiled Muslim Women Bodies. Session moderation at Women`s World Conference, Ottawa.
  5. Acara, Eda. (2007). Harem Suare by Pornoscope. Paper presentation at the Annual Meeting of Society for Cinema and Media Studies, Chicago, IL, USA (Travel funded by Science Research Council of Turkey and St. Mary’s University)
  6. Acara, Eda. (2007). Militarism and Nationalism During the Years of War: Cross Comparative Literature of Zabel Yaseyan, Halide Edib Adıvar and Nezihe Muhiddin. Paper presentation at the Women and Gender Studies Weekly Meetings, Middle East Technical University, Ankara.

Meghan Brooks


Portrait of Meghan Brooks.


  • Diversity Consultant at the City of Ottawa (2015-present)
    As a Diversity Consultant, I work with staff to enhance the inclusion in the workplace and equity of the City as an employer. I design and deliver equity related training and other learning opportunities for staff, participate in corporate strategic planning initiatives as means to integrate equity and inclusion as a lens through which the City conducts its business, support the internal staff advice and mediation process, and develop and host events and other programming.
    Check out some of the City’s equity initiatives:

  • Researcher/Editor- City for All Women Initiative (2014-2015)
    As researcher and editor I worked with national partners (including university researchers, municipal staff, and local women’s organizations) to develop “Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities”. The Guide contains information equity issues, examples of promising practices, and tips for enhancing equity and inclusion.
    Check out the guide:

  • Programme Officer at the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (2013-2014)
    As Programme Officer I was responsible for overseeing the implementation of UNESCO’s social science programs in Canada. I managed the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD), a network of over 60 municipalities committed to eliminating discrimination in municipal fields of intervention. In commemoration for CCMARD’s 10th anniversary I commissioned and edited a special issue of Canadian Diversity journal.
    Check out the issue:

Research Interests

My research interests draw from a number of topics including equity, racism/anti-racism, citizenship, belonging, and power. My Masters work examined the experiences of racism of second generation Canadians of colour and their influence on feelings of belonging in Canada. Through my PhD research I explored the factors that enable and constrain organizations doing anti-racism work. I analyzed influence of neoliberalization, backlash and geopolitics on the design and implementation of initiatives and identified strategies to mitigate their effects.

Teaching Experience

  1. Winter 2015 Geography Department, University of Ottawa
    GEG 2109- Canada and its Regions

  2. Winter 2014 Geography Department, University of Ottawa
    GEG 2108- Contested Places

  3. Fall 2012 Geography Department, Queen’s University
    GPHY 227- Cities: Geography, Planning and Urban Life

  4. Winter 2012 Geography Department, Queen’s University
    GPHY 229- Space, Place, Culture and Social Life

Selected Publications

  1. Brooks, M. Forthcoming 2016. “Municipal Knowledge Mobilization in Canada” in Social Development Research to Promote Inclusion in Canadian Cities F. Klodawsky ed. Publisher TBD.

  2. Brooks, M. 2015. “Institutionalized Antiracism: Exploring the Potential of Canadian Municipalities.” Canadian Diversity. Spring 2015.

  3. Brooks, M. ed. 2015. “The Fight is Ours: The Potential of Municipalities to Eliminate Discrimination.” Canadian Diversity. Spring 2015.

  4. Brooks, M. and the City for All Women Initiative. 2015. Advancing Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Municipalities. CAWI, Ottawa, ON.

  5. Brooks. M. 2014. “Effective Institutionalized Antiracism: Backlash, Neoliberalization, and Geopolitics.” PhD Thesis, Department of Geography. Queen’s University; Kingston, ON.

  6. Kobayashi, A., M. Brooks, S. de Leuuw, N. Lewis and C. Sutherland. 2014. “Advocacy in Geography: Getting Personal with the Politics of Social Change.” in Sage Handbook of Human Geography. R Lee et al., eds. Sage Publishers; London.

  7. Brooks, M., V. Fikfak and M. Scarone-Azzi. 2012. “International Coalition of Cities against Racism: A Report of Good Practices”. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Paris, France.

  8. Brooks, M. 2008. “Imagining Canada, Negotiating Belonging: Understanding the Experiences of Racism of Second Generation Canadians of Colour”. Canadian Diversity. Volume 6:2, 75-78.

  9. Brooks, M. 2008. “At Home in Canada? Second Generation Negotiations in Racism and Citizenship”. MA Thesis. Queen’s University; Kingston, ON.

Association Memberships

  1. Canadian Association of Geographers (2006-Present)

  2. American Association of Geographers (2008-Present)

Paula Loh

M.A. | Email:

Portrait of Paula Loh.

Research Interests

I am interested in exploring Aboriginal identity, specifically how modern Aboriginal artists express their identity through their artwork as a means of communicating to the non-Aboriginal population of Canada. Traditionally, Aboriginal identity has often been expressed in art in a romanticized manner, using roles such as hunters and keepers of the land. This portrayal is a means of reinforcing a national identity of a pristine northern wilderness but does not reflect the modern reality of the majority of Canada’s Aboriginal population, as 54% now live in urban centres (2006 Census).

Roselyn Salvador

M.A. | Email:

Portrait of Roselyn Salvador.

Research Interests

I have an interest in exploring the socioeconomic consequences of female care givers who, through the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP), have chosen to migrate from the Philippines to work in the Canadian informal eldercare sector. My master’s thesis will examine the care arrangements and kin impact for multi-generational family members left behind in the Philippines.

Sarah de Leeuw

Ph.D. | Email:

Associate Professor, University of Northern BC
Office: 9–383, Dr Donald Rix Northern Health Sciences Centre
Phone: 250-960-5993

Further information:
Website: The Health Arts Research Centre website

Nathaniel M Lewis


Lecturer, School of Geography, University of Southampton

Further information:

Emilie Cameron

Ph.D. | Email:

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Carleton University

Further information: