POSITION PAPERS

Philip Ackerman

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the university of Toronto, Philip Ackerman has worked extensively as an adult educator in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada. For the past few years Philip has been committed to working with diverse newcomer populations, focusing most of his efforts in working with youth. He has been working as the Resource Development and Youth Coordinator at the FCJ Refugee Centre, where he devotes himself to coordinating an ever-growing youth group, supporting newcomer youth in a variety of different areas, with a particular emphasis on increasing access to services for refugee youth and youth with other forms of precarious immigration status. Alongside his work at the FCJ Refugee Centre, Philip is also part-time faculty at Seneca College, teaching several courses in two different programs. He is also currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Patterns of Dispossession in Canada’s Reception of Refugees

Erin Howley

Erin Howley is an installation and media artist as well as a social innovator whose work spans neighbourhoods, organizations, and landscapes. Erin has a combined 10 years of facilitation, activism, and coalition work within prison and community settings. Her work has addressed issues of urban gentrification, addiction within private and public life, and relationships across prison walls. In addition to Youth in Transition, she has written scholarly critique on the politics of art in connection with issues of addiction, community-engaged art with families who have been affected by incarceration, and educational processes within prison settings. Erin’s art and facilitation practice has been rooted within urban settings, including Dallas, Philadelphia, and Toronto. She has been awarded funding for her projects from the Leeway Foundation, Toronto Arts Council, and Womens’ College Hospital in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited at SCRIBE Video Centre in Philadelphia and Crossroads Gallery in Toronto, and she has held art residencies with The School of Making Thinking and Whippersnapper Gallery. Erin graduated from York University with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies, with a focus on the convergence of community health and community-engaged art processes.

Art and Resilience: Refugee Youth in Transition

Gülay Kiliçaslan

Gülay Kılıçaslan is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at York University. She received her MA degree from Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Her research interests are forced migration, refugee movements, political violence, political mobilization, and Kurdish political movement. She focuses on the impacts of civil war on political participation of civilians in Turkey. Kılıçaslan is currently a research assistant in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul Yildiz Technical University.

Migration and Asylum System in Turkey

Ghadeer Malek

Ghadeer Malek is a writer, spoken-word poet, social researcher, policy professional, and arts-based educator. She has worked in the not for profit sector coordinating, developing, and implementing programs for youth engagement and community development on sociopolitical and economic issues related to migration, women, and war with expertise in the Middle East and North Africa region. She has worked with the Association of Women’s Right in Development (AWID) coordinating the Young Feminist Activism (YFA) program. She is author of Min Fami: Arab feminist reflections on identity, space, and resistance and recently completed a Masters degree in Adult Education and Community Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE).

Migrant and Refugee Justice in Toronto: Activism, Advocacy, and Solidarity

The Making of ‘Refugee Youth’: International Development Agendas on Youth and Democracy in the Middle East

Sardar Saadi

Sardar Saadi is a PhD candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto. His research interests include Kurdish self-determination movement, social justice, autonomy and self-government, welfare state, municipal politics, and urban anthropology. His PhD research project focuses on pro-Kurdish Diyarbakir municipality’s social assistance programs in relation to the Turkish state’s welfare politics in the Kurdish region of Turkey. He is engaged in migrant justice, anti-capitalist, and solidarity activism based in Toronto, and currently the project coordinator of Rojava Media Project.

Refugee Camps in Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan

Sajedeh Zahraei

Sajedeh Zahraei completed her MSW and PhD at the Faculty of Social Work University of Toronto. Her research interests include social determinants of immigrant and refugee mental health, women, war, structural violence and trauma. Sajedeh has 20 years of experience in the mental health field with a particular focus on equity, inclusion, community development, community-based research, partnerships, and collaborations addressing the needs of racialized communities with mental health and addictions issues. She is a sessional lecturer at the University of Toronto and has been working in a variety of capacities at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for the past 15 years.

Refugee Policy Context in Canada