Shahrzad Mojab

Principal Investigator

Shahrzad Mojab, scholar, teacher, and activist, is internationally known for her work on the impact of war, displacement, and violence on women’s learning and education; gender, state, migration and diaspora; Marxist feminism and anti-racism pedagogy. She is professor of Adult Education and Women’s Studies at OISE/University of Toronto and the former Director of the Women and Gender Institute. Her recent publications are Marxism and Feminism (2015); Educating from Marx: Race, Gender and Learning (co-edited with Sara Carpenter, 2012); and Women, War, Violence, and Learning (2010). A unique feature of Shahrzad’s work is making knowledge accessible to public through the use of arts such as story-telling, dance, drama, painting and film. The films are: Samjana: Memoirs and Resistance (2007) is based on her research on women in the post-war Nepal and their role in the peace process; Talking Prison, Creating Art and Making Justice (2010) is a documentary based on an-art based project funded by the Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council; Behind the Stained Walls (2011) is dance representation of women’s prison experience; and Dancing for Change (2015) is based on her decades of research and work with Kurdish women which captures their yearning for secularism and socialism and their dreams and desires for a just world. She is a collaborator on a recently awarded project by Ontario Arts Council’s Creative Engagement Fund.

Sara Carpenter

Principal Investigator

Sara Carpenter has worked as a community adult educator in migration, feminist, and anti-poverty movements. Currently she is an Assistant Professor in the Adult, Community, & Higher Education specialization in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. Specializing in critical interrogations of civil society, democracy, and political participation, her recent publications has appeared in the International Journal of Lifelong Education, International Studies in Sociology of Education, and Discourse: The Cultural Politics of Education, and include Educating from Marx: Race, Gender, and Learning (co-edited with Shahrzad Mojab 2011) and forthcoming texts on civic engagement as well as youth and adult education.

Genevieve Ritchie

Researcher and Project Coordinator

Genevieve Ritchie is a doctoral candidate in Adult Education and Community Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). In 2017 she received the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship (SSHRC) for her dissertation research with refugee youth. Genevieve’s research aims to materially situate the lived realities of refugee youth, and to interrogate the political economy of displacement and the NGOization of resettlement. Her most recent publications can be found in the International Journal of Lifelong Education and Globalisation, Education, and Societies.

Shirin Haghgou


Shirin Haghgou has worked as an educator and community organizer with newcomer youth in Toronto. Shirin managed the first ever project in Toronto addressing issues of gender identity and sexual orientation within the Farsi speaking diaspora. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the department of Adult Education and Community Development at the University of Toronto.

Wesal Abu Qaddum


Wesal Abu Qaddum is a PhD student in the Leadership, Higher and Adult Education Department at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. She worked as a social worker for several years at different organisations in the Greater Toronto Area serving newcomers, youth, seniors, and families. As she moves forward in her work, she hopes to engage in more systemic and policy level changes to address the needs of the communities she cares about.


Bahar Biazar is a professor of academic English as an Additional Language at the English Language Institute at Seneca College in Toronto. Her scholarly interests are English language education for social transformation, active citizenship, and democracy. She has developed the Dialectical Teaching Method for teaching English as an additional language. She has done extensive work on the effects of violence on learning as well as language learning for refugees. Most recently, she was co-editor of TESL Canada Journal’s issue entitled Refugees in Canada: ESL for Resilience an Empowerment. 

Chandni Desai is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in the Equity Studies program at New College. She was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois Chicago at the Social Justice Initiative (2016-2017). She is currently working on a book manuscript that maps the radical tradition of Palestinian resistance culture. The book examines the relations of settler colonialism and capitalist imperialism across settler colonial geographies through an interdisciplinary analysis of Palestinian cultural-resistance practices and their critical intersections with the tactics of colonial dispossession, warfare and genocide. Desai is a collaborator on the Youth, War, and Migration SSHRC funded project with Dr. Mojab and Dr. Carpenter, and one of the co-coordinators of the Youth Activism and Community Initiative at the University of Toronto. Desai has been the recipient of the American Education Research Association (AERA) Division B Outstanding Dissertation Award (2017) and the June Larkin Pedagogy Award (2018-2019). She has also been a community organizer in grassroots movements locally and transnationally for over a decade.