Upcoming IIRP Events
Intersectionality Reading Group
Intersectionality Policy Group
Past IIRP Events

Intersectionality Reading Group

Since its inception, the Intersectionality Scholars Reading Group has grown from 13 to over 50 members representing faculty, community-based researchers and graduate students from a variety of disciplines, including health sciences, public policy, political science, social work, geography, criminology, Indigenous health, and interdisciplinary studies.

The vision for the group emerged from our discussions about shifting the dominant and hierarchical approaches to research, training and mentorship, which often stratify and reinscribe structural inequities in society, as well as a desire to seek new and meaningful ways to work together.  

Themes for the group’s discussions have included: the history of intersectionality theory; gender-based analysis and intersectionality; community-based research and intersectionality; quantitative analysis and mixed methods; mental health and intersectionality; Indigenous methodologies and intersectionality; and spirituality and religion.

Details of Reading Group Meetings can be found here.

If you would like more information about the Intersectionality Scholars Reading Group, please contact Natalie Clark at nclark@tru.ca.

Below is a list of our current members (note: this list is not inclusive of all Reading Group participants). 

Natalie Clark


Natalie’s work is informed and mobilized through her interconnected identities including her English, Welsh and Indigenous ancestry; as a solo-parent of three Secwepmec children; an academic; a community based researcher and counselor.  Natalie Clark has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the UBC, is completing her PhD in Public Policy through SFU,  and is currently on faculty with Thompson Rivers’ University within the School of Social Work and Human Services.  Natalie’s practice, teaching and research over the last 15 years have focused on  youth health within an intersectional framework, including young women’s experiences with issues of sexual exploitation; eating disorders; addictions, Indigenous youth justice and health, violence, trauma and the support needs of girls and women.  Natalie’s doctoral research focuses on the engagement of Indigenous girls in resistance to violence and trauma, including the impact of policy and intersecting policies on Indigenous girls.  Natalie continues to practice and provide training on trauma-informed intersectional girls groups, including the model she co-developed and facilitated for over 12 years in both rural and urban space.  Her recent work is in the development and delivery of Indigenous Rites of Passage groups for youth in partnership with the Interior Indian Friendship Society and School District 73 Aboriginal Programs. 

Olena Hankivsky
(Co-Leader & Faculty Sponsor)

Dr. Olena Hankivsky is an Associate Professor in the Public Policy Program and Director of the Institute Intersectionality Research and Policy at SFU. She is also a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) Senior Scholar in Population Health and a CIHR-IGH Mid-Career Research Chair in New Perspectives on Sex/Gender, Diversity, and Health Reform. Olena specializes in public policy and political theory and has a particular interest in gender, intersectionality and health and social policy.

Kathryn Berry

Kathryn Berry is from Vancouver, BC and recently completed the coursework for her Master's degree in Public Health at SFU with a focus on social inequities in health. She currently works as a Program Assistant for the UBC Division of Aboriginal People's Health.

Sarah Chown

Sarah Chown is a Master of Public Health candidate in the Social Inequities and Health Stream at Simon Fraser University.  She has volunteered and worked in gay men's health since 2009 and is committed to working alongside gay men to address social and health inequities. Before coming to Vancouver, Sarah lived in Iqaluit, Nunavut where she worked with the Department of Health and Social Services to support Inuit health.

Nancy Clark

Nancy Clark has been working as a community mental health nurse in Vancouver city for the past 20 years. Her current research interests include immigrant and refugee mental health and her dissertation is focused on Karen refugee resettlement in BC. Her work examines community capacity to support Karen refugee women's mental health and well-being in the context of resettlement in Canada.  Nancy has a special interest in the intersections of gender, migration, mental health. Nancy is also an IMPART fellow a Canadian Institute of Health Research Funded scholarship program that supports students in the field of mental health and addiction, with a specific focus on the intersections of gender and addiction research training. Nancy is interested in research methods that include postcolonial feminist theory, indigenous epistemology and critical ethnography. Nancy also sits on the spirituality advisory board at Vancouver Coastal Mental Health Services which seeks to address the issues related to the integration of religion, culture and mental health in clinical practice settings.

Beth DeVolder

Beth DeVolder is an Interdisciplinary Studies PhD candidate with a focus in Disability at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Beth holds a Bombardier Scholarship and is the author of The Faces of Disability and Disability Health Research, a primer published by the Disability Health Research Network (2010). Her thesis, Overcoming the Overcoming Story:  A Critical Disability Studies Informed Genealogy, explores the cultural purchase, work and effects of the overcoming narrative. Beth plans to continue with postdoctoral studies and a project entitled, The Silver Lining: Neoliberalism, Philanthropy and the Marketing of Hope.
Beth is a teacher, researcher, activist, songwriter, essayist and, tentative but willing, actor.

Faith Eiboff

Faith is a PhD student in the School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, at UBC. Faith’s program of research is committed to advancing knowledge of the complex inter-relationships between housing and health, with a focus on the intersections of gender, mental health and addictions, and homelessness. She is currently examining the impact of adverse childhood experiences, violence and trauma as potential mediating factors for housing and health-related outcomes among homeless women participating in a housing intervention study in Vancouver.

Mei Lan Fang

Mei is a MPH Student in the Faculty or Health Sciences and Research Trainee at the Centre for the Study of Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health at Simon Fraser University. Mei's research interests include the study of immigrant health, barriers to accessing services and resources as well as social and health inequities and social justice.

Janine Farrell

Janine is an MPH candidate focusing on Social Inequities in Health at Simon Fraser University.  She also works as a research assistant at the Centre for Gender, Social Inequities and Mental Health (CGSM). In addition to her interests in medicalization, feminism, women’s health, and sexuality, Janine's graduate work focuses on critical trans activism and politics, and the health of queer, gender variant, and transgender folks in Canada.  This work is complimented by her recent introduction to Mad discourse and theory at the CGSM."

Olivier Ferlatte

Olivier Ferlatte is a PhD candidate in Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University and the Research Education Director at the Community-Based Research Centre. He is also a research associate at the Institute for Intersectionality Research and Policy. Olivier's research focuses on the application of intersectionality to gay men's health.    
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Alycia Fridkin 

Alycia Fridkin is a PhD Candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University in British Columbia. She holds a Masters in Heath Science in Health Promotion from the University of Toronto, and two undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Health Studies from McMaster University. She has worked or studied in the public health sector for nine years and is currently serving her second term as Student Director of the Canadian Public Health Association. Her main research interests are health inequities, Indigenous peoples' health, and health policy and decision-making.

Alison Gerlach

Alison is an occupational therapist, PhD student and research assistant with Dr. Annette Browne at UBC. Her recent career history and research interests are focused on addressing the health and structural inequities that impact many Aboriginal children and families.

Melissa Giesbrecht 

I am currently a PhD Candidate in the department of geography, SFU. My current research interests involve family caregiving at the end-of-life and aim to explore how the social and physical aspects of 'place' intersect to shape caregiver needs, choices, opportunities, and care outcomes. The purpose of this research is to emphasize the complexity of existing inequities, while disrupting the common notion within policy that Canada’s growing aged demographic, recipients of end-of-life care, and their family caregivers are homogenous population groups with uniform support and service needs.

Daniel Grace

Daniel Grace has a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Victoria, British Columbia (2012). Trained in institutional ethnography by Dorothy E. Smith, his ongoing research interests include global health, HIV/AIDS, legislative reform processes and social inequality. He is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine as part of a Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) funded multidisciplinary investigation exploring the use of new HIV testing technologies for the early detection and response among gay men in Vancouver.

Devon Greyson

Devon Greyson is a health librarian, gender studies teacher, and currently a PhD Candidate in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at the University of British Columbia. Devon's thesis, under the supervision of Youth Sexual Health Team leader Dr. Jean Shoveller, investigates the influence of socially-constructed information practices on the health of pregnant and parenting youth.

Michael Hejazi

Michael is a student of psychological therapies within a transcultural psychiatry perspective at Queen Mary, University of London. His intersectional research traces back the formation of 'diagnostic validities': examining recovery from certain psychopathology, sometimes deemed as innate, hardwired, or biological, by attending to the 'map of the experience'.

Carla Hilario

Carla Hilario is a first year doctoral student in the Nursing program at the University of British Columbia. She is interested in the philosophy and history of evidence and in applying intersectionality to health research. Her areas of research include health promotion and exploring resilience in experiences of health and illness across cultures and among racialized populations.

Gemma Hunting 

Gemma’s research focuses on the application of intersectionality and postcolonial theory to health research, policy, and practices addressing substance use. She has a particular interest in how various axes of identity such as gender, ‘race’, and culture, as well as health inequities more broadly, are framed within dominant health and social discourses. Her current research interrogates how policies addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) shape and respond to women's experiences of substance use.

Eli Manning

Elizabeth (Eli) Manning is a doctoral student in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. Having worked in an HIV community health centre for nearly a decade, she brings clinical experience to her research work in HIV epidemiology, gender, sex, and sexuality. Eli’s Masters in Social Work thesis won the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal award marking her work as the best thesis at the University of Victoria. A piece of this thesis, entitled “Infected Deviants: Reading Epidemiology as Biopower in MSM Research” is published in the Canadian Review of Social Policy. As a Universities Without Walls fellow (2010-11), she was also awarded the Canadian Association for HIV Research New Investigator Award in Social Sciences. Her research interests include: public health policy; gender, sex, and sexuality; critical race theory and Indigenous thought; and feminist post-structuralism.

Sue Mills

Sue is a New Investigator at the BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health and Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. Sue's research interests include chronic disease policies and programs, gender and diversity analysis, disadvantaged populations, health equity, intersectoral policy and program development, knowledge translation, and communities of practice.

Sarah Munro

Sarah is a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies (maternal health services and knowledge translation) at the University of British Columbia. Her dissertation is a qualitative investigation of health communication strategies to support decision making for mode of delivery after a previous caesarean section.

Kristi Panchuk

Kristi Panchuk is a Family Nurse Practitioner and doctoral student at the UBC School of Nursing. The aim of Kristi’s work is to generate insights about how primary healthcare practice can be organized and delivered to address the health effects of systemic inequities that affect high proportions of women living in rural and inner-city communities.

Stephanie Parent

Stephanie is a MPH student at Simon Fraser University and a student with the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children. Her research interests include the intersection of politics, gender, sexuality, and mental health, with a focus on investigating the links between social marginalization and health inequities.

Robin Repta

Robin Repta is a Doctoral Student in the Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, pursuing a degree that spans the fields of public health, nursing, and gender studies. Her CIHR-funded doctoral research looks at the health implications of dating relationships during adolescence and intervention strategies to support teenagers in healthy relationships. Other research interests include the social determinants of health, gender and health research methods, intersectionality, and addressing mental and sexual health inequities among Canadian youth.

Katherine Rossiter

Katherine Rossiter is a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Canadian Observatory on the Justice System's Response to Intimate Partner Violence, and Associate Director of the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, in the School of Criminology at Simon Fraser University. Her research focuses on women's experiences with the criminal justice and mental health systems, intersectional and trauma-informed approaches, and the ethics of trauma-focused research with vulnerable populations.

Setareh Rouhani

Setareh has an MSc in Healthcare and Epidemiology, and is a PhD student in the School of Population and Public Health at UBC. Her research aims to understand the multifaceted interactions between gender/sex, migration, culture, socio-economic status and health outcomes of immigrant and refugee populations in Canada. The ultimate goal of this work is to intervene in the pathways of modifiable risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in a framework that acknowledges migration factors, cultural and gendered/sex differences while respecting the needs and values of this population.

Sarah Rudrum 

Sarah Rudrum is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, UBC. Sarah’s research interests include maternity care and childbirth, health inequities, and intersectionality. Her dissertation will focus on the social organization of maternity care and birth in northern Uganda.

Laura Struik

Laura is currently a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) with a nursing focus at the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Okanagan campus, from where she recently graduated with her Masters in Nursing.  Since her pursuit of graduate studies, she has received several scholarly awards and fellowships, including an ongoing research fellowship from the Psychosocial Oncology Research Training (PORT) program. Her passion for research in the areas of cancer prevention, tobacco control, and social media has led her to present at several international conferences, as well as become a published researcher in the peer-reviewed Canadian Journal of Nursing Research.

Maija Tiesmaki

Maija Tiesmaki is an MSc student in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, and a current fellow of the IMPART Research Training Program. Her research interests include gender and substance use among street-involved and incarcerated populations, the social epidemiology of infectious disease transmission (HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis), and public health and criminal justice policy.



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