Labour Studies

Department of Sociology & Anthropology and Labour Studies Program welcome Maureen Kihika as Assistant Professor

February 17, 2021

The Department of Sociology & Anthropology and the Labour Studies Program are excited to welcome Maureen Kihika as an Assistant Professor. Kihika’s journey with SFU does not begin here; after completing her MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies at Brock University, she began her PhD at SFU in 2011. Initially drawn to the university’s focus on community engagement and its scholarship, Kihika has also developed an appreciation for the natural beauty of the campus and feels it is important to acknowledge the unceded land on which the university operates. “I am deeply honoured by the privilege of living, learning and working in the beauty of the Coast Salish Territory” says Kihika, emphasizing the need to question the logic and legacies of settler colonial society. 

Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Kihika immigrated to Canada with her family as a young adult. Her experience as a Black woman and an immigrant has helped to shape her academic interests and worldview, and she considers her research to, in part, be “a journey of self-discovery.” Focusing on issues relating to anti-Black racism and its association with identity-shaping, Kihika explores both the personal and the political and seeks “to mobilize knowledge pertaining to the ‘Black experience’…to identify and challenge social structures that reinforce historical legacies of oppression.”

Currently Kihika is working on a project titled “More than a # - Black Millennials Matter! which explores how Canadian Black millennial youth view their school and work experiences in the context of the Global Movement for Black Lives Matter (GM4BLM). Through projects like this one, Kihika is determined to mobilize her research and in turn have a positive impact on social justice issues.

When it comes to teaching, Kihika’s approach focuses not only on instilling knowledge on her students but learning from them as well.  As a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, her method of teaching is continually adapting to the needs of her students while devotedly emphasizing the application of knowledge to real-world concerns. Her advice to students: “Pace yourself, be kind to yourself and take measured steps towards your goal one at a time. You got this!” This semester Kihika is teaching SA 150: Introduction to Sociology.

Welcome to the department, Maureen!