Researchers-in-Residence 2023

Wendy Pedersen (she/her/hers)

TERM: JANUARY, 2023 - APRIL, 2023

Wendy Pedersen (she/her/hers) is the Founder and current Executive Director of the Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative Society that employs thirteen full time community organiers and over one hundred tenants to implement tenant-led initiatives in the privately owned hotels with the goal of creating a viable model for tenant governance in hotels and securing the housing stock to prevent homelessness. Wendy has lived and worked in the Downtown Eastside for over three decades. She worked for the United We Can Bottle Depot in the late nineties and founded a social enterprise out of the bottle depot that still operates today called the Potluck Cafe Society. She was a Community Organizer and Researcher for the Carnegie Community Centre Association and during that time worked with hundreds of volunteers to organize dozens of actions most notably the Poverty Olympics and published many Research Reports on the Single Room Occupancy Hotels and on the Community Assets in the neighbourhood. She also founded the Downtown Eastside Street Market and was the Co-Chair of the City of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Thirty Year Local Area Plan. Wendy assisted Skundaal Bernie Williams and her family plus community members to raise the Survivors Totem Pole in Pigeon Park. She founded the Vancouver Tenants Union and in 2018 helped lead a successful campaign to get Councillor Jean Swanson (Coalition of Progressive Electors) elected as the City of Vancouver’s best ever renters’ City Councillor.

Cliff Gordon Atleo (he/him)

TERM: MAY, 2023 - AUGUST, 2023

Cliff Gordon Atleo (he/him) is a Tsimshian (Kitsumkalum/Kitselas) and Nuu-chah-nulth (Ahousaht) assistant professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He is interested in how Indigenous communities navigate/adopt/resist neoliberal capitalism while working to sustain their unique cultural identities, worldviews, and ways of living. Cliff is particularly interested in how Indigenous leaders continue to assert agency within the constraints of settler colonial politics and economics and work tirelessly to lead their communities in more sustainable directions. He has recently published on planetary health, fisheries science and colonialism, Indigenous water and land relations, and Indigenous community responses to the Trans Mountain pipeline. He is currently working on several exciting research projects on cleaner marine transport, Indigenous community responses to crises such as COVID-19 and climate change, and Indigenous forestry management.

Khari Wendell McClelland


Khari Wendell McClelland is an award-winning musician and creative facilitator who uses the arts and experiential activities for transformational learning. 

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Khari has worked with communities across Africa, Australia, Europe, North America and the Caribbean.

In a world with increasingly complex societal challenges, the need for values-based creative solutions is paramount. ​

Khari helps youth and adults explore core values and creativity as a means to self-actualization, community building and problem solving.

His approach is warm, insightful and engaging.

For Khari's music, visit

Khari's website:

Evelyn Encalada Grez 


Dr. Evelyn Encalada Grez (she, her, ella) is a Latinx Assistant Professor in Labour Studies and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at SFU specializing in labour migration and marginalization in the labour market based on the intersections of immigration status, race, and gender. Her current work is focussed on mobilizing research findings from a community-engaged research project she led on the systemic exclusion of internationally trained physicians from the medical profession in British Columbia at a time of chronic physician shortages. Dr. Encalada Grez is also currently conducting research on the invisible labour undertaken by community organizers who support migrant farmworkers, particularly at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when several farmworkers died in Canadian farms. 

Dr. Encalada Grez is committed to critical feminist Global-South praxis and working across borders. Before her appointment at SFU, she worked as Academic Director of an intensive social justice study abroad program based in her city of birth, Valparaiso, Chile, where she taught university students from the USA to undertake ethical decolonializing community-research with marginalized and indigenous communities in both the north and south of Chile. She has also collaborated with marginalized factory workers who produce consumer-export goods and their grassroots organizations that promoted their rights throughout Central America and Mexico. As Lead Travelling Professor for the International Honours Program run by the Vermont based School for International Training, she also taught global justice issues while travelling with university students and collaborating with various communities in over six countries, such as Jordan, India, Nepal, Senegal and more.

As a community-engaged scholar and public sociologist, Dr. Encalada Grez has mobilized her migrant-labour research through various media including documentaries and given talks in venues such as Parliament Hill to Members of Parliament, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and at the United Nations-NGO division in New York. She is the co-founder of the award-winning collective, Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW; that has promoted the rights of migrant farmworkers within Canada and transnationally for over 2 decades.   

Dr. Encalada Grez’s scholarship and pedagogy are fueled by her own immigrant working class family’s experiences from the Global South. She is dedicated to centring precarious workers’ voices and knowledges to organize and effect structural change for lives and livelihoods premised on dignity, well-being, and liberation.

For more about her work see:

Faculty page: Evelyn Encalada Grez - Labour Studies - Simon Fraser University (

Bruce Mutsvairo


Bruce Mutsvairo is a Professor in the Department of Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. He studies the relationship between journalism and democracy in non-Western contexts, primarily exploring digital and data dissidents, journalists and activists' use of online-based technologies, including social media platforms to influence political and social change across the Global South.