Program Faculty Bios

Joanna Ashworth, Simon Fraser University

Joanna Ashworth (MEd, EdD) is a research associate with CERi, Community Engaged Research Initiative at Simon Fraser University and a researcher with She founded and directed the Professional Programs and Partnerships in the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University (SFU) from 2015-2021. In 2020 she received the Presidents Award for Sustainability Leadership . Joanna is the founder of SFU’s certificate program in Dialogue and Civic Engagement, former instructor at the Centre for Sustainable Development at SFU, and past director of Dialogue Programs at SFU’s Wosk Centre for Dialogue.  

Stuart Poyntz, Simon Fraser University

Stuart R. Poyntz is Professor and Director of the School of Communication and a Director of the Community Engaged Research Centre (CERi) at Simon Fraser University. His work in participatory research has largely involved teenagers in informal learning spaces and art institutes. Dr. Poyntz’s research addresses children’s media cultures, theories of public life, social care and urban youth cultures. He has published five books, including the forthcoming monograph, “Youthsites: Histories of Creativity, Care and Learning in the City” (Oxford UP).

Bonny Ibhawoh, McMaster University

Bonny Ibhawoh is Participedia’s Principal Investigator leading our international network of researchers, educators, practitioners, and policymakers through Phase 2 of the Participedia project. Dr. Ibhawoh is also an expert with the United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development, he is Director of the McMaster Centre for Human Rights and Restorative Justice, Project Director of the Confronting Atrocity Project, and is a professor of Human Rights History and African History at McMaster University.

Tzeporah Berman,

Tzeporah Berman BA, MES, LLD (honoris causa) has been designing environmental campaigns and working on environmental policy in Canada and beyond for over thirty years. She is currently the International Program Director at and the Chair of the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. She is the Co-founder of the Global Gas & Oil Network, the former co-director of Greenpeace International’s Global Climate and Energy Program, and the co-founder of ForestEthics (now

Antonin Lacelle-Webster, University of British Columbia

Antonin Lacelle-Webster is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory in the Department of Political Science at University of British Columbia. He is broadly interested in issues related to democratic theory, democratic innovations, the politics of hope and despair, and the political thought of Hannah Arendt.

Etienne Cardin-Trudeau, University of Toronto

Etienne Cardin-Trudeau is a Ph.D. candidate in political theory in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is working on the political philosophy of Mary Parker Follett and is interested in democratic theory, with a focus on participatory and agonistic views of democracy. His research interests also include Quebec nationalism and Indigenous politics.

Cara Peacock, University of Toronto

Cara Peacock is a Ph.D. student in political theory in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. She is working on decolonial political thought at the intersection of Western political thought, Indigenous feminist thought and Black feminist thought. Her M.A. thesis focused on Idle No More as a space of Indigenous women empowerment.

Justin Langlois, Emily Carr University

Justin Langlois is an artist, educator, and organizer. His practice explores collaborative structures, critical pedagogy, and custodial frameworks as tools for gathering, learning, and making. He is the co-founder and research director of Broken City Lab, the founder of The School for Eventual Vacancy and curator of The Neighbourhood Time Exchange. He is currently an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Integrated Learning in the Faculty of Culture + Community at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Tara Mahoney, Simon Fraser University

Tara Mahoney, (Ph.D) is the research and engagement coordinator and postdoctoral fellow at SFU’s Community-Engaged Research initiative (CERi). Tara’s current research is focused on how to make public participation in academic research more accessible to diverse communities. In partnership with Apathy is Boring she is exploring role of community-engaged research in supporting young people engage with political institutions through the development of a youth-focused run-for-office program and a policy development program.

Jesi Carson,

Jesi Carson is an award winning design researcher and interaction designer specializing in community engagement and creative facilitation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Interaction Design and Master’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Design Research from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Jesi's current roles include Design Technology Lead of Participedia (, Co-director and Board President of the Vancouver Design Nerds (, and Co-founder of the Global Classroom for Democracy Innovation ( She has published and presented her collaborative work at various conferences and scholarly events, including the International Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference, the Participatory Design Conference and the American Institute of Graphic Arts MAKE Conference for Educators.

Selen Ercan, University of Canberra

Selen Ercan is a Professor of Political Science and Director at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. Her research interests include theory and practice of deliberative democracy, identity politics and multiculturalism, and alternative forms of political participation. Her recent publications include Research Methods in Deliberative Democracy (with Asenbaum, Curato, and Mendonça; Oxford University Press, 2022), Mending Democracy: Democratic Repair in Disconnected Times (with Hendriks and Boswell; Oxford University Press, 2020), Deliberative Systems in Theory and Practice (with Elstub and Mendonça; Routledge, 2019).

Hans Asenbaum

Hans Asenbaum is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. His research interests include radical democracy, queer and gender studies, digital politics, and participatory research methods. In 2022 he received the Rising Star Award of the European Consortium of Political Research (ECPR). Hans is the author of The Politics of Becoming: Anonymity and Democracy in the Digital Age (Oxford University Press, 2023) and co-editor of Research Methods in Deliberative Democracy (with Ercan, Curato and Mendonça, Oxford University Press, 2022). His work has been published in the American Political Science Review, New Media & Society, Politics & Gender, and the International Journal of Qualitative Methods.

Ricarco F. Mendonça, Federal University of Minas Gerais

Ricardo F. Mendonça is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil (Brazil). He is a Research Fellow at the Brazilian National Institute for Digital Democracy (INCT.DD) and the coordinator of Margem (Research Group on Democracy and Justice). He also holds fellowships from the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and from Fapemig. Mendonça works in the areas of democratic theory, contentious politics, and political communication. His recent publications include Research Methods in Deliberative Democracy (with Ercan, Asenbaum and Curato); Oxford University Press, 2022), Deliberative Systems in Theory and Practice (with Elstub and Ercan; Routledge, 2019), and Junho de 2013: Sociedade, Política e Democracia no Brasil (with Tavares and Ballestrin, EdUERJ, 2022).

Genevieve Fuji-Johnson, Simon Fraser University

Genevieve Fuji-Johnson is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University. She studies and teaches feminist political thought (with an emphasis on BIPOC feminist scholars), solidaristic scholarship, democratic theory, interpretive policy analysis, qualitative methodology, and a range of current public policy issues. Her current research, with sex worker rights activist, educator, and writer, Kerry Porth, focuses on the governance of sex work in Canadian and US cities. They are currently working on a book project, and corresponding graphic novel, that develops a case for solidaristic scholarship explicitly serving the justice struggles of marginalized communities.

Katherine Walker, University of Saskatchewan

Katherine Walker is Néhiyaw from the Okanese First Nation and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research is informed by broad work experience in the fields of communications, business and Indigenous policy and program development. She has published numerous articles and research reports in collaboration with First Nations governments and organizations and is an OCAP certified researcher through the First Nations Information Governance Centre.

Melissa Williams, University of Toronto

Melissa Williams is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto.  A democratic theorist, her work has focused on questions of egalitarian inclusion and democratic representation under conditions of systemic injustice.  Williams also has a strong interest in comparative political theory and has recently edited Deparochializing Political Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2020).  Her current book project, Democracy after Sovereignty, explores the possibilities of democratic collective agency beyond the state. 

Jonathan Rose, Queen’s University

Jonathan Rose is Professor and Head of the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University. In 2021, he co-wrote a book called “Deliberative Mini-Publics:  Core Design Feature” published by Bristol University Press. His research interests are broadly defined as Canadian politics and public policy with a particular interest in the role of the mass media in democracies and the uses of state communication. His most recent research has focused on deliberative democracy, specifically on citizens’ assemblies as a way to encourage meaningful citizen engagement.

Valérie Paquet, Université du Québec à Montréal

Valérie Paquet is a Ph.D. candidate in communication studies, and a sessional lecturer at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She is interested in practices and discourses that are part of post-oil economy logics, and emerging from social movements of ecological transition. She articulates her reflections in the fields of study in environmental and international communication related to climate change and the possibilities of social transformation.

Am Johal, Simon Fraser University

Am Johal (PhD) is director of community engagement at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, within the SFU Woodward’s Cultural Unit. In 2015, he published “Ecological Metapolitics: Badiou and the Anthropocene”. Johal worked on the Vancouver Agreement, a collective effort to address urban economic and social development. He has also been an advisor to two provincial cabinet ministers (Transportation and Highways; Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers).

Dionne Co, Solid State Community Industries

Dionne Co is the Director of Research at Solid State Community Industries, an economic development agency that builds worker cooperatives within a larger Solidarity Economy in Surrey, BC. Dionne has also co-founded and co-directs City in Colour Cooperative, an urban consulting co-op that produces research and policy work building towards joyful, equitable and accessible cities where people belong. Prior to that, Dionne has been involved in different non-profit organizations internationally and locally around the Lower Mainland. She is also an illustrator and holds a Master’s degree in Urban Studies. She loves reading books and walking with her dogs, Horace and Lila. Visit to learn more about her work.

Astra Taylor

Astra Taylor is a Canadian-American documentary filmmaker, writer, activist, and musician. She has written and edited several books on democracy and the Occupy movement. She also worked on challenging predatory practices around debt. Her film, What is Democracy?, came out in 2018.

Moroti George, Simon Fraser University

Olumoroti Soji-George (Moroti George), is a MA candidate at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts and a curator living in Vancouver. His research and curatorial practice revolves around envisioning accessible and community-centred art spaces, highlighting the stories of individuals in communities who shape and create new monumental environments. Moroti believes in using space to encapsulate agency and the lived experiences of individuals who are not only recognized, but valued and respected. 

As Programming Coordinator at Gallery Gachet, Moroti fosters connections between the DTES, the Vancouver art scene, and the rest of Canada. Moroti aims to mentor early career and underrepresented artists, to support them in exhibition and to ground their work in a pedagogy that furthers their stories and shares their profound experiences through their art. Moroti’s socially engaged programming is a testament to Gachet’s mandate to find space in this city to make art accessible and strengthen community through compassion and activism.

Jonathan Rose

Jonathan Rose is Professor and Head of the Department of Political Studies at Queen's University. He has written, co-written and edited six books and a number of articles both in the scholarly and popular press. His last two co-written books have been on citizen engagement and deliberative mini-publics.  

In 2018, Jonathan was a member of an Expert Panel on Government Communications for Elections Nova Scotia.   He also co-chaired in 2016 the Bank of Canada’s advisory panel that nominated Viola Desmond for the new $10 banknote.
He has provided advice to the federal and provincial Auditor General on government advertising several government departments and the Supreme Court of Canada on electoral reform. In 2006, he was Academic Director of the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform and regularly speaks to groups around the world about citizen engagement.  Jonathan is a board member of the Ontario College of Teachers, the body that regulates the province’s 250,000 teachers.

Bruce Mutsvairo

Bruce Mutsvairo is a Professor at Utrecht University's department of Media and Culture Studies. He studies the relationship between journalism and democracy in non-Western societies. He is the co-author (with Ulrike Klinger and Daniel Kreiss) of the student textbook: Platforms, Power and Politics: An Introduction to Political Communication in the Digital Age (Polity, 2023)