Evelyn Encalada Grez

Assistant Professor
Labour Studies Program | Sociology and Anthropology


  • Doctor of Philosophy, PhD (2018). Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto, Canada.
  • Master of Arts, MA (2003). Political Science, York University, Canada.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Honours, BA (Hons) (1998). Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. York University, Canada. (“Avenues to Cuban Culture” Summer School Program for BA Degree, 1996, Universidad de Oriente, Santiago de Cuba, Cuba.)

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Labour Migration—Work, Gender, and Sexuality—Race, Immigration, and Citizenship
Latin American/Latinx Studies—Transnational Ethnography—Decolonizing and Transformative Pedagogies
Community-Engaged Research

Dr. Encalada Grez is currently supervising Masters level graduate students and does not supervise PhD students.

Current Research Projects

  • SFU Small-SSHRC Grant - Temporary Foreign Worker Programs, Indigeneity, and Livelihoods: The Case of Mayan Farm Workers in Canada
  • The Canadian Myth and the Exclusion of Internationally Trained Physicians 
  • Migrant Farmworkers and Transnational Livelihoods within a Global Pandemic
  • Co-investigator, SSHRC:
    Understanding Precarity in British Columbia - Racial Difference by Law: Differential Racialisation and Access to Justice for Migrant Farm Workers
  • Understanding Precarity in BC (UP-BC) Subgrant Project - Migrant Farmworkers from Guatemala in BC and Contours of Precarity, Indigeneity, and Racialization 


Dr. Encalada Grez is a transnational labour scholar and community-labour organizer committed to critical sociology and decolonial theories of knowledge production that centers diverse ways of knowing and precarious workers’ experiences within the margins of the global economy. She is the co-founder of the award wining collective, Justice for Migrant Workers, J4MW that has advocated for the rights of migrant farmworkers in Canada for two decades. Her research bridges grass-roots activism with academic scholarship and through this approach Dr. Encalada Grez has extensively documented the lives of Mexican migrant farmworker women who work and forge transnational livelihoods between rural Canada and rural Mexico.

As a public sociologist, Dr. Encalada Grez has mobilized her research through various media such as documentaries and given talks in venues such as Parliament Hill, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and at the United Nations in New York. She has also worked transnationally with export-processing workers in Mexico and Central America and as lead travelling faculty teaching US university students in over 6 countries. For three semesters, she was also the Academic Director of an intensive social justice study abroad program in her city of birth, Valparaiso, Chile. Dr. Encalada Grez is driven by her immigrant working class experiences and committed to decolonializing and transformative pedagogies.

CERi recognized Dr. Encalada Grez's research impact with the "Emerging Community-Engaged Researcher Award" in 2022. See link for more. 

In late 2023, she was also named and selected as one of the "Top 10 Most Influential Hispanics" in Canada.

Research and Work Experience in …

Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Jordan, Mexico, Nepal, Nicaragua, Senegal & United States


English and Spanish

Publications [*corresponds to refereed publications]

Action Canada for Sexual and Health Rights, Justice for Migrant Workers (Encalda Grez), YWCA Hamilton, the Community Research Platform at McMaster University, the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic, and the Sexual Rights Initiative, “Barriers to Abortion in Canada-Joint Stakeholder Report - Universal Periodic Review of Canada 44th Session (October – November 2023): UPR 4th Cycle: Barriers to Abortion in Canada | Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (actioncanadashr.org)

Encalada Grez, E., Gamboa, P., & Purewal, S. (2023). The Myth of Canada: The Exclusion of Internationally Trained Physicians. A Community-Engaged Research Report, RADIUS SFU: https://radiussfu.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/The-Myth-Of-Canada_DIGITAL.pdf

(Also in The Conversation:  "Why is Canada snubbing internationally trained doctors during a health-care crisis?" https://theconversation.com/why-is-canada-snubbing-internationally-trained-doctors-during-a-health-care-crisis-198490

Pratiquer la médecine au Canada lorsque formé à l’étranger : un – incompréhensible – parcours du combattant: https://theconversation.com/pratiquer-la-medecine-au-canada-lorsque-forme-a-letranger-un-incomprehensible-parcours-du-combattant-199358 )

*Weiler, A. M., & Grez, E. E. (2022). Rotten asparagus and just-in-time workers: Canadian agricultural industry framing of farm labour and food security during the COVID-19 pandemicCanadian Food Studies/La Revue canadienne des études sur l'alimentation9(2), 38-52.

*Encalada Grez, E. (2022). "Mexican Migrant Farmworkers in Canada: Death, Disposability, and Disruptions during COVID-19." Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos38(1), 140-169.

*Encalada Grez, E. (2019) “Contestations of the Heart: Mexican Migrant Women and Transnational Loving from Rural Ontario”, International Journal of Migration and Border Studies, 5.1/2, pp. 118-132.

Encalada, E. and Clarke, M. (2016) “Evelyn Encalada Grez in Conversation with Marlea Clarke.” Migration, Mobility, & Displacement 2.2, pp. 76-89.

*Preibisch, K., and Encalada Grez, E. (2013) “Between Hearts and Pockets: Locating the Outcomes of Transnational Homemaking Practices among Mexican Women in Canada’s Temporary Migration Programs” Citizenship Studies, 17.6- 7, pp. 785-802.

Preibisch, K., and Encalada Grez, E. (2011) “Re-examining the Social Relations of the Canadian ‘Family Farm’: Migrant Women Farm Workers in Rural Canada,” in Pini, Barbara and Leach, Belinda (eds.) Reshaping Gender and Class in Rural Spaces, Ashgate; Farnham, pp. 91-112.

Encalada Grez, E. (2011) “Policy Brief: Vulnerabilities of Female Migrant Farm Workers from Latin America and the Caribbean in Canada.” FOCAL: The Canadian Foundation for the Americas, Policy Brief, pp. 1-6.

Encalada Grez, E. (2010) “Organizing from the Maquiladoras to the University: Dialogue and reflections among Women Migrant and Maquiladora Workers in Mexico.” Just Labour, Spring 16, pp. 76-83.

*Preibisch, K., and Encalada Grez, E. (2010) “The Other Side of el Otro Lado: Mexican Migrant Women and Labor Flexibility in Canadian Agriculture" Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 35.2, pp. 289-315.

Encalada Grez, E., Paz, A., and Fuchs, E. (2008) “Migrant Workers under Harper: Guests, Servants and Criminals”, in Healy, T., (ed), “The Harper Record.” Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, pp. 197-203.

Encalada Grez, E. (2006) “Justice for Migrant Farm Workers: Reflections on the Importance of Community Organising.” Relay: A Socialist Project Review. July/August, pp. 23-25.

Encalada Grez, E. (2005) “Harvesting the Seeds of Resistance: The Plight of Migrant Farm Workers in Ontario.” Women and Environments International Magazine. 68-69 pp. 1-7.

Film collaborations

Migrant Dreams, Director Min Sook Lee (2016) [url https://www.tvo.org/video/documentaries/migrant-dreams-feature-version]

Teo in Toronto (2013) Director Min Sook Lee 
[url https://www.tvo.org/video/teo-in-toronto]

El Contrato, (2003) Director Min Sook Lee
[url https://www.nfb.ca/film/el_contrato/]

Selected Podcasts / Videos

Below the Radar Podcast (2021) "Women, Work, More: Migrant Women & Transnational Loving"

BC Labour Heritage Centre interview (2020)

CBC Radio - The Current (2016) "'Migrant Dreams' broken as workers face exploitation on Ontario farms"

Select Online Panels/roundtables

Scholar Strike Canada (2020) "Migrant Workers in Canada: Unfree Labour on Stolen Land"

The Leap (2020) "From Scarcity to Sovereignty: Food in a Time of Pandemic"

Service to Wider Community - Supporting Trans/national Labour Movements

May 2022 onward – Board Member, Migrant Workers Centre of BC

February 2022 – Course Instructor – Canadian Labour Congress - Labour College of Canada Course: Education for Action/Organizing for Change

September 2020 – onward- Member, BC Employment Standards Coalition

September 2020 –  onward -External Advisor and International Representative, Centro de Apoyo al Trabajador, (CAT), Puebla, Mexico

May 2001–  onward –  Co-founder and Transnational Organizer, Justice for Migrant Workers, J4MW (Website: Harvesting Freedom | Justicia for Migrant Workers)