Evelyn Encalada Grez joins Labour Studies Program and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology as Assistant Professor

December 18, 2020

We are excited to welcome Evelyn Encalada Grez as an Assistant Professor in the Labour Studies Program and the Department of Sociology & Anthropology.

Encalada Grez received her PhD in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto and her research primarily explores the experiences of migrant workers in Canada, emphasizing transnational storytelling, migrant rights and the societal roles of gender and sexuality.

Encalada Grez was born in Chile and immigrated to Canada as a child, where her family’s lived experiences of discrimination and adversity helped guide her academic work and political activism. She considers herself to be a community-engaged sociologist who emphasizes the importance of activism and academia coming together.

A problem with academia, according to Encalada Grez, is that valuable research often gets buried in academic databases, never actually helping the people whom it is about. She believes that it is the responsibility of researchers to be changemakers, and to ask themselves how their research can benefit the communities with whom they work.

This requires support from the university to place more emphasis on the impact of research rather than the quantity. “[The university] has to look at and give value to how we interpret our work for different audiences, and also how our work is supporting communities.”

Her philosophy on research and changemaking is also apparent in her teaching. Encalada Grez wants her to students to recognize their own power and privilege, and encourages them to get involved with their community. “I want to remind students that they are indeed powerful,” says Encalada Grez. “If you’re experiencing an issue, other people might be too. Speak up!”

Encalada Grez’s time teaching will be split between the Labour Studies Program and Sociology & Anthropology. More information on her involvement in the area of Labour Studies can be found here. She is also an active Twitter user.

Welcome to the department, Evelyn!