Participants

Sarah Badr, York University

“Sarah Badr is a fourth year student majoring in political science at York University in Toronto. Her research interests include topics in international political economy, international development, as well as public and global healthcare policy implementation. This fall, she will be applying to medical school in order to pursue interests in global health.”


Heather Donkers

Heather Donkers, Queen’s University

“Heather Donkers is a fourth year Global Development Studies major and Sociology minor at Queen’s University. She is also pursuing a certificate in Sexual and Gender Diversity. Her research interests include social movements, sexual violence against women and LGBTI individuals, as well as how African development narratives intersect with assumptions about gender and sexuality. Heather travelled to South Africa this past summer for two months to intern with Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action in Johannesburg and conduct original archival research on the topic of black lesbian activism. She also contributed to a five-country study in partnership with UNESCO on school-related homophobic and gender-based violence in South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Botswana. Heather is a Residence Don for first-year students, a co-president for the Global Development Studies Department Student Council at Queen’s and is a crisis line volunteer at the Sexual Assault Centre in Kingston. This fall, Heather is applying to law school to study human rights law.”


Emily HerseyEmily Hersey, Carleton University

“Emily is a Carleton University undergraduate student working towards a Combined Honours Bachelor of Arts in African Studies and History. Her research interests include the use of hip hop as a medium of expression across Africa and North America, literature in the context of the African diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean and the effects of diverse populations and diasporas on a country’s development politically and socially.

Of late, she has conducted research on the effects that hip hop music has on the development of masculinities that rebel against the status quo within North America and how this disseminates globally. Emily is looking forward to expanding her work on hip hop to recognize its validity as a medium of intellectual & political expression within diverse populations at the graduate level in South Africa.”


Sophia JesowSophia Jesow, York University

“Sophia Jesow is a recent York University graduate and holds a double major in International Development Studies and African Studies. Her research interest includes immigration, settlement and economic integration; transnational networks and the migration processes; inequality; race; and social welfare policy. This past summer Sophia traveled to Somalia and took part in a four-month study that examined population movement and causes of forced migration amongst young Somali women in Mogadishu. She is a volunteer at YorkTown Family Service and provides outreach programs to children, youth and families recently arriving to Canada. This fall, Sophia is applying for her Masters to study Public Policy.”


Sarah Haddjeri, York University

“Sarah Haddjeri is a student at the Political Science Institute in Strasbourg in France. She is doing a Master double diploma with Glendon college in Public and International affairs. She has a degree in Applied Foreign Languages (LEA) in English and Italian and a degree in Political Science. Her work about Africa embraces an economic, political and sociological perspective. Considering the case of farmers and peasants in Ghana, her research focuses on the phenomenon of democratisation, in correlation with the neoliberal policies. Sarah is interested in analyzing social issues in underdeveloped countries. After her master, she foresees to take a PhD in Human Rights and International Law.”


Flora-Nadia AhmedFlora-Nadia Ahmed, University of Ghana

“I’m an African. A Ghanaian. A proud Fante. Third of 3 children, quite the overachiever.

I attend the premier university in Ghana. Studying theatre arts and political science as a combine major. A product of Holy Child School. My interest in African Studies stems from my pride in wearing my colours, my culture, my heritage, the badge of my people. I am nothing without my family and my continent. I hope for a future where our children live with tolerance and understanding and love. My aim, is to live doing as I preach. Medaase.


Emily AdamsEmily Adams, St. Lawrence University

“Emily is a senior at St. Lawrence University, where she is pursuing a major in neuroscience and a minor in African studies. Inspired by a recent semester abroad in Kenya, Emily hopes to pursue a master’s degree in global public health after graduation. In her spare time, Emily enjoys reading and traveling.”


Elizabeth Owusu-PeprahElizabeth Owusu-Peprah, Carleton University

“Elizabeth O-Peprah is a fourth year undergraduate student at Carleton University. Double majoring in a Bachelor of African Studies, Women and Gender studies with a minor in History, Elizabeth’s primary research interests include African Canadian early settlement, African Diasporan Identities, Afropolitans, Quakers within the Anti-Slavery Discourse, The European ‘Witchcrze,’ African-American Civil Rights and “Black is Beautiful Movement”, African-American Freedom Fighters, Colourism within the Upper-Class black community etc. This is Elizabeth’s first research conference.”


Matthew SavoyMatthew Savoy, York University

“Matthew Savoy is a recent graduate from York University with degrees in Political Science and Psychology. During his time at York, he specialized in International Relations and African Studies courses and he is extremely passionate about these two subjects. Matthew is concerned with how civil society organizations can impact meaningful long-lasting change, as well as factors that hinder the success of pro-social movements. Currently, Matthew is the president and founder of a youth organization called the Organization for World Peace. With over 40 volunteers operating in four different continents, the organization hopes to directly challenge the use of force as a means of resolving conflicts, and instead argues for holistic and non-combative approaches that consider the core problems of conflicts in order to reshape conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and post-conflict peace building. As well, Matthew is a former football player at York University and a current volunteer coach at his former high school football team, the Meadowvale Falcons. Over the next year, Matthew hopes to be pursuing his masters degree in International Relations with specializations in Conflict Resolution and African Studies.”


Vanessa Oraekwe, York University

“Vanessa Oraekwe is of Nigerian descent currently living in Toronto. Her locationally diverse upbringing led her to become fascinated with different cultures, people’s and places. In particular, she is passionate about history especially as it pertains to the African continent. Currently, she is studying in her second year at York University in the Humanities Program. In the future, she aspires to attend Graduate School, travel the world, and significantly impact her community.”


Lauren CrossLauren Cross, Mount Royal University

“Lauren lives in Calgary and recently completed her Bachelor of Arts in English (Honours) at Mount Royal University. Her research interests include postcolonialism, border studies, human rights, diasporic and transnational literatures, contemporary Canadian literature, and indigenous literatures. In 2014 she lived in southern Spain as an exchange student before returning to Mount Royal to complete a minor in Spanish as well as her capstone Honours project on the multilingual narratives of Junot Díaz and Guillermo Verdecchia. Lauren has presented at Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Ottawa on borders and migrant rights, and at Grant MacEwan’s Reading Identity conference in Edmonton on Austin Clarke’s novel, More. Lauren currently works as a Research Assistant at Mount Royal University, where she is involved in projects spanning from Shakespeare Studies to Environmental Sustainability. She is a Managing Editor for AFFECTUS Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy and Literature. She hopes to pursue a Masters degree in English or Social Justice in Fall 2016.”


Sania SaeedSania Saeed, Mount Royal University

“Sania Saeed is an international student double majoring in Sociology and English at Mount Royal University. Her research is primarily concerned with issues of racial and migrant identity within literature. Over the last year, she has been focusing on post-colonial studies in order to gain a more nuanced perspective on the ways in which racial identity comes into question within North American society. Sania has been a Student Representative for the Mount Royal Undergraduate Research Committee since 2014, and a Reviewer for Affectus: Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy and Literature since 2013, for which she will soon be taking on the role of managing editor. Outside of university, Sania has a plurality of interests: she works for a waste diversion company during summers, decorates and then re-decorates her home obsessively every couple of days, and attends immigrant and queer community events whenever possible.”


Caitlin SheridanCaitlin Sheridan, St. Lawrence University

“Caitlin Sheridan is from the state of Rhode Island. She studied at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York graduating in May of 2015. She graduated with an Honors Degree with a combined major in African Studies and History. She also minored in Economics. In her sophomore year, she studied abroad on the St. Lawrence University Kenya Semester Program. Her experience abroad sparked an interest in how countries discuss and form their national histories. This interest morphed into her Senior Honors Thesis at St. Lawrence, which examined Rwanda’s national narrative regarding the genocide of 1994. After completing her thesis, she looks forward to researching public memory and public history in post-conflict societies. Caitlin graduated from St. Lawrence in May of 2015. Her goal is to pursue her passions in international affairs and African studies.”


Marie Pascale PokuMarie-Pascale Poku, York University

“Marie-Pascale Poku graduated from York University’s Glendon campus with a degree in International Studies and a minor in Political Science. Her interests include African affairs (especially those pertaining to governance) globalization and human rights. This summer she interned at TWR Asia, an evangelical organization, in Singapore and Cambodia, as a fundraising intern, and performed various functions such as church analysis, and developing proposals for a new fundraising strategy for the Cambodian office. She intends on pursuing a master’s degree in International Development in the years 2016/2017.”


Sampson Adese, Carleton University

“Sampson Adese is a fourth year student in Political Science and African Studies at Carleton University. Born in Ellu, he is of the Isoko people of Delta State, Nigeria. Sampson likewise is a Nigerian Canadian. He came to Canada in 2001. Prior to returning to purse his education, he ran a successful export business in Toronto. He plans to apply for his MA when he graduate his undergraduate program, and has a deep interest on issues related to the environmental well-being of the peoples of the Niger Delta. As a student of Political Science, Sampson has a profound interest in learning about African and world politics. This has given him a deeper understanding of the problems facing the continent. He plans to continue his MA studies along the same area of focus.”


Emma BiderEmma Bider, Carleton University

“Emma Bider is a recent Carleton graduate with a degree in Journalism and African studies. Her research interests include the intersection of ethnic identity and conflict, post-conflict cultural identity, and modes of artistic expression used to articulate identity in Africa. She is also interested in subversive cultural practices and the role women play in re-constructing and defining ethnic identity after conflict.

Emma has travelled to Burkina Faso for six weeks to intern with Farm Radio International, a Canadian NGO that disseminates farming information and best practices to rural communities in Burkina and several other countries in Africa. She has studied in the Netherlands and participated in a three-week course in Rwanda on the media’s role in the 1994 genocide. She was recently one of ten students to win the inaugural Provost Scholar Award at Carleton University.”


Brittany HopkinBrittany Hopkin, Mount Royal University

“Brittany Hopkin is a fourth year English Honours student at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Her interests include postcolonial criticism, human rights and decolonization, and the connections between neocolonialism and political violence. These interests inspired her Honours thesis, in which she examines the imperial dynamics of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in relation to the complicity of international organizations such as the United Nations. Due to her need to gain experience about other cultures first hand, Brittany will be travelling to Ghana and Europe in the spring of 2016. Following her studies, Brittany plans to attend law school and pursue a career in International Human Rights law.”