James Paetkau, 2021-2022
James is in his first year of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies. He was born and grew up in northern Indiana, before spending time at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, where he completed his Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Before joining the SJES program James spent a year sharing time in a community of folks with and without intellectual disabilities at L’Arche Greater Washington DC. He is broadly interested in engaging with research at the intersection of data analysis, storytelling, and social justice. For his thesis, James intends to explore the ways in which the myth of scarcity impacts resource distribution and inequality.
Raadhiyah Zowmi, 2021-2022
Raadhiyah is in her first year of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity studies. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science (Honours) in Medical Science with a minor in French Studies at Brock University. Here, she was able to further her interests for social justice and equity. She collaborated with various departments at Brock to bring forward initiatives such as the first ever town hall to address anti-Black racism on campus, eight $5000 annual scholarships for Black-identified students, a referendum to increase funding by $230,000 per annum for the on-campus student justice centre, and various other events in collaboration with the Brock Office of Human Rights and Equity. Her passions for social justice extend beyond the scope of the campus environment, and she hopes to assess current areas of improvement for healthcare delivery for BIPOC women for her SJES project.
Julia Jarvis, 2020-2021
Julia is in her first year of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies. She was born and raised in New Jersey, U.S. and graduated from Connecticut College summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English. For the last few years, Julia has worked in the sexual/domestic abuse field and is broadly interested in how those in marginalized communities experience abuse. For her SJES project, she will look at the “discursive construction” of sexual violence narratives documented on TikTok to evaluate how this content either retraumatizes or affirms victim-survivors, ultimately determining when and how awareness devolves into normalization and/or romanticization.
Sierra Kiers, 2020-2021
Sierra is in her first year of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity studies. She has lived in the Niagara region her whole life. She recently completed a Double Honours Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and French Studies and minored in Indigenous studies at Brock University. During her undergrad, she discovered her passion for researching settler colonialism, decolonization, and reconciliation. For her SJES project, she wants to explore the challenges that reconciliation and decolonization activism face. She wants to better understand settlers’ mixed emotional reactions to this type of activism.
Zabrina Downton, 2019-2020
Zabrina is in her first year of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies. She was born in Calgary, AB but spent her childhood in Nova Scotia and went on to get an Honours BA in Anthropology/Sociology and a Certificate in Social Research at Cape Breton University. Zabrina is broadly interested in the politics of marginalization and exclusion. She is also interested in researching the potential for alternative communities and support networks that can assist individuals living with addiction. For her SJES thesis project she will critically examine dominant discourses of addiction recovery in order to challenge our perceptions of what addiction recovery is and to envision alternative pathways through which individuals are able to access it.
Elvia Lopez, 2019-2020
Elvia is in her first year of the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Equity Studies. She was born in Mexico City, Mexico and immigrated to the US as a small child. Once in the US, she settled in Fresno, California and was raised there for a number of years. In addition, Fresno is the location where she attended university and received her BA in Women’s Studies, minor in Criminology, and certificate in Victim Services. For her SJES thesis, she is looking to examine the impact images of labor trafficking have on the dominant discourse on human trafficking, public perception, and immigration policy.