Panel 2

Dr. Supriya Garakipati

Associate Professor, Liverpool University Management School

“My key research interest is in evaluating the interplay between economic policy and gender. My work examines the impact of public policy interventions on the socio-economic wellbeing of girls and women living in developing countries using an intersectional approach.

From this perspective, I have done extensive work on the impact of financial inclusion on

  • women (including debt related vulnerabilities like debt bondage);
  • women’s reproductive health (with a focus on menstrual health);
  • women’s livelihoods and their labour market participation (including forced migration and unfree labour).”

Dr. Deatra Walsh

Director of Advocacy & Communications, Municipalities NL

Deatra holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Memorial University in St. John’s, a Master of Rural Development from Brandon University in Manitoba and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Concordia University in Montreal. She began her studies at Carleton University in Ottawa as a journalist.

Deatra’s career stretches across employment in the post-secondary, government and now, non-governmental sector. She worked with the Government of Nunavut for four years, first as the manager of territorial labour market programming and later as the Director of Poverty Reduction. She has held teaching and postdoctoral research positions at Mount Allison, Memorial, York and Dalhousie University in Canada. She has also worked abroad at UiT: The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø as a postdoctoral researcher and an associate professor in methodology. She remains affiliated with UiT.

Deatra uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences and conducts research on wellness among aging populations, environmental change, labour mobility, homelessness and popular culture. She has had a long history of working and researching with rural communities in Canada.

Dr. Vianne Timmons, O.C.

President & Vice Chancellor of Memorial University, Founding Visionary of the Prosperity Project

Dr. Vianne Timmons, OC, took office as the 13th president and vice-chancellor of Memorial in April 2020, coming from the University of Regina where she had served as president since 2008. During her tenure there, the university attained its highest-ever enrolment and diversity, greater recognition for faculty work, and increased levels of external research funding.

Dr. Timmons grew up in Labrador City as one of six children and moved to Nova Scotia during high school. A teacher by training, she maintains a wide-ranging research program emphasizing family literacy and inclusive education. Her credits include nine books, more than a dozen book chapters, approximately 40 peer-reviewed articles, 30+ funded research projects (as principal or co-investigator), and more than 200 invited lectures.

Her many awards include Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (WXN), a National Inclusive Education Award, a Humanitarian Award (Red Cross), a Community Literacy Award (Canada Post), and the first Gender and Leadership in Higher Education Award (EMULIES). In 2019 she received the Indspire Award for Education. In 2017 she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for her lifetime contributions to inclusive education, family literacy, Indigenous post-secondary education, and women’s leadership.

Dr. Timmons is also a Founding Visionary of the Prosperity Project, a new not-for-profit organization working to mitigate these impacts and ensure women are supported through this crisis.

Kathy Hawkins

President of DisAbled Women’s Network Canada

Kathy Hawkins is the Manager of InclusionNL: Employer Supports and Services Program of Empower, The Disability Resource Centre. As Manager, Kathy provides supports and services to employers interested in creating more inclusive workplace environments for current and new employees with multiple types of disabilities.

In this capacity she advises employers and businesses on all facets of creating barrier-free work environments & building accessibility confidence including; recruitment & hiring, accessibility reviews of physical locations, reasonable workplace adjustments & employee accommodations, as well as staff training & professional development.

Kathy also provides expertise to business interested in creating accessible websites, technical applications and mobile apps and holds professional certification in website accessibility from the University of South Australia.

Kathy is currently the President of the DisAbled Women’s Network of Canada, sits on the Board of the NL Association of the Deaf, and is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.

Dr. Sobia Shaikh

Co-Chair, Anti-Racism Coalition of NL
Professor of Social Work, Memorial University

Dr. Sobia Shaheen Shaikh is a faculty member at the School of Social Work at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

She is a social work educator, antiracist-feminist activist, researcher, mother and writer. As a community-engaged researcher, Sobia’s work focuses on supporting antiracist and social justice praxes. Her scholarship spans across many different social concerns, including racism and racialization, violence against women, girls and non-binary folks, resettlement and relocation policy in coastal NL, disability education policy and practice, and antiracist and social justice praxes in advocacy and non-profit organizations.

Sobia continues to learn from activists and artists of diverse backgrounds. As an activist, she sits on several boards and committees. Most notably, she co-chairs the Anti-Racism Coalition of NL (ARC-NL) and the Addressing Islamophobia in NL project, where she is often sought for her expertise on anti-racism and equity work in the province and nationally.

As well, Sobia is a creative writer, and a founding member of The Quilted Collective of Racialized NL Writers and of the BIPOC Creators Collective.

Jude Benoit

Co-Founder, The Indigenous Activist Collective & 2SLGBTQIA+ Neighboring Pod

Jude Benoit is Mik’maq and is part of the Kitpu clan. They are a land and water defender of Ktaqmkuk. Jude is also a Two spirit person and has been an advocate for the Two Spirit and Trans community for more then a decade.

They are the cofounder of multiple mutual aid grassroots groups including

  • The Indigenous Activist Collective
  • Peace, Love N’ Pride and,
  • the 2SLGBTQIA+ Neighboring Pod