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Activist-in-Residence

Activist-in-Residence (AiR)

In September 2022, Gabriel Allahdua took up the position of Activist-in-Residence (AiR), based at the Grounded & Engaged Theory Lab (GET lab) at the University of Guelph. AiR programs have been established at a number of other universities, but only a few in Canada so far — like this one at Carleton. The main purpose of the AiR position is to strengthen the connections between activists and academic researchers who may be be working towards common goals, like ending the exploitation of migrant workers. We hope to foster community, knowledge sharing, and research collaboration by engaging in research methods that center the voices of members of justice-seeking communities. The co-directors of the GET lab are Dr. Monique Deveaux (Philosophy) and Dr. Candace Johnson (Political Science). Their bios and those of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows affiliated with the lab can be found here: https://www.getlab.ca/lab-members/

The AiR program is funded by generous contributions from the Dean of the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, the Community-Engaged Scholarship Institute at Guelph, the Canada Research Chair’s Program, and the College of Arts. We very much hope that the program will be a recurring one!


Current Activist-in-Residence

Gabriel Allahdua

Gabriel Allahdua, our first Activist-in-Residence (Sept 1/22 to Aug. 31/23)

Gabriel is well known in Ontario and beyond for his advocacy on behalf of justice for migrant workers justice. He brings his knowledge of migrant farm workers issues and his experience as a community organizer to his role as the inaugural Activist-in-Residence at the University of Guelph. Gabriel will collaborate with students, faculty and staff at the newly established Grounded & Engaged Theory Lab (GET lab) and the Community-Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) in raising awareness about the injustices facing migrant workers in Canada — and what can be done to transform these injustices. We hope that Gabriel will teach a Field Course in 2023 (stay tuned!).

Gabriel soon became active in advocating for justice for migrant workers. For many years he has been a key volunteer with Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW) a Toronto-based activist group advocating for justice for migrant workers https://harvestingfreedom.org/ Gabriel’s book (written with historian Edward Dunsworth), Harvesting Freedom: The Life of a Migrant Worker in Canada, will be published by Between the Lines Press in March 2023.


Some other Activist-in-Residence programs we’ve learned about:

Wilfred Laurier (not current): https://www.universityaffairs.ca/news/news-article/lauriers-first-activist-in-residence-stirs-conversation-between-academia-and-activism/

University College London: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/racism-racialisation/activist-residence-programme

USC: https://dornsife.usc.edu/eri/fellows-and-activists-in-residence/

UCLA: https://challengeinequality.luskin.ucla.edu/activist-in-residence/

New School for Social Research: http://socialresearchmatters.org/inaugural-activist-in-residence-shanelle-matthews-engages-at-the-new-school-this-fall/

Sometimes the AiR teaches a course, as for example this one at UCLA: https://www.activistgraduateschool.org/pedagogy-blog/activist-in-residence

At Guelph, our plan is to have the AiR teach a course on activism, hopefully a field course!