The conference will bring together scholars, practitioners, and activists to explore the impact of the pandemic on mothers and families around the world while considering strategies for the post-COVID climb-out. Combining multidisciplinary and intersectional perspectives, we will examine the impact of the pandemic on mothers’ wellbeing, and care and wage labour in the context of employment, schooling, resettlement, and family relationships.
Understanding the issues brought to light and exacerbated by the pandemic is only the first step. The second is translating this knowledge into strategies for social change.
As academics and community practitioners whose work is dedicated to better understanding and supporting mothers, we have learned that sustainable and holistic COVID-19 recovery will require more than a vaccine. As the centre of the family, community, and the workforce, the social and economic inclusion of mothers in day-to-day life is necessary to successful recovery.
Learning from the Pandemic: Possibilities and Challenges for Mothers and Families offers the unique opportunity to learn from researchers, the frontline, and those most affected by the pandemic about the diverse impacts of COVID-19 on notions of motherhood across the globe. Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of how to address the needs of families as societies and economies emerge from the pandemic across wide and diverse areas and perspectives.
It will provide a space in an increasingly virtual world to directly engage stakeholders in building new and enhanced intersectoral connections. The conference also offers the ability to network one-on-one and in small group settings, much like an in-person event. Attendees will leave with concrete strategies for holistic and long-term post-pandemic recovery.
Dr. Olasumbo Adelakun is an Adjunct Professor at St. Bonaventure University teaching Global Leadership, an independent consultant and author. She has served as an assistant editor for various academic books and book chapters. Having lived on three continents, her penchant for improving the life experiences of others is reflected in her work as an educator, commitment to studying challenging human conditions, and helping to create opportunities to provide a voice and hope for change.
Dr. Delores V. Mullings rests on the shoulders of her African ancestor who have paved the way enabling her to be the first among many firsts. She is the first Black person, and only Black woman and mother to be hired in the School of Social Work and appointed to a senior administrative position at Memorial University. Her scholarship explores, mothering and parenting using critical pedagogies, including, anti-Black racism, Africentric theory and critical race theory.
Janthima Arimare graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand. After receiving her P.R. in Canada, Janthima proactively signed up for ESL classes and was quickly introduced to the HIPPY Program by her friend from class. As a mother of one son, Janthima felt motivated to start her job search. Currently, Janthima is working at the Gardens at Qualicum Beach, a long-term care centre, as a housekeeper, while she is also participating in the Health Career Access Program.
Renée E. Mazinegiizhigo-kwe Bédard is of Anishinaabeg/Kanienʼkehá꞉ka/French Canadian ancestry and a member of Okikendawt Mnisiing (Dokis First Nation). She holds a Ph.D. from Trent University in Indigenous Studies. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Western University, Faculty of Education. Her research area of publication includes work related to Anishinaabeg mothering, maternal philosophy and cultural traditions.
Dr. Erin M. Sorrell is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and a member of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University.
Dr. Sorrell works with partners across the U.S. government, international organizations, and ministries around the world to identify elements required to support health systems strengthening and laboratory capacity building for disease detection, reporting, risk assessment, and response. She is also interested in operational and implementation research questions related to sustainable health systems strengthening, with an emphasis on the prevention, management, and control of infectious diseases in humanitarian situations, and particularly countries and regions affected by conflict.
Dr. Sorrell co-directs the Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases M.S. Program. Erin received her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and an M.Sc. and Ph.D. in animal science and molecular virology from the University of Maryland.
Zaje A. T. Harrell, Ph.D. is a psychologist with a passion for integrating theory and praxis. She holds a joint doctorate in Psychology and Women’s Studies with expertise in mental health and community change. Dr. Harrell is the principal of Conscious Endeavor, LLC. Her work has spanned academic publications, public policy, and social change thought partnerships. She is a married mother of three residing in the greater Baltimore Maryland area. Her interests include writing and yoga.
Subhita Nair is a HIPPY Home Visitor from the Regina Immigrant Women's Centre.Subhita is a mother of children, holding a MBA degree in Finance while previously worked in Banking and Financial Services in India and Malaysia. Subhita currently volunteers at Greentech Resources in Regina and spends her free time knitting and crotcheting. As an avid lover of travelling, Subhita also speaks English, Hindi, Malayalam and Tamil.
Debbie Bell is the founding Executive Director of HIPPY Canada. Debbie’s Masters Degree in Adult Education is combined with more than 20 years of experience in the fields of adult education and community development in socially excluded communities throughout North America.
As the founding Director of Simon Fraser University’s Community Education program, Debbie concentrated her work on the development of innovative strategies to create access to education for low literacy communities.
She has continued this work as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Mothers Matter Centre, bringing the HIPPY program to more than 20 communities across the country in an effort to equip low-income and socially isolated parents to help their children succeed in school and life.
Andrea O’Reilly, PhD, is full professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University, founder/editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative and publisher of Demeter Press. She is coeditor/editor of twenty plus books including Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from African and Beyond (2020), Mothers, Mothering, and COVID-19: Dispatches from a Pandemic (2021), Maternal Theory, The 2nd Edition (2021), and Monstrous Mothers; Troubling Tropes (2021).
She is editor of the Encyclopedia on Motherhood (2010) and co-editor of the Routledge Companion to Motherhood (2019). She is author of Toni Morrison and Motherhood: A Politics of the Heart (2004); Rocking the Cradle: Thoughts on Motherhood, Feminism, and the Possibility of Empowered Mothering (2006); and Matricentric Feminism: Theory, Activism, and Practice, The 2nd Edition (2021).
She is twice the recipient of York University’s “Professor of the Year Award” for teaching excellence and is the 2019 recipient of the Status of Women and Equity Award of Distinction from OCUFA (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations).
Perlita R. Dicochea is a Communications/Events Associate for CCSRE and Program Coordinator for CCSRE's Mellon Arts Fellowship and Public Writing Fellowship. Previous to her position at CCSRE, she co-curated an exhibition on the life and times of Afro-mestiza healer, entrepreneur, and Mexican and Anglo-American era landowner Juana Briones at the Los Alto History Museum and taught Ethnic Studies at the high school and college levels.
Having earned her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at U.C. Berkeley with an affiliated discipline in Environmental Economics & Policy, she spent some time in academia as a professor in the fields of Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, Border Studies, Chicanx/Latinx Studies, and Environmental Racism & Justice.
Dicochea's chapter in Mothers, Mothering, and COVID-19: Dispatches from a Pandemic (Demeter Press, 2021) is titled ""A Single-Parent Multigenerational Family Testimony: Living Under COVID-19 and Other Orders in Silicon Valley."" She is Chair of the Diversity Advisory Committee at Los Altos History Museum and a Commissioner for the Santa Clara County Historic Heritage Commission. Perlita is mother to a 14-year-old chihuahua and two children, ages 5 and 6. You can learn more and connect here.
Dr. Margo Hilbrecht is the Executive Director at the Vanier Institute of the Family. A family scholar, Margo completed her PhD at the University of Waterloo. Her research has focused on parents’ time use, employment, gender, and quality of life. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector for organizations including the former Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being, the Canadian Index of Wellbeing, and Greo, which specializes in knowledge translation and exchange focused on reducing harm from gambling.
Michelle Eliot is an award-winning journalist and the host of CBC British Columbia’s weekday call-in show, BC Today, where she engages in conversation with listeners on the day’s top stories and on issues important to British Columbians.
Stacy Pascal is from the Lil'wat Nation of BC and participates as one of the Home Visitor's of The HIPPY and SMART Program at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society .