Thematic Research Networks

Several social justice research networks have been established at the Institute to foster interdisciplinary research and scholarly activities among faculty, faculty associates and graduate students. These clusters are expected to serve as springboards for grant applications, events and workshops, new course and program development, and research innovation across UBC campus and beyond.

To learn more about the Social Justice Institute’s Thematic Research Networks, navigate from the tabs below.

Ecologies of Social Difference Social Justice (ESD Social Justice Network) is a working group established at University of British Columbia in 2011, and became a new thematic network at the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC. We aim to promote research, engagement, student-faculty-community networking, and interdisciplinary understanding on questions at the interstices of social difference, inequality, and nature/environment. As such, our interests span fields of political ecology, critical nature studies, feminist and social justice research, environmental justice and activism, and affiliated fields. More specifically, we aim to promote scholarship and interaction through talks and sponsoring visiting speakers, through panel and teach-in discussions, and through workshopping works in progress. To this end, we host several events per year, including a half-day workshop for works in progress at the end of each spring term.


The Indigenous Pedagogies Research Network represents a collaboration between Indigenous and Feminist and GLBT faculty across diverse disciplines in the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice (GRSJ) and Critical Studies in Sexuality (CSIS). While there have been an increasing number of Indigenous content course offerings across faculties, more so in Arts and Education here at UBC, and even a commitment to faculty and student development in raising awareness of indigenous issues, there still remains a large gap in knowledge concerning Indigenous praxis. The fact remains, university studies continue to be dominated by western, scientific and liberal thinking, leaving Indigenous knowledges and learning processes on the periphery. Further, decolonizing efforts cannot be limited to specific programs, but rather seen as complex practices that need to be located across the institution.

Who are we?

Jan Hare, Research Chair, Associate Professor, Education and GRSJ Associate
Janice Stewart, Instructor I, GRSJ
Shafik Dharamsi, Associate Professor, Medicine and GRSJ Associate
Daniel Justice, Associate Professor, First Nations & Indigenous Studies and GRSJ Associate
Cash Ahenakew, Assistant Professor, Educational Studies and GRSJ Associate
Vin Nardizzi, Assistant Professor, English
Peter Cole, Assistant Professor, Education and GRSJ Associate
Pat O’Riley, Associate Professor, Education

To learn more, visit our website

Rethinking Responses and Responsibilities in River Regions (RRR): Exploring Love, Loss and Lament from Critical – Creative Empathy Perspectives and Arts-Based Political Practices in Global-Local Contexts

This RRR Social Justice Network focuses on creating global-local connections to foster a transnational and inter-cultural understanding of how indigenous peoples and local settlers whose lives and livelihoods are intimately intertwined with the life of rivers and watershed regions (re)construct their past and (re)imagine the future of their social-ecological systems. We are interested in how they make meaning and sense of place(s) though expressions of love, loss, lost memories, mourning and lament for the past, and hopes for an imagined future.

Who are we?

Leonora Angeles, Chair, Associate Professor, GRSJ and Community and Regional Planning
Juanita Sundberg, Associate Professor, Geography and GRSJ Associate
Sneja Gunew, Professor, GRSJ and English
Leila Harris, Assistant Professor, GRSJ and IRES
Chris Lee, Assistant Professor, English and GRSJ Associate
Geraldine Pratt, Professor, Geography and GRSJ Associate

Connect with us us on Facebook