Alfredo Barahona, originally from El Salvador moved to Canada as refugee in the mid-eighties. He has worked with refugee and migrant communities through Toronto-based settlement agencies and now with KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.
Currently Alfredo is working on behalf of Canadian churches, with colleagues from labour, grassroots organizations, academics and migrant workers themselves, to unite, coordinate and strengthen advocacy efforts in Canada.
Alfredo is also working on Indigenous Rights issues focusing on the development of meaningful relationships and mutual support between Indigenous peoples and newcomers to Canada.
Facilitating the effective and meaningful participation of affected communities in advocacy and solidarity work is a key principle in Alfredo's work. Music is both a gift and key tool in Alfredo's life and community work.
Evelyn Encalada is a founding member of Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) and an adjunct professor of labour studies, migrant rights and immigration policy. She has been working with migrant farmworkers and their families as a transnational community organizer and researcher in rural Canada and rural Mexico for over a decade. She worked on the production team of “El Contrato” and was crucial in establishing spaces of comfort for migrant workers to tell their stories before the camera. She also collaborated with Min Sook Lee on a short feature for TVO called “Teo in Toronto.” Evelyn is currently working in production with Min Sook on a new documentary about the lives of migrant women in Canada.
Evelyn’s research is centered on the transnational lives of migrant farmworker women and their families on the other side of the migration spectrum. She is the co-author with Dr. Kerry Preibisch of "The Other Side of el Otro Lado: Mexican Migrant Women and Labor Flexibility in Canadian Agriculture" that was published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society in 2010. Citizenship Studies will be publishing another co-authored article with Dr. Preibisch in January 2013 titled “Between hearts and pockets: The transnational homemaking strategies of Mexican women in temporary migration programs”. Evelyn’s approach to working with the migrant community is premised on creating spaces for workers to express their voices, tell their own stories and lead their own movement.
In the position of General Counsel to Canada’s largest private sector union, Naveen provides a diverse range of strategic advice and support for all of the UFCW Canada's often complex legal and legislative issues, including litigation at the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada.
As the Director of Human Rights, Equity and Diversity (HRED), Naveen provides expertise in guiding UFCW Canada's national strategy on Temporary Foreign Workers (migrant workers), LGBT, immigrant and other equity seeking communities, as well as implementing a comprehensive Social and Economic Justice mandate with a view to both qualitative and quantitative growth. Naveen has been with UFCW Canada since 1999.
He has been active in a variety of legal, labour and human rights based organizations including the International Bar Association (Industrial Relations, Human Rights, Immigration Law Committees), as Country Monitor for India and as the International Monitor for Attacks on Labour Advocates for Lawyers' Rights Watch, as well as an advisor to the Law Commission of Ontario on Precarious Work.
Kerry Preibisch is a feminist sociologist with research interests in gender, migration, and rural livelihoods; temporary migration programs, migrant rights, and development; im/migration and social change; and ethical food production. Kerry has undertaken research in 20 different countries, mostly in the Americas, and is recognized internationally as an expert on temporary migration programs in North America. As a community-engaged scholar, Dr. Preibisch works closely with migrants and their allies.
Nandita Sharma is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. Her research interests address themes of human migration, migrant labour, national state power, ideologies of sexism, racism and nationalism, processes of identification and self-understanding, and social movements for justice. Nandita's research is shaped by the social movements she is active in, including No Borders movements and those struggling for the commons. Her publications include her book, Home Economics: Nationalism and the Making of 'Migrant Workers' in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2006) and a co-edited special issue of the journal, Refuge “No Borders: A Practical Response to State Controls on People’s Migration” (with Bridget Anderson and Cynthia Wright). http://nanditasharma.net/
Salimah Valiani is Associate Researcher with the Centre for the Study of Education and Work at the University of Toronto. With an academic background in world historical political economy, her research specializations are in the areas of international labour migration, caring labour, economic development, and world inequality. Since 2001, she has worked with non-governmental organizations and unions in Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, and South Africa. She is the author of the research monograph, Rethinking Unequal Exchange: the global integration of nursing labour markets (University of Toronto Press, March 2012), a range of academic and policy papers, and two collections of poetry. In June 2012 she was awarded the Feminist Economics Rhonda Williams Prize – an award recognizing feminist scholarship and activism in the spirit of the African American economist and activist, Rhonda Williams. See her blog at
Harsha Walia is a South Asian activist based in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories. She has been an organizer in migrant justice movements for over a decade, including as a cofounder of No One Is Illegal. She has also been active in anti-racist, feminist, and anti-imperialist movements through Radical Desis, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Defenders of the Land, and Women's Memorial March Committee for Missing and Murdered Women. Her writings have appeared in over fifty publications and her first book Undoing Border Imperialism is forthcoming. She works in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver and is also the cocreator of a short film on race, class, and gender in the neighbourhood, available for free here. You can find her @HarshaWalia