Zeenat Janmohamed, PhD

Keynote Presentation: Social Justice Education in the Early Years

Monday, October 16, 2017, 9 – 10 am

Biography

Zeenat Janmohamed the Chair of the School of Social and Community Services and Deaf and Deafblind Studies at George Brown College. She has a long history in early childhood education and family support and held a faculty position in School of Early Childhood at George Brown College, and a visiting scholar position at the Atkinson Centre, University of Toronto. She is an instructor at Ryerson University in the School of Early Childhood Studies and at the Eric Jackman Institute of Child Studies at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Janmohamed is the Principal Investigator of a SSHRC Grant on the Early Childhood Cognitive Sensitivity Training Study in collaboration with researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Calgary. Her most recent study investigates the impact of full-day kindergarten and extended day programs on educators, families and school administration. She is interested in the integration of early childhood programs into public education and policy research related to the early childhood profession. Her other area of expertise examines the implementation of ideas related to diversity, equity, and difference. Her research aims to examine how diversity is explored in training, policy and practice. Zeenat completed her PhD. in the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at OISE, University of Toronto.

Keynote Presentation: Social Justice Education in the Early Years

Zeenat Janmohamed presents a narrative on how principles of social justice education can be integrated into early childhood and family support programs.  In Alberta, the demographic of young children and their families is no longer homogenous.  Families arrive at program doors with histories in race, social class and immigration status.  They may bring Indigenous ways of knowing and have expectations that practitioners are not prepared for.  Families are located in communities that may be wealthy and seem to be well resourced.  However, some of these families may be experiencing social isolation or issues with mental health.  Challenging normative understanding of the child within a family construct requires the capacity to interrogate and challenge Western ways of knowing.  Policy development and practice in the early years, can make the transition from dominant assumptions about children and families to a social justice paradigm that recognizes the role of power and privilege in early child development and family support.

Dr. Sophie Yohani

Keynote Presentation: Reflections on Multicultural and Social Justice Practice with Children and Families

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 9 – 10 am

Biography

Dr. Sophie Yohani is an associate professor of counselling psychology at the University of Alberta and a psychologist with training in elementary education, global mental health, and community development. Her interests lie in multicultural counselling, participatory research methods, and the mental health and psychosocial adaptation of refugees and migrants. Over the last 20 years, her work has ranged from providing individual psychotherapy and assessments in traditional clinical settings to mental health practice, training and research with immigrant/refugee groups within community settings. She has also served as the director of the Faculty of Education’s Counselling Centre, a training facility for psychology graduate student clinicians. Research activities and publications examine psychosocial adaptation, trauma, sexualized violence, mental health and health service delivery using resilience, hope, critical multicultural counselling, and feminist theories. Her graduate students conduct research in these areas, both in Canada and internationally.

Dr. Yohani’s current projects, with colleagues from the Universities of Calgary and Alberta, include community-based studies of the mental health challenges and pathways to healing amongst survivors of the 1994 genocide and the role of cultural brokers in supporting the psychosocial adaptation of Syrian families with young children. Dr. Yohani is originally from Tanzania and serves as an adjunct (visiting) professor in the Clinical Psychology Program at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania. She recently began taking pottery lessons, following the finger prints of female potters in her family and their ancestral Pare people.

Keynote Presentation: Reflections on Multicultural and Social Justice Practice with Children and Families

As Alberta becomes increasingly culturally diverse, human service providers are encountering tensions in their work when their practice is not applicable to multicultural families. Despite knowing the value of multicultural competencies, few practitioners feel equipped to engage in practice that is holistic and understands clients from their socio-cultural-historical contexts. This presentation will describe the process of developing a multicultural and social justice orientation when working with children and their families.

Patti LaBoucane-Benson

Keynote Presentation: We are All Called to Action: Historic Trauma, Healing and Reconciliation

Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 2:45 – 3:45 pm

Biography

Patti Laboucane-Benson is a Métis woman and the Director of Research, Training, and Communication at Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA). She has a Ph.D. in Human Ecology, focusing on Aboriginal Family Resilience. Her doctoral research explored how providing historic trauma healing programs for Aboriginal offenders builds resilience in Aboriginal families and communities. She has also been the recipient of the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta Award for Education. She lives in Spruce Grove, Alberta.

Keynote Presentation: We are All Called to Action: Historic Trauma, Healing and Reconciliation

This closing presentation will reflect upon the effects of colonization on the Indigenous Family, the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Report and how our programs and services can be a part of the healing and reconciliation movement in Canada.

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