An analysis of self-help groups, cooperatives diaspora businesses and social enterprises among African-Canadians and racialized people

 A five-year project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science for the Early Researcher Award (2018-2022).

This research project examines the role of the social economy–comprised of community organizations and socially conscientious businesses that support societal well-being–among racialized Canadians and racialized people in the GTA, London and Oshawa. The project documents how racialized people, especially women, are excluded from economic development programs (e.g., those created to support Impact Ontario) and how people cope with exclusion by relying on local social economies. 

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Nicholas Goberdhan

Nicholas is currently a fourth-year undergraduate student at York University. He is doing an honors double major BA in Law and Society & Health and Society. This fall, he will be returning to York University to do his Masters Degree in Socio-Legal Studies. 

Nicholas is interested in mental illness within vulnerable communities, and using an intersectional approach to examine the movement of power, structural violence, and oppression. His undergraduate work is primarily concerned with taking a creative approach towards understanding the complexities of health and law.  


Semhar Berhe

Semhar is currently in her last year of the Business and Society program at York University. For the 2017/2018 academic year Semhar was part of The UMosaic Fellowship where she was part of creating a social initiative that is currently being marketed. She has also been awarded an international scholarship that will take her studies abroad starting Fall 2018. Her interest lies in public policy and the how this impacts society as a whole, with this interest she has plans to pursue her Master's and JD Law degree

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Tewodros Asfa

Tewodros Asfaw is currently a PhD student at York University. He completed his BA and MA at University of Windsor. His past research involved in food security, in theorizing hunger and in constitutional discourse on hunger. Today, his research, under an excellent guidance of Dr. Mensah, focuses on the production of space in politics, on the politicization of ethnicity and on identity politics. In 2018, he joyfully joined Dr. Hossein as RA. His work under an admirable guidance of Dr. Hossein involved in analyzing and in understanding the three thousand years old political economy of Ethiopia. In addition to my academic background, I’ve also involved with African communities in multiple cities as a social life skill worker, community leader and Radio Personality. With the former two roles, I had the opportunity to advocate for marginalized people, to raise funds, to coordinate volunteer activities, to facilitate clients’ interaction with their appropriate age groups and to implement an age appropriate curriculum for school age children, youth and adult.  With the latter one, I provided social and political venue for various Black Scholars, community leaders, Feminist,  members of community from all walks of life  to exchange ideas about their respective experiences with my audience in an engaging, interesting and educational way.


Ola Osman

Ola Osman is currently a fourth year undergraduate student at Western University’s Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research. She will be headed to complete a Masters in Women’s Studies at Oxford University in the fall. She is invested in documenting the lives of Black women who organize for peace trans-nationally. Her undergraduate thesis examined the Black maternal familiarity with death and the mobilizing capacity of performative mourning. Her graduate thesis will focus on Liberian female ex-combatants’ experiences of reintegrating in the post-conflict era.