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Gloria DeSantis

Associate Professor
PhD (University of Regina); MA (University of Waterloo); BA Hons (Wilfrid Laurier University)

Office: CL 327
Phone: 306-585-5066
Pronoun(s): she/her

Research interests

  • nonprofit sector, public policy advocacy in Canada
  • social justice
  • mixed methods and participatory action research
  • community engagement in public policy making
  • knowledge creation from the ground up
  • geographic analyses of nonprofits and their justice advocacy work.

“Working with communities for a more just society” is my life work!

I have published:
- a co-edited book, The Shifting Terrain: Nonprofit Policy Advocacy in Canada (MQUP) with my colleague Dr. Nick Mulé,
- a workbook on the practice of advocacy in Canada that is used in senior JS courses
- book chapters on human rights, funding regimes of the nonprofit sector and community-based participatory action research
- as well as journal articles on how marginalized communities and organizations make their voices heard in public policy-making arenas as they seek justice.

Courses taught: JS 100 Introduction to Justice; JS 280 Introduction to Social Justice; JS 484 Community Advocacy and Public Policy; JS 381 Human Rights; JS 383 Social Movements; JS 310 Food, Hunger & Social Justice; Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector NSLI 200; JSGS 849 Social Economy and Public Policy; JSGS 847 Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Public Organizations

Before arriving at the JS Department in 2015, I spent 20 years working/volunteering in social justice-oriented nonprofit organizations. I held a number of positions including Executive Director, Self Help Centre Manager, Senior Planner and Research Director. In summary, in my day-to-day work I routinely facilitated community-based processes on initiatives such as needs/capacity assessments, new human service programs and delivery models, and new public policies. I have worked with many groups including homeless youth and adults, immigrants and refugees, people living in poverty, women leaving intimate partner violence, and people who have physical/psychiatric/cognitive disabilities. Nonprofit organizations were the vehicles through which diverse people met, collectively identified and defined issues, completed research together, defined solutions, and advocated for implementation of those proposed solutions. It is all of these front-line experiences that I bring to our classrooms and that inform my research/writing.

I have undergraduate degrees in community psychology and human geography. I also have a Master's degree in Regional Planning. My PhD is in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on health inequities and social justice.