Gloria DeSantis

Assistant Professor
Founder/Facilitator, Voluntary Sector Studies Network

Office: CL 327
Phone: 306-585-5066
Fax: 306-585-4815

Current classes
JS 100-001 Introduction to Justice; JS 310-991 Food, Hunger & Social Justice

My community and academic work have enabled me to understand social justice as a four-dimensional concept.  Social justice is about:  the equitable distribution of material (e.g., money, food, housing) and non-material goods (e.g., opportunity, power); the recognition of the dignity of all people; full participation in the life or our communities; and personal capacity development.  My interest is not marginalized groups per se, but rather, on the structures and ideologies that create these groups.

Over the past 25 years, I have worked/volunteered 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 relationships, 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. 

I have an undergraduate degree in community psychology and human geography.  I also have a Master's degree in Regional Planning.  My PhD is in Interdisciplinary Studies.  I am honoured to have had my research recognized over the years through a variety of awards:  Canadian Federation of University Women Dr. Alice Wilson National Award, Douglas-Coldwell Foundation Scholarship and Top Research Fellow Award (socio-health) from the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation.  I have published numerous peer reviewed and technical documents. 

My research interests focus on nonprofit sector advocacy in Canada, health inequities and social justice, qualitative research, participatory action research, community engagement in public policy, and knowledge creation from the ground up. 

I have taught the following courses:  IDS 290AA Nonprofits in Society, KHS 200 Health and Illness, JSGS 849 Social Economy and Public Policy, JSGS 847 Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Public Organizations, HS 301 Contemporary Health Issues, JS 405 Advocacy Strategies and Skills (now JS 384).