Public Education in a Changing World:
Building real community in schools
Unconscious bias, streaming, everyday discrimination, the hidden curriculum; the panelists will examine how people in schools engage with students – of various gender identities and sexual orientations, and from different ethnic, racial, cultural, linguistic, and economic backgrounds – and how schools have to change.
Eloise is the Research Program Director at People for Education, leading our long-term research strategy and direction. She brings over a decade of experience working in education, and has worn many professional hats over the years. Intersectionality, equity, and inclusion are central to how she approaches research, policy, and engagement whether in her role as an equity educator, research manager, lecturer, or policy advisor.
She earned her PhD in Educational Studies from McGill University, where her research explored perceptions of learning and schooling in youth outside of the formal school system. Prior to joining People for Education, Eloise worked at Ontario’s Council for Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) and ORION, Ontario’s research and innovation network. Within these organisations she led and contributed to research and stakeholder engagement initiatives that involved participation from a diversity of post-secondary institutions. She also worked in Irish higher education for five years, in the areas of curriculum reform, teaching and learning, and education policy. Her time in Ireland makes her partial to a cup of tea and a good scone.
Farah has been teaching within Canada and internationally for the past 15 years. She’s trained educators & worked with youth in Madagascar, Australia, New Zealand and across Canada. She’s developed award-winning curriculum and workshops focused on technology, social justice, mathematics and has won numerous national and local awards. Farah is currently an Equity and Anti-Oppression Coach at the Toronto District School Board supporting educators to build their equity and anti-oppression frameworks and pedagogical practices. All while juggling being a mom to two little girls.
My Tamil emigrant parents named me Sharla with assimilation in mind; a name easy to pronounce and ambiguous in ethnic roots. My last name honours my partner’s Yoruba Nigerian heritage. Serasanke represents a Carnatic melody. It commemorates my activist grandmother who offered free Arts education to underserved Tamil communities in Jaffna, Sri Lanka for cultural affirmation & preservation. My identities and stories are the bedrock to my work as a critical, political and anti-oppressive educator, facilitator, writer, researcher, scholar, and former K-12 learning coach in public education.
Yvonne is a Community and Partnership Developer with the Inclusive School and Community Services Department of the York Region District School Board. Yvonne has 25 years of experience in community development, social justice, advocacy and equity work, largely in school based settings. She is currently a Co-Chair of the Social Planning Council of York Region, the Chair of the Social Planning Network of Ontario (SPNO) and the Co-Lead of the now SPNO’s CoP on Equity and Inclusion for Low-Income Students and Families. Throughout her career, Yvonne has participated on the steering committees of several organizations and grassroots coalitions advocating for adequate income, equity and fairness for all. Yvonne is passionate about social justice and is committed to working across the spectrum of networks and groups and bringing people together to find common purpose.
Sharma Queiser is a Researcher and Policy Analyst at Social Planning Toronto where she conducts community-based, action-oriented research and supports resident engagement. Currently, her work focuses on academic streaming, access to recreation for equity-seeking groups, and community use of public spaces. A social worker by training, Sharma is dedicated to addressing the root causes of social injustices.