Editorial Board



Founder and Lead Editor

​Zainab is a PhD student in Policy Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University. She holds an MA in Global Governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo. Zainab is a researcher on the project, Balancing Security and Human Rights: A Comparative Study of Immigration Detention and Border Controls, examining the impact of border security measures on the rights of irregular migrants. She also works on an international project, PROTECT, assessing the right to international refugee protection in Canada. She is a member of the IMISCOE Standing Committee Methodological Approaches and Tools in Migration Research at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands and the International Public Policy Association (IPPA).



Managing Editor, Labour Migration

Jodi is a PhD in Policy Studies Candidate at Toronto Metropolitan University. She came to Canada as an international student to complete an MA on the social, political and economic issues that international students face in Atlantic Canada; she further examined how these experiences
shape their thoughts on where to settle in Canada. Her current study will take this a step further by analyzing immigration discourse from various levels - parliament, media, and the citizenry - in Atlantic Canada. Jodi’s education and experience are in elementary and post-secondary education, immigration consulting, campus engagement, and international-student affairs.



Managing Editor, Identity Politics and Belonging

Karimah Rahman holds a BA with a major in Political Science and a minor in Southern Asian Studies from Concordia University, a MA in Political Science and a Graduate Diploma in Asian Studies at York University. Her Masters research specialized on the Muslim South Asian Diaspora in Trinidad and Guyana. Currently, Karimah is pursuing her PhD in Policy Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University in the Immigration, Settlement and Diaspora Policy Stream. Her research focuses on the marginalization of Indo-Caribbeans (especially Muslims) and those in the Old South Asian Diaspora (especially the descendants of indentured labourers) by Mainland South Asians from an intersectional perspective within a predominantly Canadian context such as in the 2001 South Asian Heritage Act that Indo-Caribbeans can be attributed to lobbying/ grassroots mobilizing for but invisibilized in its implementation in South Asian Heritage Month. Karimah is a published spoken word artist and co-founder of the South Asian Diaspora Collective (SADC).

Saad El Hakmi_edited_edited_edited.jpg


Managing Editor, Frontline Views

Saad El Hakmi is currently pursuing his PhD in Policy Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University. He holds a Master of Arts in Immigration and Settlement Studies and worked on various community-based projects related to immigrants in Canada. At present, Saad is also a Research Assistant working on the "Democracy Talks TO" initiative with the Democratic Engagement Exchange at Ryerson. His research interests are advocacy for democracy and social inclusion of racialized

communities, civic and democratic engagement, labour market experiences of immigrants, immigration laws and policies, and the identity of migrants.

JC Fall 2020.jpg


Managing Editor, Refugee Protection

John Carlaw is a postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration Program at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research examines continuity and change in the politics of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism. John’s recent work has focused on the Conservative Party of Canada’s approach to these policy fields. He completed his MA and doctorate in Political Science at York University, where he also completed the Graduate Diploma in Latin American and Caribbean Studies offered by its Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC). From 2015 to 2019, John served as Project Lead of York University's Syria Response and Refugee Initiative, a refugee sponsorship and education initiative at York’s Centre for Refugee Studies, where he remains an affiliated researcher.  There he worked in close collaboration with Ryerson University’s Lifeline Syria Challenge as well as civil society actors to organize events, workshops and conferences with youth and NGO collaborators, including Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Council for Refugees and its Youth Network, and the Toronto Refugee Rights Month Planning Committee.

unnamed (1).jpg


Managing Editor, The Refugee Experience

Hanen is a student at Toronto Metropolitan University, Majoring in Politics and Governance and minoring in Law. She is the founder of BAM - Books Art Music collective, Ontario’s first youth-led collective that aims to empower equity-seeking young people to get involved in civics and community through Arts. Currently, she is the executive vice -president of the politics and governance association at Ryerson and the outreach coordinator for the Syrian Canadian Foundation. Hanen is the youngest recipient to receive the MCIS Interpreter Training Scholarship in 2016. She is one of the advisory committee members of Promising Practices in Accessing Virtual Mental Health: Supporting Refugees during the COVID-19 Project. She is an ambassador for the IRCNF- OCASI Campaign(Immigrant and Refugee Communities - Neighbours, Friends and Families (IRCNFF) to raise awareness and promote action to end domestic violence. In 2019 she was chosen to be one of Daughters of the vote representing the federal riding of Scarborough Guild-wood in Ottawa. Hanen is also a Co-founder of Starter Kit Project, the project was created to discuss various pathways and find solutions to problems faced by those wanting to attend post-secondary education specific to the newcomer's needs. She has worked for the city of Toronto and for multiple local and international organizations such as WelcomeHome.TO, UNHCR and International Blue Crescent.




Laura Lam is a researcher currently completing her Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University, and incoming PhD student at the University of Toronto in Fall 2020. With her background in marketing and storytelling, she has been an advocate for impact-driven businesses, and has worked in a marketing capacity with various startups and accelerators. She is now a researcher studying the nexus of entrepreneurship, employment and the settlement experience of newcomers to Canada. She completed her Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia, with a specialization in marketing and sustainability

Jaspreet Kaur.jpg



Jaspreet has a background in social services. She received her Social Service Worker diploma with High Honours from Sheridan College. As an international student from India, she has always been passionate about supporting and empowering newcomers and immigrants. Jaspreet strongly believes in the power of volunteering. Currently, she is volunteering as the Manager, Programs and Events at Newcomer Students' Association of Ryerson (NSAR). Further, she has been selected as the Peer Champion: 2020-2021 Immigrant and Refugee Communities Neighbours, Friends and Families (IRCNFF) Campaign with Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI). Jaspreet has been recognized with the Newcomer Resilience Award and contributed as a Research Assistant to a project called ‘Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities: Case Studies’. She is skilled in understanding one’s social location with an Anti-Oppressive lens. Jaspreet is approachable and always ready to aid others. She believes in diversity, equity and inclusion and works toward making a difference in others’ lives by providing them with appropriate support and services. 




Samantha is a PhD in Policy Studies Candidate at Toronto Metropolitan University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sociology and Labour Studies from Brock University, as well as a Masters of Arts in Social Justice Studies from Lakehead University. Samantha’s doctoral research focuses on food insecurity in the Canadian context at the intersection of social justice and policy. She currently works at the Ted Rogers School of Management Diversity Institute at Ryerson University, assisting with research projects primarily focused on the diversity and inclusion of women, people of colour, new immigrants, Indigenous peoples, the LGBTQ2S+ community, and persons with disabilities in the Canadian workplace, including leadership roles as well as within entrepreneurship at the micro, meso and macro level across Canadian society. Samantha’s broader research interests include Indigenous social and welfare policy, primarily focusing on issues of food policy and food insecurity, community-based participatory research, representation of historically marginalized populations in the labour market, social justice, content analysis, qualitative methods and methodology, policy theory and policy analysis.




Sohail Shahidnia is a doctoral student in Policy Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University. He holds an MA in Criminology from University of Toronto. His experience as an international student has led him to volunteer on projects helping International students. He is currently a Research Assistant working on “International Immigration Policies and Exit Restrictions” with Professor Matthew Light at University of Toronto. Sohail is involved in many projects including a management position at Segal Immigration helping International students to successfully integrate into Canadian society. His research interests include experiences of international students in Canada, settlement and integration, discrimination and Canadian immigration policies, media and immigration, and permanent residency, citizenship, and sense of belonging.

Join the Migration Initiative

Interested in joining our team? Email us at migrationinitiative@gmail.com