About Us

The Collective for Feminist Action and Research is a group of staff and faculty (formerly known as The F-Word Committee) at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus. Contact us at cfarbrantford@gmail.com.

Members:

Sue Ferguson

Photo of Sue Ferguson, CFAR member.

I became involved in feminist activism in the 1980s helping to defend access to abortion at Toronto’s Morgentaler Clinic. Carrying what I learned there into other activist forums and into my studies, I began to think through how and why racism, sexism and other oppressions are entrenched in capitalist societies which supposedly promote freedom and equality. I’m particularly interested in one explanatory approach called social reproduction feminism according to which capitalism’s need for a degraded, differentiated workforce sets broad limits to what is possible in gender relations and beyond. I’ve been part of the struggle against those limits through my anti-racist, feminist, socialist activism. Currently, beyond CFAR, I’m a member of Faculty 4 Palestine and an as-yet-unnamed campus activist coalition that has formed in the wake of the recent strikes at York and UToronto. I am also Communications Committee Director for WLUFA, Laurier’s faculty union.

Rebecca Godderis

Rebecca’s academic and activist work is grounded in a passion for anti-oppressive practice including an on-going commitment to examining her own power and privilege as a white settler and cis able-bodied woman. She is continuously learning how to be a better ally, and believes in the possibility of eliminating gender-based violence. Her cats, Julia and Ron Swanson, are amazing. Maybe even better than your cats?

Marcia Oliver

Photo of Marcia Oliver, CFAR Member.

My first ‘a-ha’ moment with feminism happened in my third year of university in a course on gender and sexuality. The world that I knew was turned upside down as I was challenged to question my assumptions, beliefs, actions, relationships, and (white, heterosexual, middle-class) privilege in ways that I had not considered before. Since then my feminism has been shaped – and continues to be shaped – by others who think a lot about and struggle with social justice research, practice, and advocacy that are rooted in principles of inclusivity, reflexivity, non-violence, and feminist, anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-heteronormative worldviews. When I’m not working, I’m hanging out and learning to play trucks with my very entertaining two-year old son.

Vanessa Oliver

Photo of Vanessa Oliver, CFAR Member

I have been involved in feminist consciousness raising and social justice initiatives for the past decade.  As a settler person focusing on allyship and followership, I believe feminism is necessarily tied to anti-racist and anti-colonial practices.  I am involved in research that works with Indigenous youth on leadership and HIV prevention, looking, in particular, at the relationships between gender, colonization and health.   I am also working with young women experiencing homelessness to understand the ways in which they can be better supported by health and social services providers and policymakers.  My work and advocacy around Ontario’s new sexual health education curriculum has continued to ignite my feminist commitment. My teaching is rooted in principles of social justice, feminism, and decolonization.  I am also entering into my second term as the Women’s Faculty Colleague at WLU, Brantford Campus.  When I’m not doing these things, I also have strong commitments to my dog, my partner, creme eggs and afternoon naps.  

Jenn Root

I’m trained as a social worker but consider my approach to be rooted in models of advocacy and community organizing. I work to eliminate gender-based violence in the lives of women and children, and their families. I’m an assistant professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Laurier Brantford. For me, the personal is always political and I use intersectional and feminist lenses to understand and problematize social phenomenon with emerging social work practitioners.  I’m a women’s and children’s advocate. I have worked exclusively in the violence against women sectors in Canada and the US, in women’s advocacy organizations, child welfare, shelter-based advocacy, and group work with perpetrators of intimate partner violence.  I’m a cisgender, white, poly, feminist. I see my privilege and constantly try to upset the systems that uphold my privilege. I see the world and social problems in gendered ways and my approach to feminism mirrors that perspective. I believe structural violence, institutional oppressions, and individual experiences of harm are directly connected to elements of gender, gender identity, and gender expression. I’m happiest in the company of my partners, my family, my besties, and my dear, fierce feminist colleagues who will have none of the patriarchy. I’m drawn to social justice work and have so much energy for community-based work and research – especially when university-community collaboration is possible.

Kate Rossiter

Photo of Kate Rossiter, CFAR member.

I am proud to say that I’ve been a member of CFAR since its inception several years ago, then called “The F-Word.”  I am a faculty member who teaches in the Health Studies, Social Justice and Community Engagement and Cultural Analysis and Social Theory programs at Laurier.   While my current academic work doesn’t directly focus on gender, I draw from feminist research and theory to inform my understanding of the politics of marginality, particularly in relation to people with intellectual disabilities who have been forcibly institutionalized.  Similarly, I use a feminist lens in all my teaching, whether or not the subject matter relates directly to gender.
I am also a proud mama of one fierce, funny daughter and one soon-to-be son.  As such, I will be on maternity leave for the 2015 -2016 academic year, likely balancing deep contemplation about the role of motherhood in late stage neoliberalism with the ongoing need to nap.

 

Celine Taillefer-Travers

Photo of Celine Taillefer-Travers, member of CFAR.

I’ve been a feminist for as long as I can remember, fighting alongside different inspirations and iterations as I grew up: Sailor Moon as a child, Heather Corinna & Scarleteen as a young adult, and now the F-Word/CFAR.  As a genre writer, game player, and social media participant, I’m interested in forging new frontiers alongside other amazing women into fantasy, science fiction, video games and more.  I currently work as an administrative assistant, have dragged one husband kicking and screaming into feminist activism, and am owned by two salty cats.

Christine Wildman

Photo of Christine Wildman, CFAR member.

Christine Wildman has an undergraduate degree in Human Rights and Human Diversity and is currently a graduate student in the Social Justice and Community Engagement Program. Christine has been working locally in the rape crisis movement over the past 8 years. She has filled various roles within the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant, working to end gender based violence. Christine is passionate about social justice and recently has been doing work in LGBTQ+ movement, chairing the Bridge Committee and playing a pivotal role in Brantford Pride.

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