Episode 4 - Am I an activist?

Season 1, Ep. 4

In this episode, Ravneet and Taiwo explore ways that young Diasporans living in Canada support, help and advocate for their homelands. 

To learn more about the themes presented in this episode, refer to these papers from Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies

  • Singh, M., & Singh, A. (2014). Diaspora, political action, and identity: A case study of Canada’s Indian diaspora. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 17(2), 149-171. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.17.2.149
  • Moss, D. M. (2020). Special report 2020: The importance of defending diaspora activism for democracy and human rights. Freedom House. https://freedomhouse.org/report/special-report/2020/importance-defending-diaspora-activism-democracy-and-human-rights
  • Panagakos, A. N. (1998). Citizens of the trans-nation: political mobilization, multiculturalism, and nationalism in the Greek diaspora. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 7(1), 53-73. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.7.1.53

Guest Bios

Taiwo Bello is a senior doctoral student in African History at the University of Toronto, where he also works as a Teaching Assistant and Course Instructor. He is currently a Vanier Scholar, Martin Klein Fellow, and Carmen Brock Fellow in African History. His research interests include gender and women’s studies; violent conflicts and genocide; international history; diaspora studies; digital humanities; and Africa in 20th-century global history.

Ravneet Mann is a legal marketing professional in Toronto, Canada. After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts (specializing in Sociology and Education) from the University of Toronto in 2014, she started her role as Program Coordinator at the Zoryan Institute. Ravneet coordinated several of the Institute’s programs including the Genocide and Human Rights University Program, the Syrian Refugee Oral History Program. Her time at Zoryan Institute combined with her family history, led Ravneet to develop a keen interest in advocacy for social justice.

More Episodes


Episode 1 - Uprooted

Season 1, Ep. 1
In this episode, Cheng and Athena explore reasons behind migration, and their personal experiences of being “uprooted” from their homeland and “replanted” in Canada. This episode provides an introduction to identities, culture, and hybridity.To learn more about the themes presented in this episode, refer to these papers from Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies:Howard, A. (2011). Diaspora no more? The role of Facebook in the development of a global Rotuman community. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 20(2), 177-203.https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.20.2.003Liebelt, C., Shenar, G., & Werbner, P. (2010). Migration, diaspora, and religious pilgrimage in comparative perspective: Sacred geographies and ethical landscapes. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 19(1), 32-50. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.19.1.03Tölölyan, K. (1991). The nation-state and its others: In lieu of a preface, Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 1(1), 3-7. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.1.1.3Jules-Rosette, B. (2000). Identity discourses and diasporic aesthetics in Black Paris: Community formation and the translation of culture, Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 9(1), 39-58. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.9.1.39Fortier, A. (1998). The politics of "Italians abroad": Nation, diaspora, and new geographies of identity. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 7(2), 197-224. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.7.2.197Guest BiosAthena Madan is an Assistant Professor at Royal Roads University, School of Humanitarian Studies. She is a naturalised Canadian citizen who is half Filipino and half Indian. She is additionally fluently bilingual in French and in English; the mother of Deven (born March 2019); the other half of Drew (a partner with Woodward & Company LLP); and the seventh of seven siblings (auspicious for a Filipino). Athena is one of the recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Academics Award from the Confederation of Faculty Associations of British Columbia (CUFA BC), and the recipient of the RRU Kelly Outstanding Teacher Award (2021). In 2018, Athena was selected as a winner of the Untold Stories Competition @ NPR, Johns Hopkins, & the Consortium for Universities in Global Health.Cheng Xu is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar and the 2021-2022 Cadieux-Leger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada. Cheng has served for nearly ten years in the Canadian Armed Forces as an airborne infantry officer.

Episode 6 - Connecting Cultures through Choir

Season 1, Ep. 6
In this episode, Lili and Marta have a conversation about passing on their Latin American and Ukrainian heritages to their communities through their work with theVancouver Latin American Cultural Centre Society and the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium. This episode reveals how communities share and preserve culture through informal and formal education, and the creative ways that Diasporas have stayed connected to each other and to their homelands through the COVID-19 pandemic.To learn more about the themes presented in this episode, refer to these papers from Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies:Gezentsvey-Lamy, M. A., Ward, C., & Liu, J. H. (2013). Motivation for ethno-cultural continuity. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44(7), 1047-1066. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022113478657Sökefeld, M. (2002). Alevism online: Re-imagining a community in virtual space. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 11(1), 85-123. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.11.1.85Guest BiosLili Vieira de Carvalho is the Vancouver Latin American Cultural Centre Society’s Executive Director. Lili was one of the founders of VLACC and its vice-president from 2012 to early 2019, while also chairing the Programming Committee. Since incorporation, she has been involved in all levels of the organization’s activities, from marketing and communications to fundraising efforts. She’s also the spokesperson of the Consulate General of Brazil in Vancouver’s Citizen Council. Born in Brazil, Lili immigrated to Vancouver in 2008 and has over 30 years of experience in arts management. Since accepting the Executive Director position with VLACC, Lili led an 8-month Capacity Building plan that prepared the organization to expand its fundraising and planning strategies, while developing governance and volunteer recruiting and retention. In that same period, she collaborated in doubling the organization's budget. Recently she led the work of integrating VLACC's new website with a donor and member management database while planning for 2021's program line-up.Marta Baziuk is Executive Director of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC), a project of the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta (Toronto office). HREC was founded in 2013 with the mandate to promote knowledge and awareness of the Holodomor through a range of research, education and outreach activities, engaging academic audiences, educators and the broader public. HREC initiatives include a publications program, annual research grants competition, visiting scholar and post-doctoral fellowships, conferences, and development of pedagogical materials. Marta has more than 25 years of experience in international development and the not-for-profit sector. In the early 1990s, while representing the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in Ukraine, she worked with local activists to establish the first nationwide election monitoring organization, the Non-Partisan Committee of Voters. As Ukraine Program Officer for Winrock International, Marta oversaw the establishment of a national network of women’s centers that offer job skills training programs, domestic violence hotlines, and other services.She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.

Episode 3 - Poutine in Portugal

Season 1, Ep. 3
In this episode, João and Regine talk about their experiences of returning back to their homelands of Portugal and Rwanda after living as Diasporan Canadians. This episode explores the subjects of belonging, staying connected, hybrid identities, race, food and culture, and where one feels most at “home”.To learn more about the themes presented in this episode, refer to these papers from Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies:Sardinha, J. (2014). “Even if the only thing for me to do here was to milk cows”: Portuguese emigrant descendant returnees from Canada narrate pre-return desires and motivations. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 17(3), 316-339. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.17.3.316King, R., Christou, A., Goodson, I., Teerling, J. (2014). Tales of satisfaction and disillusionment: Second-generation “return” migration to Greece and Cyprus. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 17(3), 262-287. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.17.3.262Kasbarian, S. (2015). The myth and reality of “return”— Diaspora in the “homeland”.Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 18(3), 358-381. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.18.3.358Ishkanian, A. (2004). Review essay: Home-comings and goings. Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies, 13(1), 111-121. https://doi.org/10.3138/diaspora.13.1.111Guest BiosAfter completing his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia in 1997, João Sardinha moved to Lisbon, Portugal to do his Masters in Geography and Regional Studies at Nova University of Lisbon which he then followed up with a PhD Degree at the University of Sussex in the UK. For the last 14 years he's worked as a social science researcher at three academic research institutions in Portugal, most recently for the International Organization for Migration, and he also works as a free-lance translator. His primary area of research during this the last almost decade and a half has focused on the ancestral homeland return of the offspring of Portuguese emigrants back to Portugal.Dr. Régine Uwibereyeho King is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary. King has a PhD in Social Work and a Masters in Counselling Psychology and Community Development (MEd.) from University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education from the National University of Rwanda. Her research interests include social processes of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation, refugee issues, cross-cultural mental health, Indigenous knowledge, and racial justice. Her research agenda is guided by anti-colonial, antiracist perspectives, and Black feminism. King is a community-based researcher who utilizes critical ethnography and critical storytelling/narrative methods in her research projects. Dr. King has published her work in the areas of truth and reconciliation, intergroup dialogues, healing of collective trauma, anti-Black racism, refugee mental health, transnational social work, and critical pedagogies. King’s community engagement includes genocide prevention, various academic committees, advocacy, and support to marginalized communities.