My grandfather, despite his expertise in many, many things, once told me of his refusal to refer to himself as an expert. Instead, he said, he prefers to call himself a student, because he is still learning. I thought that was extremely powerful. I too, therefore, am a student, not just continuing my journey of learning, but also of unlearning the colonial knowledge we have all be been taught as “truth”.
I hold a PhD in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Windsor, where I explored issues surrounding sexual guilt and sexual anxiety of Muslims in Canada and the US. In other words, psychological components of sexual health. I approached my work from a feminist perspective, with the aim to address the health of the community. In a previous life (for my Master’s work) I explored ethnic identity and acculturation of South Asian Muslim Canadians, and before that, in undergrad, images of women in hip hop music videos (yes, I watched a lot of hip hop music videos and got to call it school work). This was the time my learning of issues related to race and systemic racism really began. Since then I have become passionate about anti-oppression work, which has lead me to where I am now – working to decolonize psychological knowledge, and indeed our lives, so that I may do my part to help marginalized and oppressed communities thrive!
As someone who really loves the field of psychology (in my high school yearbook I had written that my future aspiration was to study psychology) but hates that so much of the field has been and continues to be oppressive, I’m excited by the activist and anti-oppression philosophy of community psychology, the inclusion of intersectionality in psychological study, and especially the call to decolonize the field.
In my current work I am focused on issues of sexual health, the newcomer experience and identity, and processes of decolonizing psychological knowledge.
I’ve been influenced by many people and many experiences in life, including my parents (I am eternally in awe of their courage and bravery), my siblings, my strong, supportive, and loving husband, my adorable niece who leaves me in awe and fills me with joy, and my amazing and brilliant academic mentors. They all give me life.
I currently live on unceded Mi’kmaq territory and teach at the University of Prince Edward Island.