If elected to serve as a Director-at-Large of the PHABC, I will work toward the following: 1) strengthening interest in public health law research; 2) expanding advocacy for migrant health, especially for refugees and immigrants; and 3) promoting Aboriginal health through cross-cultural exchange. To accomplish these goals, I will commit to creating a database of evidence based law and policy, and building migrant and Aboriginal community capacity through member diversity and minority participation. Gathering empirical evidence for public health law requires collaborative efforts between legal advocates, public health practitioners, policymakers, social scientists and others. Because legal interventions critically impact the health of marginalised communities, I hope to raise awareness and appreciation of First Nations, refugee, and immigrant concerns. In so doing, I strongly believe that PHABC can increase minority visibility within the BC health and legal systems.
Skills: As an international interdisciplinary researcher in science, psychology, public health and law, I am well equipped to achieve these goals. My 14-years of teaching, consulting and conducting research span four continents, affording me a broad perspective and deeper insights on the areas listed above. Several years of drafting and reforming public health law and policy make me an ideal candidate for the position. I am confident that my cross-cultural communication, collaborative leadership and affable personality will ensure my success as a PHABC Director-at-Large. Community engagement and legal advocacy require eloquence and respectful representation, which are part and parcel of diverse conversation and good governance. Overall, my academic expertise in forced migration, gender violence, the rule of law, Indigenous law, and child’s rights gives me the skills necessary to assess public health law, engage with the community and make meaningful recommendations to advance minority health.
Experience: Currently, I serve as a board member for the World Computer Exchange (Canada). I am an active member of the Law Section and International Health Section of the American Public Health Association, the Social Justice Fund (Seattle) and a returning volunteer of the Seattle/King County Clinic 2016. In Australia, I am an active member of the Indigenous Health Network, Refugee Action, Australian National University Gender Institute and the RECOGNISE Movement. I also founded and co-chair the “Displaced Peoples” Law and Society Collaborative Research Network. In the past, I sat on the board of the African Peace Festival (Vancouver) and the Winnipeg Refugee Education Network (Manitoba); chaired the Center for Refugee Studies’ Student Caucus (Toronto) and was a student board member of the International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (Toronto). I founded and chaired Africa Awareness at the University of British Columbia. Additionally, I contributed toward drafting the Mental Health Law (Liberia) and domesticating the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Liberia). I am the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Internal Displacement; a senior editor of the International Law Journal of London, and a peer-reviewer of the Journals of Human Trafficking and Human Rights. Regarding academic and professional experiences, I taught Public Health Law as an Adjunct Professor for two years in the School of Population and Public Health at the University of British Columbia. In 2006, I worked with the International Organisation of Migration (Switzerland) as a Migration Health and Human Trafficking Young Canadian Professional. On returning to Canada, I was appointed a Research Analyst of the BC’s Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. At present, I am a Senior Researcher of the Centre for Policy Studies, the only Policy Think Tank in Liberia. My PhD dissertation topic focuses on “Systematic Gender Violence and the Rule of Law: Indigenous Communities in Post-war Liberia and Australia,” and my MPH thesis “Critically Assessed Psychological Intervention for African Refugee.” Together I have published eight books and book chapters, 19 journal articles, book reviews and several reports in public health, Aboriginal issues, law, human rights, conflict studies, and women/children’s rights issues. Between 2007 and 2013, I volunteered with PHABC’s conferences and summer Institute. The knowledge, skills and lessons acquired from these experiences undergird my leadership as a PHABC Director-at-Large with PHABC.