What's Next UAlbertaAt the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS), we conduct timely and often pressing research focused on helping sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth to mediate life in family, school, healthcare, and other environments.

iSMSS research fits the theme area "transforming research in education", which is acknowledged as the Faculty of Education’s strength in the University of Alberta’s Strategic Research Plan. We conduct innovative research that advances recognition and accommodation of SGM individuals through evidence-based approaches to policymaking, educational and community programming, and educating professionals to engage in caring practices. Research foci include:

  • inclusive lifelong learning;
  • SGM issues in education, health, and culture;
  • critical youth studies;
  • resilience as a non-linear, asset-creating process; and
  • policymaking and its implementation in caring practices in schools, healthcare, government, and other environments.

In sum, iSMSS research is intended to advance inclusive policymaking as a protective basis for framing and engaging in ethical and informed educational, healthcare, other institutional, and community/cultural practices. This includes enhancing SGM-inclusive education as a strategic sociocultural, political, and pedagogical project.

Dr. André P. Grace, Canada Research Chair

Canada leafIn Canada, sexual and gender minority (SGM) youth often experience adversity and trauma in schooling while experiencing government, legal, and healthcare services as disconnected and insufficient to address their needs. Contesting the history of stigmatizing or fixing these youth as a source of social disorder (a problems approach), Dr. André P. Grace, Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Studies (Tier 1), is addressing these urgent problems. His research program, now supported by the federal government's Canada Research Chair program, strives for greater synchronicity in research, policy, and practice so stakeholders in education, healthcare, and other social institutions can collectively help these youth to build capacity (a solutions approach). His research goal is to advance recognition and accommodation of SGM youth in education, healthcare, and other life contexts so these youth can be happy, healthy, and hopeful.

Background to iSMSS Studies

iSMSS StudiesiSMSS operates from the perspective that academic studies (research and teaching) and advocacy are inextricably linked. When the Institute is fulfilling all of its functions, it will be bringing the intellectual sphere of ideas (its studies function) and the organic sphere of advocacy and action (its service function) into dynamic equilibrium.

In 2005 Canadians celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the implementation of equality provisions enshrined in Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In 1995 in Egan v. Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada declared sexual orientation to be a character of person analogous to other characteristics listed in Section 15This section protects individuals against discrimination on the basis of...

Camp fYrefly: Edmonton Camp Analysis 2008-2015

The Camp fYrefly: Edmonton Camp Analysis 2008-2015 report begins by briefly summarizing how the sociocultural environment can affect the lived experiences of SGM youth. Following, the report highlights how Camp fYrefly creates a safe and supportive environment for SGM youth. Within this section, we highlight some of the campers’ demographic information to provide context regarding who has historically attended camp. Next, we present data analysis regarding how Camp fYrefly fosters leadership and personal growth for the campers. Here we were limited by what data particular annual evaluations collected as the camp and the mode of evaluation evolved. However, we used our data analysis to consider how we can improve evaluations at the various campsites as we move forward.

Building Inclusive Sport Communities

Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services

Help make the sporting world a more inclusive, respectful and welcoming environment by developing a program of applied research in critical queer perspectives focused on advancing the understanding of sexual and gender minorities in sports and society.

This postdoctoral fellowship presents a unique opportunity to participate fully in the research, program evaluation, publication, and dissemination activities of the University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) and the You Can Play Project.

Important Information for Applicants

This is a two-year position, subject to a satisfactory performance review following the first year, with a negotiable start date. The stipend offered is $50,000 CDN annually plus a research allowance of $5,000 CDN. This position will be located within iSMSS, in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, and will work closely with the iSMSS Director of Programs and Services and the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project.

Constitutional Frontiers: The Fight for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Equality in Canada

The Centre for Constitutional Studies in collaboration with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services and the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership presents:

Event PosterThis panel discussion, moderated by Julie Lloyd, marks the 15th anniversary of Vriend v Alberta, in which the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Alberta must include sexual orientation as a protected ground in human rights legislation.

Panelists Delwin Vriend, barbara findlay QC, and Dr. Kristopher Wells will reflect on the past 15 years of constitutional challenges and legal gains made in the fight for sexual and gender minority equality.

Panelists will address crucial issues while celebrating past legal victories to chart a bold new course for our future.


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