Academic Lead on Equity Praxis and Systemic Ableism


Equity Praxis

My research focus over the last 7 years—and thankfully one that has been co-led with extraordinary researchers, practitioners and trainees from the Re-Creation Collective, including co-PIs Drs. Janelle Joseph and Tricia McGuire-Adams—has been how to support practitioners in various sectors to move towards increasingly robust, intersectional and anti-colonial equity and justice praxis. The key has been to move away from EDI as a noun or verb, towards an adverb that describes how every action, every strategy, every initiative could be done in a way that is more robustly aligned with a range of equity-oriented values (e.g., anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-ableist). By building from practices honed through scholarly and activist communities most impacted within the context, we seek to support a more robust integration of equity and profound impact of equity work, throughout an organization's policies, budgeting, programming, governance and accountabilities.

These practices have methodologically required a parallel process for all collective members to attempt to do the same in our own professional and personal contexts: in the ways we supervise, teach, research, learn, interrelate and serve communities and movements. I see the position of Academic Lead on Equity Praxis and Systemic Ableism as an extension of this ongoing process for me: an opportunity to collaborate with Carrie and other extraordinary folks on campus to further integrate scholarly and community-built knowledges into how we bring equity into all elements of what we do at this University.


Anti-ableism and disability justice work, specifically, has been my shadow job since I began my masters here almost 20 years ago: Guest lecturing, running reading groups and events, consulting, calling in, calling out and co-inventing access hacks with scattered collectives of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent co-conspirators. Like many members of equity-denied groups, we do this off the side of our desks, rarely at (inaccessible) tables of decision making, in unresourced and often highly resisted or pathologized ways. We have made for ourselves and each other worlds in which we could exist—out of string, duct tape, a kind of creativity born from the high altitude training of perpetual inaccess, and large doses of unflinching crip love.

But under Carrie’s extraordinary, collaborative and decisive leadership there has emerged an opportunity to do this work at the table. To create our own table, in fact. The currently named Council on Systemic Ableism is a collective of knowledge holders on campus who all also have lived experience of ableism (and its cousins sanism, audism, etc.), and whom we have witnessed working unendingly towards collective access, equity and affirmation. Our initial group was curated to represent a range of University roles and campuses, as well as a broad range of disability-specific and intersectional insights into both barriers faced and generative possibilities. We know there are many incredible knowledge holders out there who are not yet at this table, and we are excitedly working on ways to call many more of you into this generative, and hopefully regenerative, work.

Dr. Danielle Peers (they/them)
Academic Lead on Equity Praxis and Systemic Ableism

Dr. Peers is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Disability and Movement Cultures. They are the co-director of the Just Movements CreateSpace and co-PI of the Re-Creation Collective. Their work bridges three fields: adapted physical activity, socio-cultural sport and movement studies, and critical disability studies.

Situated in the Office of the Vice-Provost (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion), the role of Academic Lead on Equity Praxis and Systemic Ableism will collaborate with the VP EDI, members of the EDI Team, and EDI and Indigenous leaders, knowledge holders, and partners across U of A campuses to support the development of relational and sustainable EDI infrastructures for the University of Alberta. 


Council Founding Members

  • Danielle Peers (Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair, KSR); co-chair
  • Carrie Smith (Vice-Provost EDI); co-chair
  • Jeffrey Behrens (Student Advisor, Arts and Military and Veteran Friendly Campus Navigator, Dean of Students)
  • Georgie Columbus (Research Administration Coordinator, KSR)
  • Sarah Tregonning (Student Accessibility and Success Coordinator, Augustana)
  • Hussain Alhussainy (Undergraduate Student, Arts)
  • Max Dickeson (Graduate Student & Academic Teaching Staff, Arts)
  • Nathan Fawaz (Graduate Student, KSR)
  • Danielle Lorenz (Graduate Student, Education)
  • ​Danika Jorgensen ​Skakum (Graduate Student, Arts)
  • Sandra Reid (Academic Teaching Staff, Arts)
  • Lindsay Eales (Assistant Professor, KSR)
  • Joshua St. Pierre (Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair, Arts)
  • Megan Strickfaden (Professor, ALES)
  • Anne-José Villeneuve (Associate Professor, CSJ)
  • Joanne Weber (Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair, Education)

To learn more about the current work of the Council or to get involved, please reach out to