IG Leadership Transition

07 July 2020

rebecca-sockbeson251.pngWelcome, Rebecca!

We are delighted to welcome Dr. Rebecca Sockbeson, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, as the new Associate Director for Intersections of Gender. Dr. Sockbeson is of the Penobscot Indian Nation, the Waponahki Confederacy of tribes located in Indian Island, Maine, United States and the Maritime provinces of Canada. She is the 8th child of the Elizabeth Sockbeson clan, the auntie of over 100 Waponahki & Stoney Sioux youth and the mother of three children who are also of the Alexis Nakota Sioux First Nation of Alberta. She earned a Masters Degree in Education from Harvard University and a PhD in Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta.

Rebecca is an activist and scholar, specializing in Indigenous Peoples Education. Her research focuses on Indigenous knowledge and knowledge mobilization (also the topic of her current SSHRC Insight grant), Aboriginal healing through language and culture, anti-racism and decolonization. In 2013, she received together with her Indigenous colleagues the University of Alberta Human Rights Teaching Award for her role in coordinating and teaching Alberta’s first compulsory course in Aboriginal Education. Rebecca’s' poem honouring Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, “Hear me in this concrete beating on my drum,” was a winning entry in the Word on the Street Poetry Project in 2018. It is sandblasted on a downtown Edmonton sidewalk as part of a permanent public art installation.

Dr. Dia Da CostaThank you, Dia!

On June 30, 2020, Intersections of Gender (IG) said goodbye to our inaugural Associate Director, Dr. Dia Da Costa, as she takes up a well-deserved sabbatical; Dia will be missed. Her work in conceptualizing and championing IG institutionally, nationally, and internationally has been invaluable to the successful building of our signature area ever since she stepped into the role on January 1, 2019.

Dia’s activities and accomplishments are too numerous to account here fully. Highlights include: her essential part in the inaugural 2019 Working the Intersections of Gender Conference for which Dia organized a sold-out community screening of Tasha Hubbard’s (2019) documentary “nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up” as well as a stunning evening of performances by local Crip and Black artists. Dia has been a much sought-after speaker for promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in research and teaching across campus. With Snakes and Ladders Dia created the professional mentorship program for BiPoC graduate students that supports minoritized students from all faculties. The program empowers BiPoC graduate students to navigate the systemic barriers and hurdles that institutional racism in the academy and the professions can pose. Earlier this year, Dia’s work was recognized with the 2020 EDI Award. The well-deserved award annually honors faculty, staff, and students as EDI champions at the University of Alberta.

The IG team has immensely benefited from Dia’s intellectual rigour, keen sense of humour, and generous collegiality. We thank Dia for her service and wish her the very best for a productive and restorative research leave; she will continue to support and participate in IG activities as an IG Affiliate.

We thank all our supporters as we head into this leadership transition. Feel free to contact intersectionsofgender@ualberta.ca should you have any questions.