The inclusion of marginalized individuals, particularly within community leisure spaces and practices, is a central theme in my research. My interest in inclusion was shaped by work on SSHRC-funded research which sought to discover ways women returning to community from federal prison could be supported and recognized as valued and contributing citizens. Building on this work, I then engaged women entering community from federal prison in a participatory action research project aimed at critically exploring possibilities for social inclusion.
Themes of inclusion and social justice were carried into my postdoctoral work with the Partnerships in Dementia Care (PiDC Alliance). The PiDC Alliance strives to counter the objectifying and dehumanising care practices in cultures dominated by medical and institutional models of care. Our work strives to guide a cultural shift in dementia care that embraces relational approaches supporting inclusion.
I continue to conduct research examining experiences of inclusion with a focus on belonging for marginalized individuals. Recent work has involved individuals living with mental illness and older adults who experience isolation. My overall goal is to develop broader perspectives of inclusion and work toward enhancing experiences of belonging.