Dr. MacKinnon is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Inner-City studies. She has conducted research on social and economic issues for over 20 years with a focus on public policy, poverty and inequality. Dr. MacKinnon is most interested in research that focuses on issues identified by individuals living in poverty and those working closely with them. Dr. MacKinnon subscribes to a social justice, community-based participatory research approach to research, actively engaging with community partners beyond research, to mobilize knowledge and use research as a tool to advocate for progressive change.
Dr. MacKinnon has been involved as a co-investigator and research stream lead with the Manitoba Research Alliance (MRA) since 2003. In 2020, the MRA was awarded a 7-year, $2.5 million Social Science Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Grant for the community driven “Solutions to Poverty: Challenges and Possibilities” project. In September 2020, after the sudden death of long-time MRA Principal Investigator, friend and colleague, Dr. John Loxley, Dr. MacKinnon was appointed by her peers to succeed Dr. Loxley as the new MRA Principal Investigator.