Business and Society Forum: Black Women Resisting Social & Business Exclusion in France, Canada and Brazil

February 1, 2018 @ 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm America/Toronto Timezone
519 Kaneff Tower

The Centre for Feminist Research Presents:

2018 Business and Society Forum:
Black Women Resisting Social & Business Exclusion in France, Canada and Brazil

2.30pm, February 1, 2018
519 Kaneff Tower
York University

In the U.N. Decade of the Year of Persons of African Descent 2015-2024, it is important to examine the extraordinary socio-economic contributions of Lusophone and Francophone Black women.

Many Black women in France and Canada have come as immigrants with the hopes of seeking a better way of life for their families. Dr. Felix Germain examines the isolation and economic hardship Caribbean women face in France when they cannot find decent work nor easily integrate into French society.

Similar to the French experience, Black French-speaking Canadian women are left to their own devices to create their own social economies. In Canada the Anglophone culture dominates, and the Black Francophone community is referred to a ‘minority within a minority’ in which they experience the double-whammy of being French-speaking and Black. Dr. Gertrude Mianda shares more about the life experiences of Black women in Ontario who are marginalized along racial, gendered and linguistic lines.

Brazil, the country to receive the largest number of slaves in the Atlantic slave trade era, has an important Black population in the Americas – and the largest African diaspora in the world. Dr. Simone Bohn introduces the powerful use of cooperatives called Quilombos, in which Afro-Brazilians seek to meet their economic and social needs, and to push against systemic racial bias in the country.

About the Presenters:

Francophone African Immigrant Women in Toronto and Ottawa: The difficult quest for economic integration.

Dr. Gertude Mianda is an Associate Professor in the Gender and Women’s Studies program at Glendon College, York University. She is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Her research focuses on gender and post-colonialism, particularly on Congolese women, gender development, globalization and immigration. She is currently working on the rape of girls and women in Kinshasa, the informal sector and women in Kinshasa, and children born of war in the DRC. Her research on immigration focuses primarily on francophone Africans in the minority francophone community in Canada (Toronto and Ottawa), examining their economic as well as social integration.

Decolonizing the Republic: African and Caribbean Migrants in Postwar Paris (1946-1974).

Dr. Felix Germain is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and he specializes in transnational and cultural history, with an emphasis on France, the Caribbean, West Africa, and the United States. He grew up in New York City and is from Martinique. Dr. Germain’s first book, Decolonizing the Republic: African and Caribbean Migrants in Postwar Paris (1946-1974), chronicles the evolution of Paris from a space fertile for Black literary and artistic production to a city where Caribbean and African labor migrants lived in quasi “exile,” often protesting for better working and living conditions. He is currently working on two projects: (1) Black French Women and the Struggle for Equality (1848-2015), an anthology that he is co-editing with Silyane Larcher, Université Paris 7-Denis Diderot and (2) an exploration of how women in Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Francophone Africa, and France experienced French colonialism, decolonization, and postcolonial migration.

The Quilombolas’ Refuge in Brazil: Social Economy, Communal Space and Shared Identity

Dr. Simone Bohn is an Associate Professor of Political Science at York University, where she specializes in Comparative Politics with a focus on Latin America. Her studies have focused on party politics, gender and politics, and more recently, the heterogeneity of poverty in Brazil. Originally from Brazil, Dr. Bohn’s research focuses on political parties in South America, gender and politics in Brazil, and the study of political tolerance and attitudes towards corruption in Latin America. She is currently working on a SSHRC-funded project entitled “Evaluating Strategic Political Partnerships: The Case of the Women’s Movement and the State in Contemporary Brazil.”

About the Discussant:

Dr. Melanie Knight is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology at Ryerson University. Dr. Knight’s research interests are primarily focused on race, gender and the labour market economy with a specific focus on entrepreneurship. She currently has two research projects. The first is a SSHRC Insight grant project entitled “The Making of the Enterprising Self” she explores how entrepreneurship is socially constructed and how students “in training” are interpolated within the discourse of enterprise. She also examines the subtext of race and racism in popular media sources on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship training documents and curriculum. For the past 15 years, Dr. Knight has researched the business life-cycle progression of racialized women entrepreneurs, the barriers that these women face; their unique assets (social, financial, human, personal and physical); and the ways in which they develop these assets in an effort to create successful businesses and sustainable livelihoods.

Co-Sponsored by: SSHRC Insight Development Grant [IDG] "African Origins in the social economy: A study on the banker ladies and economic collectives in Canada," Business & Society [BUSO] Program; Department of French Studies; Department of Humanities; Department of Politics; Department of Social Science; Faculty of Education & the Jean Augustine Education and Community Chair; the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies; Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies, Glendon College; and the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation at York University.

Click here for directions to York University - Keele Campus:

Light refreshments provided.

Questions? Email No RSVP necessary.

Forum Agenda

  • 2.30pm-2.40pm: Welcome by CFR Director Dr. Alison Crosby
  • 2.40pm-3.00pm: Introduction by Dr. Caroline Shenaz Hossein, York University & BUSO Coordinator
  • 3pm-3.20pm: Dr. Felix Germain, University of Pittsburgh
  • 3.20-3.40pm: Dr. Gertrude Mianda, York University
  • 3.40-4.00pm: Dr. Simone Bohn, York University
  • 4pm-4.20pm: Dr. Melanie Knight, Ryerson University (Discussant)
  • 4.20pm-4.45pm: Q &A
  • 4.45pm-5.00pm: Wrap up