Johanna Lewis (2012)

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of Toronto

Citation: After working a few weeks through a Women’s Health Summer Experience Award at the Women’s College Research Institute, Johanna’s supervisor put her in charge as the National Research Coordinator of a cross-Canada community based research project. She helped to develop the mission, vision and mandate of the research, and worked to further integrate principles of anti-oppression throughout the project.

She has engaged in much social justice work and leadership at the university, elected as Victoria College Director on the University of Toronto Student’s Union, organizing with the U of T General Assembly, and serving on the board of the Ontario Public Interest Group, among others.

The same analysis of the challenges in post-secondary education that motivate Johanna’s involvement also drew her to apply for this fellowship. She notes that the financial barriers that limit access to post-secondary education represent a clear site of injustice, and advocates for universities as spaces for critical thought tied to action for the public good.

Johanna identifies the conversations she’s had with students, professors, and others she’s worked with as one of the fundamental components of her learning environment. She goes beyond leadership to activism. Her commitment to making a difference stands out.