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Alka Kumar

Research Affiliate
EducationPhD, University of Manitoba

Areas of Expertise: Labour market integration for racialized skilled migrants; qualitative research; auto-ethnography; community-led and practitioner-based approaches; grassroots peacebuilding and social justice; storytelling and career transition practice

Alka Kumar’s research and practice in migration studies is situated in a labour market context. In her recent doctoral work, she examines the 'experiential' aspects of economic integration in relation to racialized skilled migrants in Canada, using qualitative methods, a practitioner lens, and a solution-focused approach. In 2020, she worked as a Research Assistant with CERC at Toronto Metropolitan University to conduct research for a SSHRC project submission on global migration.

With expertise in building capacity for racialized communities across sectors, Alka currently works in a research and policy role with the Newcomer Students Association, and as an adjunct consultant with Tidal Equality, a strategy firm that works with organizations globally, at the intersection of equity, inclusion and social justice. She teaches in Bridging Programs, facilitates  writing seminars, anti-racism workshops; and her volunteer roles in the newcomer  sector include membership on the Community Partnership Council at York Region, and on the Advisory Board for the Coalition for Manitoba Cultural Communities for Families. 

Alka is an educator and an instructor, having co-developed and co-taught a Summer Institute in 'Career Development and Employment among Excluded Communities', at University of Manitoba in 2015. Prior to moving to Canada in 2008, as a skilled economic migrant, Alka was an Associate Professor of English at the University of Delhi. With her Master’s in English, acquired at University of Delhi, and doctoral studies completed at University of Pune, in (Nobel Laureate) Doris Lessing’s major fiction, Alka taught courses in Fiction, Postcolonial Literature and Theory; and she pursued  teaching and  research in Canadian Studies, Diasporic and Immigrant Writing. Her short pieces of creative writing appeared regularly in leading national newspapers and magazines.

Recent publications

On the pervasiveness of systemic racism in the post-secondary sector in Canada, both in general and also specifically in the context of COVID-19:

(2021) At Canada’s Universities, Institutional Racism Is More Than a Case of Few Bad Apples, external link

(2021) Can COVID-19 Help Us Build a More Inclusive Post-Secondary System?, external link