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Funke Oba

Associate Professor, Graduate Program Director
EducationMSc. MSW, Ph.D.
OfficeEPH-220, Eric Palin Hall
Phone416-979-5000, ext. 544581
Areas of ExpertiseAnti-Black Racism, Afrocentric Theory, Decolonizing Praxis; Asset based Youth Engagement; Immigration, Immigrants and Refugees; Child Welfare; Domestic Violence; Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Helping Professions; North-South Collaborations/Social Work in Africa

Funke Oba, a faculty member at Toronto Metropolitan University, School of Social Work, has a PhD and Master of Social Work Degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and her Social Work practice spanned Child Welfare, Violence Against Women and Field Education. Teaching at a few Canadian universities while completing her doctoral studies, she incorporated decolonizing literature to redesign courses, and co-designed the Intercultural Social Work Practice course by building on Wilfrid Laurier University’s Intercultural Teaching Certificate course. Her research interests include Black youth asset-based engagement, Afrocentric praxis, North-South collaborations and the scholarship of teaching and Learning. She supervises graduate students in Canadian universities, facilitates diversity and anti-racism training for groups and organizations, loves to teach and mentor students and has received Wilfrid Laurier Teaching University’s Excellence Award. Dr. Oba is a fellow of Carnegie Foundation, and the Tshepo Institute for the study of Contemporary Africa, board member of Black Lives Matter, Waterloo, past president of the African Canadian Association of Waterloo Region, affiliate of YouthRex hub at York University. Dr. Oba is the founder of Community Academic Reciprocal Engagement (CARE) for Black youth and an anti-Black racism educator committed to demystifying blackness.

Teaching responsibilities

  • SK 8105
  • SK 8101
  • SK 8104

Teaching interests

  • Understanding Canadian Diversity
  • Perspectives in Marginalization
  • Anti-Oppressive Practice,
  • Practicum seminars (locally/ internationally)
  • Qualitative / arts- based research
  • Graduate Student training/ Supervision
  • International Faculty Exchange/Summer Teaching Institute

Professional affiliations

  • Publication Grant, Awardee, Faculty of Community Services, 2020
  • Emerging Scholars Award, Diversities in Organizations conference, Greece, 2019
  • Fellow, African Diaspora Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Foundation, America. 2019
  • Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation, Award, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2018
  • Graduating Doctoral Student Award, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2018
  • Teaching Excellence Award, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2017
  • Presidents Teaching and Learning Scholar, 2017, University of Regina.
  • Scholarship of teaching and learning
  • Afrocentric/decolonizing praxis
  • Immigration, Black youth engagement,
  • North- South Reciprocal learning
  • Moving allies forward

 Research projects

  • Project: Field Education Handbook for the Department of Social Work, University of Lagos
  • Year: 2020
  • Role: Applicant
  • Funding received: $1, 500
  • Funded by: Faculty of Community Services, Internal Publication Grant


  • Project: Schooling Experiences of Black Youth in Saskatoon
  • Year: 2019
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Funding received: $70,535
  • Funded by: SSHRC Insight Development Grant


  • Project: Indigenizing and Professionalizing Social Work at the University of Lagos
  • Year: 2019.
  • Role: Fellow / African Diaspora Scholar and Visiting Scholar
  • Funding received: All expenses paid - $50,000 equivalent
  • Funded by: Carnegie Foundation


  • Project: Promoting African Refugee Youth Transition to Post-secondary Education,
  • Year: 2018
  • Role: Co-Investigator/Provincial Lead for Saskatchewan
  • Funding Received: $240,000
  • Funded by: SSHRC Insight Development Grant - Saskatchewan sub- grant $40,000


  • Project: Exploring Racial Justice in high School Climates through Music Performance
  • Year: 2018
  • Role: Collaborator
  • Funding received: $25,000
  • Funded by:  SSHRC Engagement Grant


  • Project: Experiences of Identity Formation among non-dominant Students in Helping Professions,
  • Year: 2018
  • Role:  Co-Investigator
  • Funding received: $65,000
  • Funded by: SSHRC, Insight Development Grant


  • Project: Engaging Saskatchewan Black Community in Participatory Research
  • Year: 2018
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Funding Received: $2.497.00
  • Funded by: Saskatchewan Center for Patient-Oriented Research, Patient Engagement Grant


  • Project: Equipping Students to Engage Diversity
  • Year: 2017
  • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Funding Received: $4,900
  • Funded by: University of Regina Presidents Teaching and Learning Scholar Fund


  • Oba, O. Nwanna, C. (2020), Field Education Manual, Department of Social Work, University of Lagos, Compass publishers, Lagos, Nigeria.


Journal articles

  • McNeil, B., Oba, O., UWakwe, K. (2020), Talking back to Teacher Education and Other (so called) Helping Professions: Racialized Students Share their Experiences and We Listen in Self-study of Teacher Education Practices, International Biennial Conference Proceedings
  • Oba, O. (2019). Youth and elders in solidarity: An Afrocentric dialogic approach to research. SAGE Research Methods Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd, London England.
  • Akeeson, B., Oba, O. (2017) Beyond words: Comics in the social work classroom"   Journal of Social Work Education, 53(4), 595-606
  • Oba O. (2017). Until the animals get their own storyteller, the hunter remains the hero of all tales, Social Work with Groups, 40, (1/2) 118-123.
  • Watters, E., Cait, C., Oba, O. (2016), Social work curriculum review case study: Service users tell us what makes effective social workers. Canadian Social Work Review, 33(1)27- 44
  • Kuwee-Kumsa, M.; Mfoafo-M'Carthy, M.; Oba, O.; Gaasim, S. (2014) Contours of Anti-Black Racism: Engaging Anti-Oppression from Embodied Spaces, Journal of Critical Anti-Oppressive Social Inquiry, 1(1) 21-38

Selected publications and presentations 

  • Gahu Project Music Performance and Social Justice Circle, 2019
  • Artwork created and exhibited at closing ceremony by CARE participants, 2016
  • Mural created by CARE participants 2017
  • CARE video, 2017, 2018