Malinda S. Smith

Current affiliation:
Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta

By excavating and foregrounding often-hidden histories, Professor Malinda Smith (political science, University of Alberta) aims to address the virtual absence of Black women in many of the stories that Canadians tell about themselves.  

Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowship project: A Seat at the Table: Engendering Black Canadian Pasts and Futures

Project objectives: To recover hidden histories and tell new stories about the obstacles, aspirations, and social mobility of Black Canadian women, through the following initiatives:

  1. A symposium on and for Black Canadian women in politics, law, and the academy, “A Seat at the Table: Black Women and Leadership in Canada,” from which an edited volume will be published;
  2. Digital storytelling and multi-media teaching through a policy-advocacy web portal, “Digital Diversities Canada”;
  3. A book, Engendering Black Canadian Futures: Beyond a Single Story.

Read the full project.

Dr. Malinda S. Smith is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Alberta, where she conducts research and teaches in the areas of international relations, African Studies, gender and politics, and critical race and diversity studies. Born and raised in The Bahamas, she was awarded two master’s degrees from Western Michigan University (Development Administration, and Political Science), and a PhD in International Relations and Political Philosophy from the University of Alberta.

Dr. Smith is an innovative scholar, a gifted communicator, an academic leader, and a model of community-engaged scholarship. Her publications include the recently released co-authored book, The Equity Myth: Racialization and Indigeneity at Canadian Universities (2017), and five co-edited books, including, States of Race: Critical Race Feminism for the 21st Century (2010), and ‘Beyond the African Tragedy’: Discourses on Development and the Global Economy (2006). She also has published thirty chapters and articles in conventional academic venues in addition to numerous research reports, e-books, magazine and newspaper articles, and blogs, which critically engage with human rights, equity, and diversity in the postsecondary education sector. She is frequently invited to speak on these themes by universities and scholarly associations across Canada and internationally, the public service, community organizations, and the media.

Dr. Smith is nationally recognized as a leader in promoting policies and strategies to advance equity, human rights and decolonial practices. Among her myriad contributions to developing next-generation equity policies, including several task force reports and advisory roles within the university and at various levels of government, she has served as Vice President (Equity Issues) for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and Chair of the Board for the Centre for Race and Culture. Currently she is a member of the Canada Research Chair Program’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ACEDIP), the National Steering Committee of Researchers and Academics of Colour for Equality (R.A.C.E.) Network, and President of the Academic Women’s Association (U of A). In recognition of her path breaking research, mentoring and engagement, Dr. Smith was named as “Distinguished Scholar” (2017-18) by International Studies Association-Canada. She has received numerous awards, including, most recently, the HSBC “Community Contributor of the Year” (2016), the Canadian Association of University Teachers “Equity Award” (2015), and the University of Alberta “Human Rights Education Recognition Award” (2013).

  • June 26, 2018
    The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation appoints four new fellows The 2018 Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation fellowships: Audacious projects that are shaping the future of Canada and the world