Keynote Speakers & Conference Program

Dr. Anna Ortega-Williams

Dr. Anna Ortega-Williams is an award-winning social work scholar, practitioner, researcher, and organizer that is inspired by the healing alchemy of social action, youth development & well-being. Dr. Ortega-Williams is an Assistant Professor at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, in the United States. As a social work educator, she is committed to uncovering trauma recovery interventions that push the boundary of where micro-level clinical practice ends and macro-level practice begins. Her approach to social work centers cultural humility, anti-racist, intersectional, and anti-oppressive frameworks. Dr. Ortega-William’s area of research focuses on historical trauma, posttraumatic growth, land-based healing, and social action in trauma recovery. She has been a social worker since 2001 and has provided individual, group and family counseling, in addition to working as a director, program developer, capacity builder and evaluator, for community-based organizations. Her work has been informed by local, national, and global social movements; in particular, Black youth-led responses to interrupting racism and systemic violence.

Dr. Ortega-Williams received her bachelor’s degree from the City University of New York, Hunter College, master’s degree from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and PhD in Social Work from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service. Dr. Ortega-Williams’ recent accomplishments include being selected as the 2021 Junior Faculty Award from the national accrediting body of social work, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for outstanding scholarship in the areas of race, ethnic, and cultural diversity. Dr. Ortega-Williams’ research was also spotlighted by two national organizations, the American Psychological Association as well as the Society for Research on Adolescence. She was also selected as a mid-career leader by the National Association of Social Workers-NYC Chapter. Dr. Ortega-Williams was also honored to be chosen in a competitive juried selected for a TED-style talk called Brief and Brilliant at the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR). As a Black, queer mom, activist and organizer, born and raised in low-income public housing in the Bronx, NY, she believes social work practice can promote joy, healing, imagination and hope when it is rooted in transforming social and economic injustice and protecting human rights.

Dr. Annie Pullen Sansfaçon

Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, professor in the School of Social Work at Université de Montréal, holds the Canada Research Chair in Partnership Research and the Empowerment of Vulnerable Youth (CRC-ReParE, Level 1) and was formerly the CRC Chair in Transgender Children and Their Families. She has also been Associate Vice-Rector for First Peoples Relations since 2023, and in 2020 co-founded the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Intersectional Justice, Decolonization and Equity (CRI-JaDE). Annie Pullen Sansfaçon is a committed researcher whose work lies at the crossroads of social work and ethics. Her experience as a Wendat woman and parent of a gender-diverse child has led her to focus her work on issues affecting trans youth and their families, as well as aboriginal issues. Through methodologies and interventions rooted in trans-affirmative and anti-oppressive perspectives, her work aims not only to understand the realities of these vulnerable groups, but also to develop their autonomy and power to act and confront oppressions.

Prof. Pullen Sansfaçon’s research work has also been recognized by several organizations as having made a significant contribution to the development of knowledge on the subject, as well as to the social change that has occurred in Quebec, Canada and internationally. She won the Femme de mérite pour la Recherche et l’innovation award in 2017, the Droits et liberté award from the Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse in 2016 and a Médaille de l’Assemblée nationale in 2015. In 2023, she was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Researchers and Creators, and in the same year received the Mérite du Conseil Interprofessionel du Québec award from the Ordre des travailleurs sociaux et des thérapeutes conjugaux et familiaux. Prof. Pullen Sansfaçon is also an Associate Researcher at Stellenbosh University in South Africa, a mandate which has been renewed until 2025.

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