Sankofa Network for Transformative & Community Research

Two students in the MBET program chatting


The Sankofa Network for Transformative and Community Research (SNTCR) is devoted to engaging academics, undergraduate and graduate students, Waterloo region community members, and national and international collaborators to produce action-oriented research (praxis) to deconstruct oppressive institutional structures and advance the collective well-being of marginalized and excluded communities.

Sankofa, as articulated by the Department of Africana Studies at Southern Illinois University, is an Akan word loosely translated to mean "go back to the past and bring forward that which is useful." The epistemological focus of the SNTCR is framed around key principles:

  • Interdisciplinarity: This is not limited to traditional academic disciplines, but knowledge produced and acquired from outside of the academy.
  • Praxis: The SNTCR is focused on action-oriented and change-making works produced with-in and with-out, the academy.
  • Amplification of Subaltern Voices: We welcome researchers with intersectional identities whose voices and work are not readily encouraged or accepted by traditional spaces.
  • Student-focused: Undergraduate and graduate students are actively encouraged to contribute to the SNTCR.
  • Positive academic environments: We take great care to support, and not denigrate or discourage, the research process. SNTCR is meant to be a gateway for other research and programming opportunities.

Research hub and areas

Pan-African hub

  • Black Canadian
  • Black Atlantic
  • Reparations
  • STEM

De-colonialization hub

  • Canada
  • The Caribbean
  • The Americas
  • The African Continent
  • Asia
  • Global Indigenous Communities

KW Communities hub

  • Community Restoration, Building, and Thriving
  • Public Health
  • Competency building (institutions, systems, and public policy)
  • Criminal Justice
  • Climate Justice
  • Education (K-12, post-secondary, community-based)

Transformative and Restorative Justice hub

  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Criminal Justice
  • Climate Justice
  • Education (K-12, post-secondary, community-based)

PraxisParadigms hub

  • Black Feminist Theory/Thought
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Canadian Critical Whiteness Studies


  • Social and professional networking
  • Community-based research and programming
  • Graduate student research and publications

Black Graduate Student EDI-RO Award spring 2023 recipient - Adam Mursal

Potrait shot of Adam Mursal
Adam holds postgraduate degrees in Sociology and Public Economics. His work contributes to the field of social inequality, focusing on the health and employment outcomes of immigrants, refugees, and visible minorities. Adam’s PhD research navigates the disparities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the health and economic challenges faced by the aforementioned vulnerable groups.
  • Undergraduate student research and publications
  • Funded UWaterloo academic projects
  • Funded KW praxis projects
  • International engagement and collaboration


The Sankofa Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies is a peer-reviewed journal that supports the amplification of subaltern and marginalized voices at the University of Waterloo. The journal encourages submissions from all University of Waterloo communities (staff, faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students) from across all faculties and disciplines. Sankofa encourages us to 'look back' to 'move forward' by challenging traditional and eurocentric ideals of scholarship. We seek interdisciplinary works (original content that is rooted with-in and with-out the academy) that are rooted in praxis.

The SNTCR collective is encouraged to submit all works to the journal.