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Topic: Feminist City 4.0 – Cities and Migration


Sara Asalya, Executive Director, Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto

Tatiana Ferguson, Co-Founder, Black Queer Youth Collective and Community leader-in-residence, Queer and Trans Research Lab, Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto

Anna Triandafyllidou, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, Toronto Metropolitan University

Nicole Watson, Manager, Policing Reform, Social Development, Finance and Administration, City of Toronto

Moderator: Sarah Kaplan, Professor and Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy, Rotman School of Management

Opening Remarks: Karen Chapple, Professor and Director, School of Cities, University of Toronto


Join the School of Cities and the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) for the Feminist City event: Cities and Migration, where we explore the redesign of urban environments and institutions to foster inclusivity and dismantle gender inequality.

Cities thrive on migration, and embracing newcomers is essential for a prosperous future. However, many immigrants, and women in particular, often find themselves left behind when it comes to integration into the social and economic life of a city.

How can cities respond to the unique needs of newcomers? How can we empower immigrants to safely and actively participate in economic, political, and social activities? Answering these questions is relevant to businesses, policymakers, civic organizations, developers, planners, and all who benefit when we create vibrant and flourishing cities. Join our expert panel as they discuss ideas and actions to foster inclusivity and provide newcomers of all genders with opportunities to succeed and thrive.

About our Speakers:

Sara Asayla is the Executive Director of Newcomer Women’s Services Toronto (NEW). Sara is a recognized champion of immigrants’ rights. Sara’s lived experience as an immigrant woman in Canada inspires her advocacy on key issues impacting the community. Her leadership and dedication to advancing newcomers’ economic resilience, civic and political engagement have led to her being named one of Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants and Women of Influence. Sara joined NEW from her six-year tenure as Executive Director of The Newcomer Students’ Association, a national not for profit organization working at the intersection of migration, education, and social justice, and a platform committed to promoting inclusion and equity for post-secondary immigrant and refugee students. Prior to this, Sara worked for the University of Toronto and Ryerson University in different capacities and roles including research, operations, events and projects management, student engagement and leadership, and accreditation and quality assurance.

Tatiana Ferguson is co-founder of the Black Queer Youth Collective and a leader in Equity and Inclusion. Her work has informed multiple public policies on Sex and Gender Inclusion, Racial Justice, and Immigration. She has also made several television appearances as part of a national public education campaign. Since immigrating to Canada from the Bahamas, Tatiana has been honored for her contributions to Queer and Trans Activism and she is actively involved in several projects and initiatives promoting the health and wellbeing of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals in Canada. Tatiana is passionate about social justice and helping to create systems of support for equity seeking groups.

Anna Triandafyllidou holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Prior to joining TMU in August 2019, she held a Robert Schuman Chair at the Global Governance Programme, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute, Florence, Italy. She is Editor in Chief of the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies. In April 2022 the TMU team led by Anna was awarded a $98.4 million research funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund for a new interdisciplinary program on Migration Integration in the 21st Century: Bridging Divides. A sociologist by training, her research interests include the broader area of migration and asylum governance, as well as national identity and cultural and religious diversity in comparative perspective. In 2021, the University of Liège awarded Triandafyllidou a doctorate honoris causa in recognition of her contribution to migration scholarship. Her recent authored books include What is Europe (with R. Gropas, 2nd edition, Routledge, 2022); and Rethinking Migration and Return in Southeastern Europe (with E. Gemi, Routledge, 2021). Her recent journal articles have appeared in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2022), Environment and Planning A: Economy and Society (2022), Ethnicities (2022), Comparative Migration Studies (2021, 2022), International Migration (2021) and Nations and Nationalism (2020). For more information please see:

Nicole Watson is Manager, Policing Reform and former Acting Director of the Newcomer Office at the City of Toronto Social Development, Finance and Administration division. Nicole designed and developed the Refugee Resettlement Program, advanced the implementation of Access T.O. for Undocumented Torontonians and the Refugee Capacity Plan as well as created and implemented the Integrating Cities Action Plan as part of the Toronto Newcomer Strategy, which aligns strategic recommendations across key City divisions. In her current role, Nicole is leading the development and implementation of the pilot for Toronto Community Crisis Service in four areas of the city testing a new community-led approach to mental health crisis calls to 911. She is skilled at engaging communities in the design, development and implementation of public policy and has won awards for service excellence and scholarship.

Dr. Sarah Kaplan is Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy, Distinguished Professor of Gender & the Economy and Professor of Strategic Management at Rotman. She is a co-author of the bestselling business book, Creative Destruction as well as Survive and Thrive: Winning Against Strategic Threats to Your Business. Her latest book, The 360° Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation was published in September 2019. Her research has covered how organizations participate in and respond to the emergence of new fields and technologies in biotechnology, fiber optics, financial services, nanotechnology and most recently, the field emerging at the nexus of gender and finance. Her current work focuses on applying an innovation lens to understanding the challenges for achieving gender equality.

Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is Director of the School of Cities and Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of cities and regions throughout the Americas. Chapple is a Professor Emerita of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia University, an M.S.C.R.P from the Pratt Institute, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.

Event Logistics:

This event is available to attend in-person only.

The event will be hosted at Desautels Hall at the Rotman School of Management (105 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3E6). Your registration fee includes a seat at the panel discussion.

Questions:, Megan Murphy