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Anita Ewan, PhD

School of Community, Wellness and Health
Social Work
anita [dot] ewan [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

Dr. Anita Ewan (she/her) is a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) and a Registered Social Worker (RSW). Her areas of specializations are in child development, community development, anti-oppressive practice and race, gender and policy. She has a BA in Early Childhood Studies from the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), a MEd in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto (UofT), and a PhD in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU). She is currently completing an Indigenous BSW at Yellowhead Tribal College. Dr. Anita Ewan has over 12 years of experience working with children and families. She has previously worked for organizations such as the City of Toronto, the Macaulay Child Development Centre and Toronto Community Housing. In addition to this, she has taught courses at TMU, WLU and UofT. She has international volunteer experience in Clarendon, Jamaica and is a coordinator for a 2023 Disability Studies conference with the University of Ghana. Her dissertation research focused on the racial-gendered lived experience of Black women living in Toronto public housing. She is currently conducting research that focuses on critical teaching pedagogy, and the recovery process of postpartum depression. Dr. Anita is also training to become a labour and postpartum doula and also a childbirth educator.


Ph.D. (Social Work), Wilfrid Laurier University

M.Ed. (Adult Education and Community Development), University of Toronto

B.A. (Early Childhood Studies), Toronto Metropolitan University

Main Areas of Teaching

Social Work Practice with Groups and Communities

Scholarly Activity

Selected Publications 

Refereed Journal Articles :

Ewan, A.R. (2019). Maintaining the authenticity of co-researcher voice using FPAR principles. Collaborations: A Journal of Community Research and Practice, 2(2):18,1-11.

Kissy, E. & Ewan, A.R. (accepted). The erasure of Blackness and Shortcomings within the Early Learning and Care sector in Canada: Recommendations for the way forward. Journal of Early Childhood Studies.

Cait, C-A., Ewan, A.R., Gokani, R., Moasun, F., Scarborough, J. Stewart, S., & Stuart, H. (2021). Epistemology and arts-based pedagogy: Insights from an autoethnographic case study. Journal of Social Work Education. 1-43.

Book Chapters

Ewan, A.R., Mullings, D.V. & Clarke, J.T. (2021). The social-cultural production of baby mamas: What do baby mamas mean to and for our society? In D. Este, W.T. Bernard, J.T. Clarke, & D.V. Mullings W.T., Clarke, J.T, Mullings, D.V. (Eds.), Africentric social work: Best practices in working with African communities in the diaspora. Fernwood Publishing.

Ewan, A.R. (2021) A village saved us. In, P. Tomasi, J. Charlebois (Eds.), You are not alone: An anthology of perinatal mental health stories from conception to postpartum. Wintertickle Press.

Works in Progress

Ewan, A. & Perez. M. (In Progress). Exploring the effectiveness of critical nurturing pedagogy with racialized and international college students

Ewan, A.R. & Parker, B. (In Progress). The politics of parenting and public housing: How Black mothers navigate living in Toronto Community Housing with their children.

Conference Presentations 

2022. Supporting Black disabled students in Higher Education, invited to speak at the University of Ghana’s College of Education about the importance of integrating cultural relevance into the curriculum for Black disabled students in Higher Ed.

2022. Supporting racialized students for success, invited at the University of Alberta’s department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to speak about approaches to helping racialized students in academia.

2022. Utilzing anti-racist practice to resit anti-Black racism while working with children and families, invitation from the City of Milton and the Halton Resource Connection to speak with Registered Early Childhood Educators and community stakeholders on how to use anti-racist practice while working with the Black community.

2022. Challenges and Opportunities for Africentric Social Work Practice, invited to the Nova Scotia College of Social Workers to speak to over 100 registered social workers about utilizing an anti-Black racism approach in the field and to also promote a book I co-authored.

2022. Africentric Social Work Practice. Invited by colleague to speak with social work students in our department about a book I co-authored and the motivations for writing my chapter.

2021. Utilizing an Anti-oppression framework in practice while working with children and families, invited to present a lecture, to second-year field education early childhood studies students at Ryerson University, on how anti-Black racism informs my work with children and families as an Early Childhood Education and Care practitioner. Jan 8.

2020. The epistemological, methodological, and theoretical grounding of “Exploring the Relationship Between Gender, Race and Space, and Toronto Community Housing Policy, invited to guest lecture a social work graduate course at Wilfrid Laurier University, entitled, “Social Work Thought and Theory Development”. I will be speaking to first- and second-year PhD students about making connections between epistemology, methodology and theory for their dissertation research. November 17.

2020. Exploring the effectiveness of critical nurturing pedagogy, invited to lecture to a class of 54 fourth year students at Guelph University in the Child, Youth, and Family program. The class was entitled “Senior Seminar in Early Childhood Education and Care. I guest lectured alongside to of my research assistants about our research project and Critical Nurturing pedagogy in the context of Early childhood. Oct 29.

2020. Crossing the Finish Line Amidst Global Pandemic: The Experiences of 4 African/Black Women, invited to speak at the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University about my experience as a Black doctoral student and mother completing my dissertation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Oct 22.

2016. Speed Mentoring Marathon, Invited Guest at an event for aspiring youth seeking employment in the education sector. May 15.

2016. Youth Career Development, invited to sit on a panel focusing on education and career development for Toronto Community Housing youth. March 25.

2013. Speaker series: Pathways to employment and education, invited to sit on panel that discussed education and career choices for teenaged mothers attending the June Callwood Centre.

Community Involvement

  • Member - Red Deer Maternal Mental Health Steering Committee 2022-Present
  • Co-Founder - Black Professional Early Childhood Education 2021-Present
  • Board of Directors Association - African Early Childhood Education Village Centre 2021-Present
  • Member and Advisor - Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Committee 2020-2022
  • Member - Black History Society of Ontario 2019 - 2022
  • Tenant Representative - Rivertowne, Toronto Community Housing (TCH) 2015-2020
  • Chair, Member - ACORN Canada 2013-2015
  • Member - Youth Health Action Network, Toronto Public Health 2014-2015
  • Co-director - Parkdale Mentorship Program, UofT Medical Society 2014-2015
  • Mentor - Parkdale Mentorship Program, UofT Medical Society 2014
  • Member - Youth Planning Committee IFIRTO, TCH 2014
  • Staff - Parent-Child Centre, June Callwood Centre 2013-2014

Current Research 

  • Exploring the effectiveness of critical nurturing pedagogy
  • Exploring the challenges rural youth face and the role of technology in enhancing services
  • The impact of environmental factors on the postpartum recovery of birth givers

Professional and/or RDP Leadership

  • RDP CAT Committee

Professional Memberships

  • 2021-Present     Alberta College of Social Worker. Registration #16549
  • 2019-Present     Doula Training Canada
  • 2014-Present     College of Early Childhood Educators—Registration # 47534

Awards and Honours 

2020    Author Appreciation Award, University of Guelph-Humber           $0

2019    Dr. John Melicherick PhD Social Work Award, Wilfrid Laurier       $3400

2018    Bettina Russel Social Justice Award, Wilfrid Laurier                     $3000

2016    Dr. John Melicherick PhD Social Work Award, Wilfrid Laurier      $3400

2016    FGPS Graduate Travel Award                                                          $500

2015    T.D. Financial Group Academic Development Fund                    $3023

2009    Central Commerce Student Success Award                               $200

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