Emily Dobrich (she/her)

Nominated by member scholarly associations of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the 2022 Congress Graduate Merit Awards recognize exceptional graduate students who will be presenting their work at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. 

Photo of Emily Dobrich, CGMA recipient


Tell us about yourself.

I am a first-year Ph.D. student in the Adult Education and Community Development program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. My research combines adult education, community development, and women and gender studies to explore pathways for supporting and sustaining women’s self-determination through collective learning initiatives. 

List the scholarly association(s) of which you are currently a member. 

I am a member of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education and the Canadian Association for Food Studies.

At which conference(s) will you be presenting and/or attending? 

I will be presenting at the Canadian Association of Food Studies (CAFS) Conference 

What is the title of your Congress 2022 presentation?  

Learning to Leverage Change: Exploring Potential Pathways for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in Food Systems Transformation 

How would you describe the research you will be presenting at Congress 2022?

My presentation focuses on the need for women’s empowerment and gender equality in food systems, as identified at the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit. The purpose of my presentation is to show why women’s empowerment and gender equality are central to transitioning to just and sustainable food systems. In my research, I explore the barriers existing in food systems which negatively impact women’s empowerment and the changes needed to support making food systems more equitable and sustainable. I present my insights on how we might envision an alternative future and ways in which to take meaningful action and change. 

How does the research you will be presenting connect with the Congress 2022 theme, Transitions

My research identifies how food systems hold the potential to be a site for impactful and sustainable change. Food systems are an example of where we can take action on the important and pressing global issue of women’s empowerment and gender equality. Focusing on women’s empowerment as a solution supports a transition to just and sustainable food systems and addresses gender inequality. Greater recognition of the value and roles that women hold in supporting our food system and taking their perspectives into consideration will be instrumental to making transitions towards a more sustainable future for all. 

Share your hopes for Congress 2022. 

I am excited to learn, connect and grow as a researcher at Congress 2022. The many opportunities to enrich my knowledge through the diverse perspectives and presentations on the latest research in my field will enhance my own research. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and hope to make a positive impact and contribution to our field with my presentation. I also hope to make connections with other researchers and build relationships to expand my network. Lastly, I see Congress 2022 as an opportunity to strengthen my commitment to my field.