Speaker bios

Avi Boukli is Lecturer in Criminology at The Open University. Beyond working to dismantle the structures and systems that produce and maintain inequality and exploitation, my work focuses on criminalisation and punishment structures that operate in relation to borders. My research interests are twofold: firstly, I am doing critical work on the enactment of criminalisation structures that target border-crossers in relation to human trafficking and “modern slavery”. Secondly, I focus on harms against trans and gender non-conforming people. Due to my personal affiliation with trans and gender non-conforming communities, and as a migrant, I am personally committed to contesting borders.

Ipek Demir is Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Leeds. Demir’s research and publications sit at the intersections of the fields of diaspora studies, ethno-politics, race and identity, nationalism, indigeneity, global politics as well as social and critical thought and interdisciplinarity. She has also carried out empirical research on Kurdish and Turkish diasporas, funded by an AHRC (a UK Research Council) fellowship. She is the founder and former co-convenor of the British Sociological Association’s Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism Study Group and the former Vice-Chair of European Sociological Association’s Migration Research Network. Before joining Leeds, she worked at the University of Leicester and also at the University of Cambridge where she was an ESRC postdoctoral fellow.

Marsha Garratt runs a charity for Black, Asian, non white young people in Teesside. She started as a youth and community worker for the local authority before recognising the tokenistic element of the work she was doing. She left to set up her own charity and is now a public speaker on the reality of white supremacy and structural racism. Marsha loves nature, her dog Bilbo Baggins and regularly travels to Jamaica where she has heritage from. Mother of two who are being raised with truth so they can lead there own revolution, her twitter bio is, ‘Don’t just accept and exist, challenge and live’ and she lives by that motto.

Sarah Golightley is a Social Work PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral research explores narratives of former USA-based therapeutic boarding school students. She is a qualified Social Worker who previously worked as a specialist supporting LGBTQ+ people who had experienced domestic abuse. Sarah worked for a year as a Peer Researcher at St George’s, University of London, where she was part of England’s largest ever study of mental health peer support groups. Her research interests include service user research, Mad studies, critical disability studies, queer studies, as well as intersectional feminism.

Mrinalini Greedharry is a writer and researcher, who has lived and worked in England, Canada, and Finland. Her work focuses on how the practices, organization and theory of studying English literature engender postcolonial subjects, which continues her longstanding interest in the ways that postcolonial theory can incite new ways of thinking about subject-formation. More recently, she has been exploring autobiographical and ethnographic methods for thinking about colonialism through the history of her migrant family. She is the author of Postcolonial Theory and Psychoanalysis; chapters in edited collections such as What Postcolonial Theory Doesn’t Say and The Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organization; and keeps an irregular blog on her trouble with writing, Thinking from there to here at mrinalinigreedharry.wordpress.com.

Chryssy Hunter’s research has focused on the extent to which contemporary equality legislation, in particular the Equality Act 2010, entrenches rather than alleviates inequality and recognition of the most marginalised within minority constituencies, such as trans and sexgender nonconforming people. She is now beginning to engage with the issues of how to do the politics we don’t want to do, in the context of the exploitation of cissexist attitudes towards trans and sexgender nonconforming people by activists with transphobic agendas. She works in the LGBTQ charity sector and is currently chair of Gendered Intelligence.  She is also a member of the Bent Bars Collective, a small independent voice critical of the criminal justice system, who organise a pen pal project for LGBTQ prisoners, creating community across prison walls. She is a proud parent.