About Us


GAAP collaborators include researchers, community artists, youth sexual health educators, and students. Read below for information on our terrific team.

Claudia Mitchell is a James McGill Professor in the Department of Integrated studies with the Faculty of Education at McGill University, and an Honorary Professor in the School of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, where she established the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change. In September 2015 Dr. Mitchell was recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is currently the Director of the Institute of Human Development and Well-Being in the Faculty of Education of McGill University. Her research interests span work in schools with teachers and young people, particularly in the context of gender, HIV and AIDS; studies in Higher Education of mainstreaming issues of gender, HIV and AIDS in South Africa and Ethiopia; girlhood studies, in particular work related to gender-based violence; and participatory visual methodologies and community-based research in health education, housing and agriculture.

Ciann Wilson, Assistant Professor, Community Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University. Ciann is of Afro-, Indo- and Euro- Jamaican ancestry. She has over a decade of experience working within African, Caribbean and Black communities across the greater Toronto area first as a youth programmer and now as a health researcher.  Her research interests build off her community-engaged work to include critical race theory, anti-/de-colonial theory, African diasporic and Indigenous community health, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive wellbeing and community-based research. Her body of work aims to utilize research as an avenue for sharing the stories and realities of African diasporic, Indigenous and racialized peoples and improving the health and wellbeing of these communities. Ciann has been instrumental in establishing a community-based research hub in Waterloo Region, which will feature a media lab equipped with media technology to conduct, analyze and share arts and digital media-based research. Ciann’s work is funded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Canadian Innovation Fund, and the Ontario Research Fund, to name a few funding sources.

Katie MacEntee is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her research explores the use of participatory visual methodologies to address HIV and AIDS and gender-based violence. Between 2017-2018, Katie was a Social Science Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Post Doctoral Fellow at York University. In 2016, she defended her Doctoral Research at McGill University. Her current research includes a study funded by the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, Celling Sex, investigating young women in Toronto’s experiences of transactional sex through cellphilms (participant produced videos using cellphones). As part of the SSHRC Insight Development Grant, Enacting Sex Education, she is interviewing Ontario teachers on sexual health education before and after curricular reforms. Katie has experience facilitating digital storytelling, photovoice, collage, documentary and cellphilm method with Indigenous, rural and urban communities in Canada, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Austria, as well as various diverse groups attending workshops, symposiums, and international conferences. Katie is a leader in the development of cellphilm method. In 2016, she published the edited book, What’s a Cellphilm? Integrating mobile technology into research and activism (Sense Publishers).

Sarah Flicker is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean Students, Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University.  She is engaged in an exciting program of research that focuses on the engagement of youth and other actors in environmental, sexual and reproductive justice. More broadly, she is interested in community-based participatory methodologies and is active on a variety of research teams that focus on adolescent sexual health, and responding to gender-based violence in Canada and South Africa. Recently, she has published in the areas of health promotion, sexuality, ethics, decolonizing methodologies, participatory visual methods and community-based participatory research methods. Her research has informed policy at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.  Sarah and her teams have won a number of prestigious awards for youth engagement in health research.  Sarah is a straight, white, middle class, able-bodied, Jewish, cisgender female, of immigrant/settler descent who tries to understand the pervasive effects of privilege, and her roles and responsibilities as a treaty person.  She is an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Talia Lerner is studying anthropology and sociology at the University of Toronto. She was the secretary of the Gay-Straight Alliance in her high school and taught non-normative sexual health to its members. She also mentored younger LGBT students regarding family and peer issues. She organized GAAP’s Youth World AIDS Day 2018 event which partnered with the Sexual Education Centre at the University of Toronto, PEAK at Planned Parenthood, and SExT to teach students about safe sex in a fun and inclusive way. Talia is currently the undergraduate service learning student placement with GAAP from 2018-2019.

June Larkin received her PhD from the University of Toronto in 1993 and she joined New College as a Lecturer in Equity Studies and Women Studies in 2001. Her research is in the area of youth, sexual health and HIV/AIDS. She has published in, among others, the Canadian Journal of Public Health, the International Journal of Indigenous Health, Gender and Education, and The Journal of Sex Education. Her contributions to teaching and research have been acknowledged by numerous awards over the past decade, including a 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2013, a President’s Teaching Award in 2011, and the City of Toronto Constance E. Hamilton Award on the Status of Women in 2007. Dr. Larkin was included in the list of Popular Profs at UofT in the annual MacLean’s Guide to Canadian Universities & Colleges from 2001 to 2005.

Sarah Switzer is a local community educator/artist, and community-based participatory researcher living in Toronto. She began her work with GAAP as an undergraduate student in equity studies. She has over a decade of experience working in HIV, harm reduction and sexual health with a specific focus on arts and health equity.  Her larger program of research focuses on exploring creative ways to meaningfully engage communities in program and policy change. Equity, collaboration and accessibility are cornerstones of this work. Sarah completed her M.A. in Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE (with the collaborative program in women and gender studies), University of Toronto with a focus on collage as a methodological and theoretical tool for re-thinking sexuality education. Prior to her doctorate,  Sarah founded, and coordinated Empower, a youth-led HIV program at Queen West Community Health Centre that uses the arts to train youth to become peer educators in their own communities. Sarah has worked on a variety of interdisciplinary research teams with a focus on community-based participatory research; critical youth studies;  engagement; HIV; harm reduction; and participatory visual methods. She is pursuing doctoral work at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies where she critically explores processes of engagement and participation in the context of HIV, sexual health and harm reduction work.

Shira Taylor is a PhD. Candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at U of T (BSc. Psychology & MSc. Epidemiology, Queen’s University). Shira created SExT: Sex Education by Theatre in 2014 as her dissertation to explore theatre for sex education among newcomer youth in Toronto’s Thorncliffe/ Flemingdon Park communities. SExT has been performed by youth peer educators across the GTA, to rave reviews at Canada’s largest theatre festivals, and nationally in 2018 to over 4000 students in schools and Indigenous Reserves in partnership with the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR). In Fall 2018, SExT, in partnership with CANFAR, released two music videos on the topics of consent (Bodak Consent) and intimate partner violence (Tunnel Vision). SExT performs at GAAP’s annual World AIDS Day Event (2016-2018) and Youth Sexual Health Research Symposium (2017-Keynote & 2018).  Shira is an Evaluation Consultant and Facilitator with FOXY/SMASH in the Northwest Territories, a CIHR Social Research Centre in HIV Prevention Trainee, Research Coordinator at SickKids on the cross-Canada, Art for Social Change (ASC!) project, and recipient of the TD Michaëlle Jean Bursary for using the arts to address issues of concern in Canada. Check out SExT on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter @SExTEdShow!