Riisa Walden identifies as a queer, white, cisgendered, settler Canadian writer, educator, and scholar. Less formally, she thinks of herself as a book-loving, bird-watching, world traveller and slow living enthusiast who is full of opinions and passion about politics, society, food, and everything else under the sun. She lives in a happy home filled with laughter and surrounded by tall trees with her wife and step-daughter.
Riisa has taught for over 15 years in secondary and post-secondary education in Canada. She believes in the power of education to create social change but also that opportunities for learning are everywhere if we choose to embrace them. In her own life, she recognizes that coming to parenting unexpectedly and later in life has been one of the greatest educational experiences. It brings endless opportunities for reflection, including how to cultivate social justice values for the next generation in our own families.
As an educator, activist, and writer, she was fortunate to learn early on about the importance of recognizing and working to dismantle systemic oppression. To this end, she continues to draw inspiration from Ashis Nandy's dedication in his book The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism to “those who dare to defy the given models of defiance.” In the pursuit of transgressing these moulds, Riisa believes in the vital role that formal and informal affinity groups play in sustaining an ongoing commitment to anti-oppression work by providing space for reflection, accountability, and community building.
Ph.D. - English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University
M.A. - Comparative Literature, Western University
B.Ed. - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
B.A. - English & French, Huron University College