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Kathleen Cherrington

Kathleen Cherrington

Doctoral Student, Graduate Programme in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, York University
Graduate Research Associate

https://www.yorku.ca/laps/gsws/alumni-profile/kathleen-cherrington/

I began my post-secondary academic journey at York University in 2011, in the School of Continuing Studies, Harm Reduction Certificate program as part of a professional development opportunity funded by my employer at the time as a Prison Outreach Worker for HIV+ individuals. This motivated me to enroll into the Sexuality Studies Certificate program at York University. I switched into the Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Sexuality Studies and minoring in Women’s Studies. I completed the MA Program in GFWS in 2020 and currently am a 2nd year PhD student in GFWS. I have worked in the non-profit sector providing harm reduction modelled community support work from 2005–20, supplying services to society’s most marginalized populations. I worked in East Vancouver during the period that a serial killer was on trial for having murdered 26 (mostly Indigenous) street-based sex workers. I provided outreach to monitor and support the health and safety of vulnerable sex trade workers. I started working at a transitional house for women named ‘The Vivian’, which provided a house where sex workers could bring in their guests and have access to safer sex supplies, medical care and have their safety monitored by staff. I have witnessed the unjust power dynamics embedded in our colonial, neoliberal, heteropatriarchal society, which causes multiple health inequities and safety concerns for marginalized impoverished women. These inequalities and systemic oppression motivate my desire for social justice and transnational human rights initiatives, which also informs my work in GFWS.