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Kelly Gallagher-Mackay

Kelly Gallagher-Mackay, Associate Professor & Program Coordinator, Law and Society, Wilfrid Laurier University.

I received my law degree from the University of Victoria in 1996, a Master’s in Law from Osgoode Hall at York University in 2001, and a PhD in Educational Theory and Policy Studies from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto in 2011. I was a MITACS postdoctoral fellow in 2014.

I have worked in diverse roles that combine education, law and public policy. This includes serving as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Future Skills Centre and Director of Research for People for Education, serving as the first Policy Counsel for the new government of Nunavut; a founder and Northern Director of Akitsiraq Law School in Iqaluit, Nunavut; working in a domestic violence family legal aid clinic in Brooklyn, New York.

I am the author of two books: Succeeding Together: Schools, Child Welfare and Uncertain Public Responsibility for Abused and Neglected Children (University of Toronto Press), and Pushing the Limits: How Schools Can Prepare Our Children Today for Tomorrow’s Challenges (Random House Canada, with Nancy Steinhauer). Pushing the Limits was shortlisted for the Donner Prize for the best Public Policy Book by a Canadian. I have also written over 40 articles and reports on diverse topics.

The main focus of my research is inequality, particularly in educational settings and involving children, youth and families. I’ve done research on schools and child welfare, “streaming” and systemic discrimination, the policy and data infrastructure required to understand equity of access to postsecondary education, and the connections between playground quality, health and poverty in Ontario.

A major focus for me right now is educational responses to the emergency of the pandemic on schooling.