Editorial Team

Nakita Valerio (Editor-in Chief for RSS-Journal), based in Treaty 6, Edmonton, is a Vanier Scholar completing doctoral studies in Religious Studies at the University of Alberta, specializing in Muslim women’s religious leadership and Qur’anic literacy in Morocco. With a background in Islamic-Jewish Moroccan history, she serves as an academic strategist/mentor to graduate students in the social sciences and humanities. Previously, she served as the Research Director at the Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies for three years where she also completed a research fellowship on Albertan religious organizations for the Ronning Center. She is the current Editor of the Religious and Socio-Political Studies Journal and founded The Nusaibah Collective, a Muslim women's study group. Nakita is also engaged  as a student of traditional Islamic sciences. She advises the Chester Ronning Center and sponsors the Fatima Al-Fihri Graduate Award in African Islamic Studies. Additionally, she holds various roles within the UAlberta community, including as an advisor to the Ronning Center and she serves as the secretary of the Canadian Association for the Study of Islam and Muslims (CASIM). Nakita is also the co-founder of a primary school in rural Morocco.

Dr. Muna Saleh (RSSJ Editorial Board Member) is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Concordia University of Edmonton. Drawing upon her experiences as a Canadian Muslim woman, mother, educator, and researcher, Muna’s doctoral research was a Killam Trusts-funded narrative inquiry into the experiences of Canadian Muslim girls and their mothers. Prior to engaging in graduate studies, she was an elementary and secondary school teacher and leader. Her research interests include multiperspectival narrative inquiry, mothering and motherhood, conceptions of curriculum, familial curriculum-making, and research alongside children and youth with exceptionalities and their families.

Dr. Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui (RSSJ Editorial Board Member) is an award-winning public speaker, media pundit, researcher, and human rights advocate. She is currently a professor of sociology and criminology at Sheridan College and a diversity equity inclusion/policy consultant. Focusing in the areas of migration, race/ethnicity and ethno-religio diasporic identity, Dr. Ghaffar-Siddiqui’s research has explored the ways in which Western Muslim communities navigate their social worlds amidst rising Islamophobia and how intentional community thirds spaces help facilitate integration and belonging for those feeling “spiritually homeless”. Dr. Ghaffar-Siddiqui’s expertise are sought in academic, public, and political forums worldwide and she is regularly interviewed by major media outlets, including the New York Times, CBC News, CTV News and others. Dr. Ghaffar-Siddiqui has served on the boards of The Pluralist Foundation and The Canadian Council of Muslim Women Toronto, is on the advisory boards for Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and the Canadian Muslim Vote, and is the co-founder of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom Canada. Dr Ghaffar-Siddiqui also volunteers her time as a Prince Charles’ Trust mentor for youth in the U.K. 

Khaled Al Qazzaz is a leader and organizer in the Muslim community in North America and a civil rights advocate in Canada. He is drive by resilience and commitment to justice. He is currently the executive director of the Canadian Muslim Public Affairs Council (CMPAC), a national advocacy organization that combats structural Islamophobia. He also oversees the Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies, a centre for policy research and studies related to Muslims in North America (I-RSS). Furthermore, he is a member of the international justice committee of Human Rights Watch Canada. 

Elisabeth Hill (Research Assistant and Academic Editor) is a researcher, writer, and editor living on Treaty 6 territory in Edmonton AB. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Victoria and an MA in History from the University of Alberta. In addition to extensive writing and copy-editing experience, she has worked as a curatorial assistant and public programming coordinator at the Art Gallery of Alberta and as a research assistant to multiple projects at the University of Alberta. Elisabeth is currently pursuing an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Alberta.