Dr. Lafrenière received her PhD from the University of McGill’s School of Social Work in 2005. She is the founding director of the Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) which is a research and training incubator comprised of a multidisciplinary group of researchers and community practitioners dedicated to university-community collaboration. In 2013, Dr. Lafrenière was appointed as the Director of the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research (MCCHR), and will serve in this role until 2024. The MCCHR is an endowed research centre dedicated to exploring community health at a local and global level.
The guiding philosophy behind Dr. Lafrenière’s work is her belief that public intellectuals should be of service to the communities in which they operate. She currently is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Work where she teaches courses in leadership, poverty, and community interventions. Dr. Lafrenière mentors undergraduate, Master’s, PhD, and post-doctoral fellows in the “art and science” of community-based research and development.
Understanding how public intellectuals interact with equity-seeking groups and community-based organizations is my main area of interest and research. My research includes the areas of gendered violence, women's health, community development within First Nations and ethnocultural communities, as well as various women’s groups and collectives both locally and abroad.
I am also firmly committed to arts-based social development as a means for creating spaces for marginalized voices. I am currently working on several projects funded by a variety of funders, primarily in the area of women's health, community engagement, and gendered violence.
Students interested in developing skills in community-based research are invited to connect with me as there are opportunities for internships and work placements within the Social Innovation Research Group (SIRG) and the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research (MCCHR).
I am open to working with MSW thesis students, doctoral, and post-doctoral candidates interested in the area of university-community collaboration, arts-based social development, and women and gender issues.
Shizha, E., Wilson-Forsberg, S., Masakure, O., Mfoafo-M’Carthy, M., & Lafrenière, G. (2020). Stereotyping High School Immigrant African Male Students in Pursuit of Postsecondary Education. In Critical Theorizations of Education (pp. 143-156). Brill Sense.
Wilson, S., Masekura, O., Shiza, E., McCarthy Mfuafo, M., & Lafrenière, G. (2018). Disrupting an Imposed Racial Identity or Performing the Model Minority? The Pursuit of Postsecondary Education by Young African Immigrant Men in Southern Ontario, Canada. Race, Ethnicity and Education Journal.
Suarez, E., Lafrenière, G., Harrison, J. (2016). Scoping Review of Interventions Supporting Mothers with Mental Illness: Key Outcomes and Challenges. Community Mental Health Journal.
Pollock, G., Newbold, B., Lafrenière, G., & Edge, S. (2011). Discrimination and Health: Recommendations for Clinical Practice and System Improvement. Critical Social Work.
Lafrenière, G., & Diallo, L. (2010). In the Interest of Working with Survivors of War, Torture and Organized Violence: Lessons from a University/Community Research Collaborative in South-Western, Ontario. Canadian Issues.
Lafrenière, G., & Rowe, J. (2008). Assessment of Gaps in Services for Survivors and Perpetrators of Domestic Violence in the Waterloo Region: Moving Towards Enhanced Service. Child and Family Journal.
Diallo, L., & Lafrenière, G. (2007). Meilleures pratiques pour les francophones oeuvrant en santé et services sociaux auprès des survivants de guerre, torture et violence organisée : un compte-rendu d’un projet de recherche. Reflets : Revue ontaroise d’intervention sociale et communautaire.
Lafrenière,G., Dubie, D., & Henry, L. (2005). Can University/Community Collaboration Create Spaces for Aboriginal Reconciliation? Case Study of the Healing of the Seven Generations and Four Directions Community Projects and Wilfrid Laurier University. First Peoples Child and Family Review, 2(1).
Hoy, S., & Lafrenière, G. (2018). Final Report for the Elliot Lake Counselling Agency Expansion Project.
Hoy, S., & Lafrenière, G. (2016). Succeed Clean Student Survey Results Report. Report to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport.
Hoy, S., & Lafrenière, G. (2016). Evolving educational practice through 21st century communication & collaboration: Phase 2 Evaluation Report. Submitted to the Waterloo Catholic School Board.
Lafrenière, G., Hoy, S., & Haydon, B. (2016). Uncomfortable contradictions: Enhancing Response Pathways to Gendered Violence on a University Campus. Submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Community and Correctional Services.
Lafrenière, G., & Gordon, J. (2016). Betting on Community-Based Interventions: Facilitating Knowledge Translation of Problem Gambling in a Vulnerable Community
Lafrenière, G., & Hoy, S. (2015). “You shouldn’t have to remember how to breathe”: Final Report on the SSHRC funded project – Understanding the Post-Shelter Experiences of Survivors of Domestic Violence.
Harrison, J., & Lafrenière, G. (2015). "The Change Project: Ending Gendered Violence on University Campuses", Report prepared for Status of Women Canada.
Lafrenière, G., & Flagler, J. (2014). "Sex Trade Worker Needs Assessment in the Region of Waterloo", Report prepared for the Sex Workers Action Network.
Lafrenière, G. (2014). "Engaging Brave Discussions about Violence Against Women in Caledon and Dufferin", Status of Women Canada.
Hill, G., & Lafrenière, G. (2014). "'Together we are Strong': Report on the Consultative Process on Health and Wellness with Aboriginal Community Stakeholders in the Waterloo Wellington Region", Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre.
Lafrenière, G. (2013). "Developing a Neighborhood Hub in Brantford, Ontario", City of Brantford, Ontario.
Lafrenière, G. (2013). "Report on the Third Community Conversation on Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs", Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
Lafrenière, G. (2013). "Diversity Matters: Report on VAW Needs of Working Professionals in Sudbury and Manitoulin", for the Sudbury Counselling Centre and the Violence against Women Sector, Sudbury and Manitoulin.
Lafrenière,G., Hoy, S., Harrison, J., Pollock, G., & Braganza, M. (2012). "Report on Violence against Women Services and Children’s Aid Societies : Negotiating a Regional Collaborative Agreement for the Violence against Women Forum", Central West Region of Ontario.
Lafrenière, G., & Harrison, J. (2012). "Report on the Enhancing Collaboration Forum, Violence against Women and Family and Children Services", for the Domestic Violence Review Team, Waterloo, Ontario.
Lafrenière, G., & Braganza, M. (2012). "It Has Helped Me a Lot: On the Merits and Challenges of the Navigator Mental Health Project", for the Navigator Mental Health Working Group, Kitchener, Ontario.
Lafrenière, G., McCallum, G., Inglefield, N., & Yungblutt, M. (2012). "We are a Sensitive Bunch: Supervision in VAW Counselling Work", for the VAW Forum, Central West Region of Ontario.
Internal Laurier Grants
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