Researchers

Nakita Valerio

Research Fellow

Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies

Nakita Valerio is an award-winning writer, academic, and community organizer based in Edmonton, Canada. She completed graduate studies and work as a research assistant in History and Islamic-Jewish Studies at the University of Alberta in 2017, as well as a research fellowship on Islamophobia and anti-Semitism for The Tessellate Institute in 2018. Nakita serves her community as an advisor for the Chester Ronning Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life,  and as a member of the Executive Fundraising Board for the YIWCL Cree Women’s Camp. Nakita is the co-founder of Bassma Primary School in El Attaouia, Morocco.

Laura Pilon

Research Coordinator

Institute for Religious and Socio-Political Studies

Laura Pilon is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Political Science. She is passionate about international policy, global affairs, intercultural and interfaith understanding, and Islamic issues. Her research interests also include the comparative study of social and protest movements, globalization, power relations, states and political regimes, and identity in politics.