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    Author, Speaker, Teacher, Ethicist, Activist, Consultant
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    PhD Candidate, McMaster University
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Author, Speaker, Teacher, Ethicist, Activist, Consultant

Chandra Kavanagh is a PhD candidate in the philosophy department at McMaster University, where she studies biomedical ethics and feminist philosophy. Chandra’s presentations on political and ethical issues have received high acclaim across Canada, the United States, Europe and Australia and she has been widely published in both academic and popular media.

An award-winning feminist and labour activist, Chandra received the 2016 Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario “Sisters in Solidarity” award for her work on gender issues in her role as president of CUPE Local 3906. Currently, Chandra is the Feminist-in-Residence for the St. John’s Status of Women Council, and a digital ethics advisor for McMaster’s Research and High Performance Computing Support group.


20+ publications in a variety of mediums

Refereed Journal Articles

  1. “Juliette: A Model of Sexual Consent” in Journal of the International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics. 4, 1 (2016): 43-54.
  2. “Justifying an Adequate Response to the Vulnerable Other.” The Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics. 7, 1 (2016): 57-70.
  3. “Accommodation or Cure: A synthesis of neurodiverse and cure theory recommendations for autism action.” Association for the Advancement of Philosophy in Psychiatry Bulletin. 22, 1 (2015): 4-8.

Book Reviews

  1. “What Should We Tell our Daughters: Review.” McClung’s Magazine. Spring (2014): 43.
  2. “Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl: Review. McClung’s Magazine. Winter (2014): 40.
  3. “Pleasure in Ancient Greek Philosophy: Review.” Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review. 52, 2 (2013): 610-612.


Highly-acclaimed international public speaker

Disability & Mental Health

Sample Talk: “Autism, Neurodiversity, and Creating Inclusive Communities,” 32nd Annual Pacific Rim International Conference on Disability & Diversity (April 2016)

Feminist Activism

Sample Talk: “Solidarity on the Spot!: Using Feminist Organizing Techniques to Create Grassroots Resistance,” FemFest 2.0, St. John’s Status of Women Council (August 2017)

Phenomenology & Method

Sample Talk: “Considering Disabled Experience Under Medical and Social Models of Disability,” Canadian Bioethics Society Annual Conference (May 2016)

Human Rights & Equity

Sample Talk: “Buchanan’s Defense of the Status Egalitarian Function of the International Legal System of Human Rights: A Rebuttal,” 16th Symposium of the International Association of Women Philosophers, Monash University (July 2016)

Sex & Love

Sample Talk: “Who Can Make a Yes?: Disability, Sexual Consent, and ‘Yes Means Yes,’” Theorizing Consent: Educational and Legal Perspectives on Campus Rape, University of Texas Austin (April, 2016)

Solidarity & Labour

Sample Talk: “Solidarity as Kinship: The Role of Solidarity in Moral Obligation to the Intellectually Disabled,” Canadian Philosophical Association, CONGRESS (May 2017)


From the academy to the community and beyond

Peace Studies 3Y03: Violence and Vulnerability

McMaster University

This third year contemporary issues course examined the political and ethical controversies concerning violence and vulnerability, and the activist movements associated with those controversies. Overall Instructor Rating: 9.2.


Introduction to Feminist Activism

St. John’s Status of Women Council

This community-based 5-week workshop series provided foundational information and practical skills for pursuing social justice through activism. This series was extremely well attended, and enthusiastically covered in the local media.


Guest Lecturer

Multiple Institutions

Chandra guest lectures for a variety of departments and faculties including philosophy, medicine, education, nursing, biology, peace studies, theatre & film, and gender studies.


Teaching Assistant

Multiple Institutions

Social and Political Philosophy, Ancient Chinese Philosophy, Feminism in Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology, Philosophy of Life, Death and Poverty, Arts and Contemporary Studies, Critical Thinking.


Bioethics, research ethics, digital ethics


Intersectional feminist and trade unionist


St John’s Status of Women Council

Major accomplishments:

Introduction to Feminist Activism: a 5-session weekly 2-hour workshop series open to the community

Feminist Working Hub: a weekly co-working commons

Ment-HER!: a revolutionary women's mentorship program


Panel Organizer

Canadian Philosophical Association Equity Committee
Panel: Stereotype Threat & Implicit Bias
  • Carla Fehr (University of Waterloo)
  • Jeffrey McNeil-Seymour (Thompson Rivers University)
  • Andrew Molas (York University)
  • Meredith Schwartz (Ryerson University)
  • Jenna Woodrow (Thompson Rivers University)
to 2016


Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 3906

Managed up to 6 employees, 13+ executives, 3000 members and 3 trustees, liquid assets of almost 1 million dollars, 3 rounds of bargaining, and 4 collective agreements.

to 2016


CUPE Ontario Sisters in Solidarity Award

This award honours a CUPE sister who has done outstanding work on women’s issues in the Union and whose leadership and activism has demonstrated a deep commitment to equity and social justice.


Equity Officer

CUPE 3906

Extended solidarity to equity seeking groups within CUPE, McMaster University, and throughout the Hamilton community.

to 2015


CUPE 3906 Political Action Committee
Sexual Harassment in Academia and the Workplace Conference:

Organized a well-attended conference to address the high profile sexual harassment cases in the university sector.

to 2014


McClung’s Magazine

McClung’s is a Canada's oldest feminist magazine based out of Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

to 2014

Jack Layton Internship

Ryerson University

Worked in municipal politics building partnerships between the City of Toronto, faith communities, and non-profit organizations to engender healthier neighbourhoods.


How can I help you?

Policy and Advocacy

Research, development, presentation and support concerning policy changes and new policy initiatives in the public, private and university sectors.


Human Rights and Equity

Education, training, mediation, and complaint resolution related to harassment, discrimination, anti-oppression, accessibility, accommodation, and other human rights-related issues.


Disability and Accommodation

Education and training in disability, accommodation and universal design. Development, presentation and support for policies and practices that enhance success for people with all levels of ability.


Ethics and Compliance

Solidifying and expanding social responsibility and commitments to ethics and integrity as well as preventing organizational misconduct in the public, private and university sectors.


Say Hello

St. John's, NL & Toronto, ON
www.chandrakavanagh.com kavanacl@mcmaster.ca