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
- “Juliette: A Model of Sexual Consent” in Journal of the International Network for Sexual Ethics and Politics. 4, 1 (2016): 43-54.
- “Justifying an Adequate Response to the Vulnerable Other.” The Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics. 7, 1 (2016): 57-70.
- “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.
- “What Should We Tell our Daughters: Review.” McClung’s Magazine. Spring (2014): 43.
- “Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young Girl: Review. McClung’s Magazine. Winter (2014): 40.
- “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)
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
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.
Chandra guest lectures for a variety of departments and faculties including philosophy, medicine, education, nursing, biology, peace studies, theatre & film, and gender studies.
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
As a longstanding member of the MREB I play a role in reviewing all non-medical research involving human participants carried out by McMaster faculty, students and staff in order to ensure the safety and well-being of human participants. Additionally, the board is responsible for educating the university community and setting university policies with respect to research involving human participants.
McMaster Research Ethics Board
Employed to conduct research, and develop educational resources and policy recommendations to address ethical issues associated with ensuring proper data security and management for research involving human subjects.
Research and High Performance Computing
Selected to produce and present a report to the provincial government on behalf of the NLFL with regard to provincial policies concerning domestic violence. Among many recommendations, this package included revisions to the Residential Tenancies Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour
Responsible for ensuring the accessibility and inclusivity the Collaborative of Humanities, Arts and Social Science Educators (CHASSE) project, an online platform for connecting secondary school educators with post-secondary educators to facilitate social sciences and humanities knowledge translation.
CAVE provides a platform for interaction and collaboration between researchers in philosophy, psychology, cognitive science, law, medicine, applied ethics and bioethics. It fosters interdisciplinary theoretical research on human agency and the self, moral cognition, the foundations of moral and legal norms, and moral and legal responsibility.
Macquarie University Centre for Agency, Values, and Ethics
Intersectional feminist and trade unionist
St John’s Status of Women Council
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
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)
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.
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.
Extended solidarity to equity seeking groups within CUPE, McMaster University, and throughout the Hamilton community.
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.
McClung’s is a Canada's oldest feminist magazine based out of Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Jack Layton Internship
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.