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Prof. Roxana Ng (28 May 1951 – 12 Jan 2013) was a Professor at OISE (The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) whose research and activism focused on issues facing immigrant women and garment workers, especially in the Canadian context. The first woman of colour to hold a tenure track position at OISE, Prof. Ng was also a key researcher in critical pedagogy, decolonizing pedagogy and embodied learning.
Prof. Ng was born in Diamond Hill, a slum in Hong Kong. In 1968, she left for a Quaker boarding school in the United Kingdom. She moved to Vancouver with her family in 1970 and received her BA and MA in Sociology from the University of British Columbia (UBC). She moved to Toronto in 1978 to begin her PhD at OISE, which she received in 1984. Prof. Ng then taught at the University of New Brunswick and Queen’s University before returning to OISE in 1988 – first teaching sociology and then adult education.
Prof. Ng spent most of her academic career as a member of OISE’s Adult Education and Community Development Program. She was also Director of OISE’s Centre for Women’s Studies in Education and a key member of OISE’s Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies (CIAR) and the Anti-Racist Network. She was an active opponent of racism and sexism in both academia and society at large. Her own experiences with these issues is documented in her article title “A woman out of control: deconstructing sexism and racism in the university” (Canadian Journal of Education, 1993 18(3), p. 189).
Prof. Ng’s research was focused on the experiences of immigrant women in Canada, including their exclusion from the labour market. Prof. Ng authored numerous books and articles, including co-authoring Anti-Racism, Feminism, and Critical Approaches to Education (Bergin & Garvey, 1995). She also served as principal researcher for “Professional immigrant women navigating the Canadian labour market: a study in adult learning.” Prof. Ng also advocated strongly for healthy living choices, and developed a strong interest in Eastern medicine, trying to reunite mind, body, and spirit, which have been traditionally segregated in academia. To this end, she taught courses such as “Embodied Learning and Qi Gong,” “Applications of Embodied Learning,” and “Toward an Integrative Equity Approach in Higher Education.”
Prof. Ng was involved in many community groups and grassroots organizations that supported immigrant women. She co-founded the Vancouver Women’s Research Centre in 1977, a centre that helped immigrant women address issues of economic development, domestic violence and sexual harassment. She subsequently helped set up similar centres for immigrant women across the country. She served as a board member of Inter Pares (1999-2013), a “Canadian social justice organization working in Canada and around the world to support people's struggles for peace, justice, and equality” (from their website). She was also a member of the Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) since 1986 and served as a board member and then President in 1994/95.
Prof. Ng was also a key member of the Homeworkers Association (HWA), a group that began as part of the Toronto Chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council. The HWA organized training, support, and social events for home workers, particularly those in the garment industry.
She died of cancer on January 12 2013, at the age of 61.
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• Other obituaries and remembrances in the accession case file (B2014-0005)