Aims to create fresh research on contemporary and emerging
issues facing the planet to shape a better world after the COVID-19 pandemic
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COVIDA is a collective of academics who aim to provide a fresh, transformative perspective on global politics. COVIDA was founded by a group of students and professors who desired to make a lasting impact on the world around them. As such, the group’s name is reflective of the global environment in which COVIDA was created. COVIDA and its members wanted to apply their ideas in a setting that was outside of the classroom. Initially, these ideas were focused around addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications regarding human rights and civil liberties. Furthermore, COVIDA’s translation from Latin means ‘living together’ which ties into the group’s overarching objective of getting individuals to work together as equals to create a better world.
COVIDA is involved in advising and creating global policy to promote human rights, sustainability, democracy, and equality. COVIDA’s past and present work has involved partnerships with the University of Victoria, EUCANET and the BC Office of the Human Rights Commissioner. In collaboration with the University of Victoria: Centre for Global Studies and EUCANET, students from COVIDA produced policy memos focusing on the impact that COVID-19 was having on the European Union. Currently, COVIDA is assisting the BC Office of the Human Rights Commissioner in gathering information regarding human rights abuses within British Columbia.
In the future, COVIDA will work on producing long-form papers as well as continuing its current initiatives. COVIDA’s members come from a diverse range of academic backgrounds, from biology to law. Therefore, the group is eager to apply their knowledge and skills in the pursuit of improving the world around them.
COVIDA Collective was developed by Alina Sobolik, Javier Dichupa, Ethan Connor Quilty, Noah Hathaway, CTI fellows Keith Cherry and Pablo Ouziel.
See their bios below.
Alina Sobolik is a recent graduate from the University of Victoria, having completed a BA in Political Science with a minor in European Studies. Alina’s passion for international diplomacy and conflict resolution brought her to study the European Union. Alina plans to study international law before pursuing a career in diplomacy. Through her work with COVIDA, Alina hopes to contribute to the conversation on post-COVID-19 solutions.
Javier Dichupa is a 3rd year political science student at the University of Victoria. Javier is currently working with COVIDA to analyze contemporary issues within the European Union. His main interests are wealth inequality and democratic legitimacy. Aside from academics, Javier is an avid hiker andfrequently visits the provincial parks surrounding Victoria. Due to the ongoing pandemic, he now spends most of his time researching and working on his garden. After completing his undergrad, Javier wants to pursue a master’s in political science or attend law school.
Ethan Connor Quilty is entering the final year of his BSc, Major in Marine Biology, Minor in Political Science at the University of Victoria. After completion of his undergraduate, he hopes to pursue a graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies or study Law. His research interests include environmental law, conservation policy, Indigenous rights and marine science. With the COVIDA research group, Ethan aims to pursue further undergraduate research and work towards creating new policy models that will support improvements to the democratic system.
Noah Hathaway is a 3rd year BA Political Science student at the University of Victoria. He has been active in a variety of Canadian and internationally focused political organizations and think tanks, and is currently active in research as a policy analyst with COVIDA. Noah has a deep passion and interest for topics regarding proportionally representative election systems; efficiency focused economic reform; and the issues surrounding democratic-scale in international, and inter-community relations.
Keith Cherry is a Killam Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, a fellow at the Center for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, and a co-founder of the Cedar Trees Institute. Keith is an activist and community organizer, and his current research focuses on the relationship between rural Indigenous activists and their urban Settler supporters. He argues that the most advanced models of pluralism exist in grassroots communities, indigenous democracies, and emergent global networks which model a horizontal, participatory praxis based on mutual need and mutual aid.
Pablo Ouziel is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, Spain, and the University of Southampton in the UK. He is also a co-founder of the Cedar Trees Institute, Pablo’s research interests include public philosophy, collective presences, horizontality, nonviolence and civic democracy. By standing within the tradition of public philosophy, the core of his work is centred on excavating networks of individuals governing themselves in numerous ways that supersede our current structures of representative government.