Trainee Feature: Samantha Louie-Poon

Samantha Louie-Poon, RN, PhD Candidate


Q: Tell us a bit about yourself! 

A: I am a settler of Chinese ancestry based in Edmonton, AB. As a nurse, researcher, and writer, I am passionate about storying the untold narratives of the Asian diaspora in so-called Canada. I’m currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Alberta and an ECHO trainee where I am documenting the experiences of anti-Asian racism. Through poetry, I explore concepts of Asianness, belonging, and erasure, and invite readers to contemplate these tensions within taken-for-granted spaces. I’m passionate about community advocacy work that builds cross-racial solidarities and invests in radical care. In the community, I am the Director of Anti-Racism at Asian Gold Ribbon and serve as the Vice-Chair for the Centre for Race and Culture.

Q: What led you pursue a PhD in Nursing?

A: As a queer racialized woman, I experienced the violence, trauma, and challenges of living within a society built on gendered racism. Throughout my personal and professional experiences, I was not afforded the equal rights and opportunities that were given to my white and/or male counter-parts. Despite the stark injustices I experienced among various social spheres, it ignited my passion to pursue anti-racism advocacy within the nursing profession, aiming to positively impact the upcoming generations of racialized nurses and patients alike. However, I soon recognized that the knowledges underpinning social advocacy within nursing often neglects and silences the narratives and unique information needs of Asian populations. This understanding and passion led me to pursue a PhD that attempts to bridge anti-racism and knowledge translation. I am consistently inspired by the scholars who came before me and feel very fortunate to receive my training from an exceptional researcher and mentor, Dr. Shannon Scott, who compassionately works in solidarity with systemically oppressed populations.

Q: Tell us a bit about your research! 

A: The purpose of my research is to document the stories of anti-Asian racism and to develop anti-racism strategies for the development of inclusive child mental health resources. Over the past year, I developed the foundational work of my research project including publishing a theoretical paper that disrupts the covert pathways of racism within nursing’s concepts and theories, and publishing a scoping review paper that mapped the existing literature on racism and the mental health of East Asian populations. Over the spring and summer of 2022, I will start recruiting Asian participants to share their stories of anti-Asian racism. By engaging in storytelling methods with members of Asian communities across Canada, this research project seeks to provide a space for reclaiming narratives and re-envisioning futures.

Q: What impact do you hope this project will have?

A: Due to the impacts of anti-Asian racism, the voices of the Asian diasporas in Canada remain strategically silenced. By creating an intentional space to tell these untold stories, I hope our community voices and narratives from the Asian diasporas can start to be liberated from coast to coast. I hope the results of this project will meaningfully contribute to the larger field of racial justice work so that fostering a space emphasizing Asian joys over hardships can be made possible. Through this doctoral research, I hope to honor the legacies of my ancestors and community whose advocacy work created the platform I am privileged to stand upon. It is a great honor to stand in solidarity with my community as we envision just futurities.


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