Joanne C. Minaker, PhD Associate Professor

There is room for understanding when we look beyond what we see. 

I was featured in MacEwan’s “Our People” campaign, please click quotation to see the article or here to watch video.

“We have to recognise that there cannot be relationships unless there is commitment, unless there is loyalty, unless there is love, patience, persistence.” Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” (Cornel West) 

Contact Information:

MacEwan University City Centre Campus

Room 6-396M, 10700-104 Ave

Edmonton, Alberta Canada T5J 4S2

(780) 633-3988 (780) 633-3636 email:

Dr. Joanne Minaker received a PhD in Socio-Legal Studies from Queen’s University in 2003 and has developed an influential and interdisciplinary body of work, which merges her scholarly research and social engagement. Her main areas of expertise are: 1) youth crime, youth justice, and criminalized youth; 2) sociology of care, motherhood studies, and marginalized mothering; and 3) social in/justice and community engagement. At the core of this project are explorations of the tensions between individual agency and social systems and “the power of meaningful connections” in creating openings for personal transformation and social change. She co-authored/edited the books Youth, Crime and Society: Issues of Power and Justice (2009) and Criminalized Mothers, Criminalized Mothering (2015), with Dr. Bryan Hogeveen, and has published widely on such issues as regulation of young women, gendered, social justice, sociology of family, and community caring.
Dr. Minaker is an award-winning instructor concerned about care and human connection. She works diligently being an active citizen at MacEwan and her recent institutional impact includes: Arts Promotion and Review Committee 2016-2017, University Budget Committee, 2016-2017; founding member of USOLVE (University Students Offering Leadership on Violence Elimination) serving from 2011-2016; collaborating with students to establish the Change Making Initiative, a student club to foster volunteerism, advocacy, and leadership. Dr. Minaker shares her work in academic and community settings and has made several appearances on television, in media, including: TEDxUAlberta “The Power of Meaningful Connections” (2016) and TEDxGarneauWomen, “Just Care” (2013).

Please consult the Department Faculty Profile.

In my work I explore the tensions between individual agency/selfhood and social systems, paying particular attention to social relations and the power of “meaningful connections” in creating openings for personal transformation and social change. I am co-Editor of Criminalized Mothers, Criminalizing Motherhood (2015) recently published by Demeter Press. I co-authored the book Youth, Crime and Society: Issues of Power and Justice (2009, with Bryan Hogeveen) and have published on such issues as regulation of criminalized girls, violence by and against women, social justice and regulation of mothers.One of my current projects explores the challenges, barriers and opportunities young women encounter in their experiences of mothering at the margins of mainstream society. I share my work and expertise in academic and community settings. I have made several appearances on television and other local media.

Raising children who are caring, creative, and compassionate citizens is my most difficult and significant contribution – and by far the most rewarding. My passion to bring attention to social injustices affecting children, youth and their families stems from my experience sharing a life of love, learning, and laughter with my amazing academic husband Bryan and our inspiring children – sons Ayden (14) and Taryk (11), and daughter Maylah (7).

Cool Recent Highlights:

I presented “The Power of Meaningful Connections” at TEDxUAlberta on March 6, 2016.

I presented Just Care” at TEDxGarneauWomen on December 5, 2013.

I gave the Convocation Speech, Fall 2015. You can learn more about my work in the profile Meet Our Faculty and please see a recent feature on Social Media and Social Caring.