Rhonelle Bruder is a Ph.D. student at The University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. As a doctoral student in Social and Behavioural Sciences, Rhonelle applies an intersectional and critical lens to her research on gender violence and human trafficking. She examines how broader systems of structural oppression, such as racism, classism, and sexism, lead to trafficking victimization and uses community-based participatory methodologies to develop trauma-informed and strength-based solutions. Rhonelle earned a Master of Science in Health Informatics from the University of Victoria and an Honours Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration from New York City College of Technology and has over ten years of public service, community leadership, and research experience.
Alongside her doctoral studies, Rhonelle is the Founder and Executive Director of Project iRISE. The anti-trafficking agency provides free branding tattoo removal for survivors of human trafficking and runs a survivor leadership program to support healing, enhance skills, and diminish isolation by mutual support. A passionate human rights advocate, Rhonelle’s work has been recognized both in Canada and internationally, with one of Canada’s 100 Accomplished Black Women, the 2021 distinctions as L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Honouree and as a part of the Canadian Delegation to the 65th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). Her work has also been featured in many national and local media sources, including but not limited to CBC, CP24, The Toronto Star, Flare Magazine, Global News, and many more.