yvonnesu


Yvonne Su

Photo of Yvonne Su

Department of Equity Studies

Assistant Professor

Email: yvonnesu@yorku.ca
Primary website: Personal Website

Media Requests Welcome


Dr. Yvonne Su is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Equity Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. She is a member of the Centre for Refugee Studies, the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, and the York Centre for Asian Research.

Yvonne is a specialist on forced migration, queer migration, diaspora studies and post-disaster recovery. She holds a PhD in Political Science and International Development from the University of Guelph and a MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford. Broadly, her research interests focus on migration and development, refugee protection and disaster risk reduction.

Yvonne currently holds three SSHRC grants:

1) Partnership Engagement Grant: Asylum-seeking in the Epicentre of COVID-19 - The Social Impact of COVID-19 on Venezuelan LGBTQI+ Asylum Seekers in Brazil ($24,961)
2) Insight Development Grant: At the Edge of Safety: Comparing Responses to Venezuelan LGBT Refugees in Brazil and Colombia amid COVID19 ($74,592)
3) Partnership Engagement Grant: Displaced, Resettled and Isolated - Impact of COVID-19 on Disaster-affected Households in Resettlement Sites in Tacloban, Philippines ($24,992)

Yvonne’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from SSHRC, IDRC, Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario and the Mackenzie King Scholarship Trust. She is also the recipient of over 25 national and international awards and scholarships including the Young Woman of Distinction Award and the University of Guelph’s Young Alumni Award.

More...

Degrees

PhD, University of Guelph
MSc, University of Oxford

Research Interests

Politics and Government , Asian/Pacific Studies, International Development, Migration, Disaster Studies, Social Capital

Current Research Projects

At the Edge of Safety: Comparing Responses to Venezuelan LGBT Refugees in Brazil and Colombia amid COVID-19

    Summary:

    LGBT Venezuelan refugees are one of the most vulnerable and overlooked groups in one of the largest and most underfunded crises in modern history. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 5.4 million people have left Venezuela due to violence, persecution and poverty, and the number of Venezuelans seeking refuge worldwide has increased by 8,000 per cent since 2014 (UNHCR, 2020). Many have fled to neighbouring Colombia and Brazil, which automatically grant refugee status to Venezuelan asylum seekers. However, protection gaps, poor funding as well as political and social tensions mean LGBT folks face unprecedented levels of homophobia, xenophobia, extreme violence and exploitation in their place of refuge (IOM, 2020; Valiquette, Su and Felix, 2020). Yet, an unlikely beacon of hope lies in the middle of the Amazon, at Casa Miga, Brazil’s only LGBT refugee centre. And in the border city of Cúcuta in Colombia, where La Casa que Abraza (The House that Hugs), provides a safe space for Venezuelan LGBT refugees in a region still facing insecurity from the country’s internal armed conflict. Both centres are run by LGBT people for LGBT people with the aim to provide services and assistance to LGBT refugees. But despite the significance of the essential service these institutions are providing, they remain scarce, underfunded and understudied. The aim of this study is to shine a light on the significance of peer-to-peer support for Venezuelan LGBT refugees in Brazil and Colombia.

    See more
    Role: P.I.

    Start Date:
      Month: Aug   Year: 2021

    End Date:
      Month: Jul   Year: 2023

    Funders:
    SSHRC
Asylum-seeking in the Epicentre of COVID-19 - The Social Impact of COVID-19 on Venezuelan LGBTQI+ Asylum Seekers in Brazil

    Summary:

    As COVID-19 causes nations to close their borders, asylum seekers are trapped and becoming targets of violence. A particularly precarious group are Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in Brazil, a global epicentre for COVID-19 with the highest infection rate and the second highest coronavirus deaths. Since 2015, more than 5 million have fled Venezuela and 264,000 have applied for asylum in Brazil. Under COVID-19, Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers now face more challenges, including the loss of livelihood and an increased risk of gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse. Thus, research on the social impacts of COVID-19 will be important so policy makers can understand the protection gaps that existed for these asylum seekers during the pandemic.

    This project builds on an existing partnership with Casa Miga, the only LGBT refugee centre in Brazil and one of the only centres in Latin America. Casa Miga is a LGBT-run non-profit shelter that is located in Manaus, one of the hardest hit city in Brazil by the coronavirus. The situation is increasingly dire as the public health care system in Manaus is completely over capacity with a shortage of ventilators, medical supplies and COVID-19 tests.

    As the first foreign researchers to study Casa Miga, we can make novel and timely contributions to help Casa Miga address the challenge of a lack of capacity to undertake research to produce policy recommendations for politicians and humanitarian actors to help their residents. The sensitive nature of research on vulnerable groups is what has made this an understudied subject, but this is why this research needs to be done. At a time when vulnerable populations like Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers are falling through the cracks, it is important to bring attention to the protection gaps that exist and the assistance that they need to survive, be healthy and feel safe.

    See more
    Role: P.I.

    Start Date:
      Month: Sep   Year: 2020

    End Date:
      Month: Aug   Year: 2022

    Funders:
    SSHRC
Displaced, Resettled and Isolated - Impact of COVID-19 on Disaster-affected Households in Resettlement Sites in Tacloban, Philippines

    Summary:

    As Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 hot spot, the Philippines has implemented one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. The highly urbanized city of Tacloban, home to 250,000 people, has enforced strict community quarantine measures that has greatly limited the ability of citizens to work, travel and access their basic needs. Tacloban is also still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan’s destruction in 2013, the strongest storm ever recorded. With tens of thousands of people displaced to resettlement sites on the city’s outskirts with limited access to health services, livelihoods, transportation, COVID-19 is a clear threat to their lives and livelihoods.

    The vulnerability of disaster-affected households is exacerbated by the double isolation of being forcibly displaced as well as COVID-19 quarantine measures. Working closely with the Church, this study is the first and only formal academic study so far, to examine how COVID-19 has deepened disaster-affected households’ vulnerabilities. Researchers will conduct key informant interviews, surveys and focus group discussions across four COVID-19 affected resettlement sites. This research will contribute to the advancement of knowledge and produce social benefits by collecting timely data on marginalized resettlement communities. Specifically the short-term outcomes are: 1) rapid research on the most pressing needs of disaster-affected households in resettlement sites amid COVID-19, 2) identification of how COVID-19 has deepened pre-existing vulnerabilities faced by these households and 3) the co-creation of recommendations for how to prioritize limited resources to mitigate the impact of subsequent waves of the virus. The potential long-term benefits and outcomes as a result of the knowledge mobilization activities are 1) a stronger understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 and how it has deepened the existing vulnerabilities faced by on disaster-affected households in resettlement sites by politicians, humanitarian actors and the general public, 2) a consideration of the co-created recommendations by local, national and humanitarian actors, and 3) more media and academic interest in studying and assisting this precarious and neglected population.

    See more
    Role: P.I.

    Start Date:
      Month: Dec   Year: 2020

    End Date:
      Month: Nov   Year: 2022

    Funders:
    SSHRC
Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Casa Miga: A case of LGBT-led, transnational activism in Latin America.

2021

Resilient Cities?: Mainstreaming Climate Change Resilience into Urban Policy in Dhaka and Ho Chi Minh City

2017

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Masks are for sissies: the story of LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in Brazil during COVID-19

2021

Surviving Overlapping Precarity in a “Gigantic Hellhole”: A Case Study of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ Asylum Seekers and Undocumented Migrants in Brazil amind COVID-19

2021

Uneven Recovery: A Case Study of Factors Affecting Remittance-Receiving in Tacloban, Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

2021

Indigenous Peoples and the COVID-19 Social Amelioration Program in Eastern Visayas, Philippines: Perspectives from Social Workers

2020

Local-indigenous knowledge on disaster risk reduction: Insights from the Mamanwa indigenous peoples in Basey, Samar after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

2020

Selling the Dead”: More Dignified Options Needed to Assist Widows in Post-Disaster Recovery after Typhoon Haiyan

2020

Whose Views Matter in Post-disaster Recovery? A Case Study of “Build Back Better” in Tacloban City After Typhoon Haiyan

2020

Achieving human security after a disaster: the case of the Haiyan widows

2019

Globalising Myths of Survival: Post-disaster Households after Typhoon Haiyan

2019

Post-Disaster Social Capital: Trust, Equity, Bayanihan and Typhoon Yolanda

2018

A Tide that Does Not Lift All Boats: The Surge of Remittances in Post-Disaster Recovery in Tacloban City, Philippines

2017

Pursuing the Capabilities Approach within the Global Governance of Migration

2016

Should We Bring Back Climate Refugees?

2016

The one billion 'climate refugees' that never was: INGOs and the human rights perspective to climate change-induced displacement

2014

The Failure of the American ABC HIV Prevention Model in Botswana

2010

Policy Papers

Publication
Year

Caremongering and the risk of “happy-washing” during a pandemic

2020

LGBTQI+ populations face unique challenges during pandemic

2020

Out of the shadows: the precarious lives of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum-seekers in Brazil

2020

Research Reports

Publication
Year

Understanding and Responding to The Combined Impact Of Climate Change and Armed Conflict On People’s Lives: A Literature Review Prepared for the ICRC

2019

Irreconcilable Differences? Pursuing the Capabilities Approach within the Global Governance of Migration

2014


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ2310 6.0 A Intro to Refugee and Migration Studies LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ3610 6.0 A Global Migration and Diaspora Cultures LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ3610 6.0 A Global Migration and Diaspora Cultures LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ2310 6.0 A Intro to Refugee and Migration Studies LECT


Dr. Yvonne Su is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Equity Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. She is a member of the Centre for Refugee Studies, the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, and the York Centre for Asian Research.

Yvonne is a specialist on forced migration, queer migration, diaspora studies and post-disaster recovery. She holds a PhD in Political Science and International Development from the University of Guelph and a MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford. Broadly, her research interests focus on migration and development, refugee protection and disaster risk reduction.

Yvonne currently holds three SSHRC grants:

1) Partnership Engagement Grant: Asylum-seeking in the Epicentre of COVID-19 - The Social Impact of COVID-19 on Venezuelan LGBTQI+ Asylum Seekers in Brazil ($24,961)
2) Insight Development Grant: At the Edge of Safety: Comparing Responses to Venezuelan LGBT Refugees in Brazil and Colombia amid COVID19 ($74,592)
3) Partnership Engagement Grant: Displaced, Resettled and Isolated - Impact of COVID-19 on Disaster-affected Households in Resettlement Sites in Tacloban, Philippines ($24,992)

Yvonne’s work has been supported by grants and fellowships from SSHRC, IDRC, Canadian Heritage, the Government of Ontario and the Mackenzie King Scholarship Trust. She is also the recipient of over 25 national and international awards and scholarships including the Young Woman of Distinction Award and the University of Guelph’s Young Alumni Award.

Degrees

PhD, University of Guelph
MSc, University of Oxford

Research Interests

Politics and Government , Asian/Pacific Studies, International Development, Migration, Disaster Studies, Social Capital

Current Research Projects

At the Edge of Safety: Comparing Responses to Venezuelan LGBT Refugees in Brazil and Colombia amid COVID-19

    Summary:

    LGBT Venezuelan refugees are one of the most vulnerable and overlooked groups in one of the largest and most underfunded crises in modern history. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 5.4 million people have left Venezuela due to violence, persecution and poverty, and the number of Venezuelans seeking refuge worldwide has increased by 8,000 per cent since 2014 (UNHCR, 2020). Many have fled to neighbouring Colombia and Brazil, which automatically grant refugee status to Venezuelan asylum seekers. However, protection gaps, poor funding as well as political and social tensions mean LGBT folks face unprecedented levels of homophobia, xenophobia, extreme violence and exploitation in their place of refuge (IOM, 2020; Valiquette, Su and Felix, 2020). Yet, an unlikely beacon of hope lies in the middle of the Amazon, at Casa Miga, Brazil’s only LGBT refugee centre. And in the border city of Cúcuta in Colombia, where La Casa que Abraza (The House that Hugs), provides a safe space for Venezuelan LGBT refugees in a region still facing insecurity from the country’s internal armed conflict. Both centres are run by LGBT people for LGBT people with the aim to provide services and assistance to LGBT refugees. But despite the significance of the essential service these institutions are providing, they remain scarce, underfunded and understudied. The aim of this study is to shine a light on the significance of peer-to-peer support for Venezuelan LGBT refugees in Brazil and Colombia.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: P.I.

    Start Date:
      Month: Aug   Year: 2021

    End Date:
      Month: Jul   Year: 2023

    Funders:
    SSHRC
Asylum-seeking in the Epicentre of COVID-19 - The Social Impact of COVID-19 on Venezuelan LGBTQI+ Asylum Seekers in Brazil

    Summary:

    As COVID-19 causes nations to close their borders, asylum seekers are trapped and becoming targets of violence. A particularly precarious group are Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in Brazil, a global epicentre for COVID-19 with the highest infection rate and the second highest coronavirus deaths. Since 2015, more than 5 million have fled Venezuela and 264,000 have applied for asylum in Brazil. Under COVID-19, Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers now face more challenges, including the loss of livelihood and an increased risk of gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse. Thus, research on the social impacts of COVID-19 will be important so policy makers can understand the protection gaps that existed for these asylum seekers during the pandemic.

    This project builds on an existing partnership with Casa Miga, the only LGBT refugee centre in Brazil and one of the only centres in Latin America. Casa Miga is a LGBT-run non-profit shelter that is located in Manaus, one of the hardest hit city in Brazil by the coronavirus. The situation is increasingly dire as the public health care system in Manaus is completely over capacity with a shortage of ventilators, medical supplies and COVID-19 tests.

    As the first foreign researchers to study Casa Miga, we can make novel and timely contributions to help Casa Miga address the challenge of a lack of capacity to undertake research to produce policy recommendations for politicians and humanitarian actors to help their residents. The sensitive nature of research on vulnerable groups is what has made this an understudied subject, but this is why this research needs to be done. At a time when vulnerable populations like Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum seekers are falling through the cracks, it is important to bring attention to the protection gaps that exist and the assistance that they need to survive, be healthy and feel safe.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: P.I.

    Start Date:
      Month: Sep   Year: 2020

    End Date:
      Month: Aug   Year: 2022

    Funders:
    SSHRC
Displaced, Resettled and Isolated - Impact of COVID-19 on Disaster-affected Households in Resettlement Sites in Tacloban, Philippines

    Summary:

    As Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 hot spot, the Philippines has implemented one of the world’s strictest lockdowns. The highly urbanized city of Tacloban, home to 250,000 people, has enforced strict community quarantine measures that has greatly limited the ability of citizens to work, travel and access their basic needs. Tacloban is also still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan’s destruction in 2013, the strongest storm ever recorded. With tens of thousands of people displaced to resettlement sites on the city’s outskirts with limited access to health services, livelihoods, transportation, COVID-19 is a clear threat to their lives and livelihoods.

    The vulnerability of disaster-affected households is exacerbated by the double isolation of being forcibly displaced as well as COVID-19 quarantine measures. Working closely with the Church, this study is the first and only formal academic study so far, to examine how COVID-19 has deepened disaster-affected households’ vulnerabilities. Researchers will conduct key informant interviews, surveys and focus group discussions across four COVID-19 affected resettlement sites. This research will contribute to the advancement of knowledge and produce social benefits by collecting timely data on marginalized resettlement communities. Specifically the short-term outcomes are: 1) rapid research on the most pressing needs of disaster-affected households in resettlement sites amid COVID-19, 2) identification of how COVID-19 has deepened pre-existing vulnerabilities faced by these households and 3) the co-creation of recommendations for how to prioritize limited resources to mitigate the impact of subsequent waves of the virus. The potential long-term benefits and outcomes as a result of the knowledge mobilization activities are 1) a stronger understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 and how it has deepened the existing vulnerabilities faced by on disaster-affected households in resettlement sites by politicians, humanitarian actors and the general public, 2) a consideration of the co-created recommendations by local, national and humanitarian actors, and 3) more media and academic interest in studying and assisting this precarious and neglected population.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: P.I.

    Start Date:
      Month: Dec   Year: 2020

    End Date:
      Month: Nov   Year: 2022

    Funders:
    SSHRC

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Casa Miga: A case of LGBT-led, transnational activism in Latin America.

2021

Resilient Cities?: Mainstreaming Climate Change Resilience into Urban Policy in Dhaka and Ho Chi Minh City

2017

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

Masks are for sissies: the story of LGBTQI+ asylum seekers in Brazil during COVID-19

2021

Surviving Overlapping Precarity in a “Gigantic Hellhole”: A Case Study of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ Asylum Seekers and Undocumented Migrants in Brazil amind COVID-19

2021

Uneven Recovery: A Case Study of Factors Affecting Remittance-Receiving in Tacloban, Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

2021

Indigenous Peoples and the COVID-19 Social Amelioration Program in Eastern Visayas, Philippines: Perspectives from Social Workers

2020

Local-indigenous knowledge on disaster risk reduction: Insights from the Mamanwa indigenous peoples in Basey, Samar after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

2020

Selling the Dead”: More Dignified Options Needed to Assist Widows in Post-Disaster Recovery after Typhoon Haiyan

2020

Whose Views Matter in Post-disaster Recovery? A Case Study of “Build Back Better” in Tacloban City After Typhoon Haiyan

2020

Achieving human security after a disaster: the case of the Haiyan widows

2019

Globalising Myths of Survival: Post-disaster Households after Typhoon Haiyan

2019

Post-Disaster Social Capital: Trust, Equity, Bayanihan and Typhoon Yolanda

2018

A Tide that Does Not Lift All Boats: The Surge of Remittances in Post-Disaster Recovery in Tacloban City, Philippines

2017

Pursuing the Capabilities Approach within the Global Governance of Migration

2016

Should We Bring Back Climate Refugees?

2016

The one billion 'climate refugees' that never was: INGOs and the human rights perspective to climate change-induced displacement

2014

The Failure of the American ABC HIV Prevention Model in Botswana

2010

Policy Papers

Publication
Year

Caremongering and the risk of “happy-washing” during a pandemic

2020

LGBTQI+ populations face unique challenges during pandemic

2020

Out of the shadows: the precarious lives of Venezuelan LGBTQI+ asylum-seekers in Brazil

2020

Research Reports

Publication
Year

Understanding and Responding to The Combined Impact Of Climate Change and Armed Conflict On People’s Lives: A Literature Review Prepared for the ICRC

2019

Irreconcilable Differences? Pursuing the Capabilities Approach within the Global Governance of Migration

2014


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ2310 6.0 A Intro to Refugee and Migration Studies LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ3610 6.0 A Global Migration and Diaspora Cultures LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ3610 6.0 A Global Migration and Diaspora Cultures LECT
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/HREQ2310 6.0 A Intro to Refugee and Migration Studies LECT