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Rhonelle Bruder


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Rhonelle Bruder is a scholar-activist with over a decade of experience as a community leader advocating for women who have been impacted by sexual and physical violence, including human trafficking, child abuse, and intimate partner violence.

Rhonelle is the Founder and Executive Director of Project iRISE, an anti-trafficking agency supporting women impacted by sex trafficking.  Alongside leading Project iRISE, Rhonelle is a  Ph.D. student in Social and Behavioural Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Her research centers on human trafficking, gender violence, and women’s health. Her scholarship is heavily influenced by by intersectionality, critical race, and feminist theories, underscoring the diversity of experiences among women impacted by trafficking, navigating multiple social idendenties. She holds 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.

Rhonelle’s public service career includes serving as a selected member of Canada’s Delegation to the 65th United Nations Commission on Women's Status (UNCSW). Sitting on the Board of Directors of HEAL Trafficking, a network of multidisciplinary professionals dedicated to ending human trafficking and supporting its survivors from a public health perspective. Additionally, she is an Advisory Board member for Civic Action’s anti-trafficking task force, The Ministry of Education’s Anti-human trafficking workgroup, Sick Kids Hospital, Lotus Health Clinic’s Child and Youth Sex Trafficking Community Protocol Advisory Committee. 

In addition to her anti-trafficking experience, Rhonelle regularly provides commentary and analysis on TV networks, including CBC, Global News, CP24, and others. Her appearances include podcasts, radio shows, and print media on issues that examine human trafficking and gender violence. She is the recipient of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women designation for her contributions to the field of gender equity, the 2021 recipient of the L'Oreal Paris Women of Worth Honouree, and the 2020 recipient of CSPN’s Millennial Leader Award and the 2020 Top 100 Black Women to Watch recipient.

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Image by Ben Kolde

Research Interests

Human Trafficking

Womens Health

Qualitative Research

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