Josh Lamers

PhD Candidate
Josh Lamers photo
Dissertation Title
The Golden Ticket? Black Child Welfare Survivors, Racial Displacement Through Adoption & the End of Family Policing Systems


In Ontario, there is a significant push to address issues within its family policing system (child welfare) by implementing what the government considers more effective permanency planning through making child welfare survivors, many of whom are Black, easier to adopt. Using an autoethnographic approach, this research centres around the question of whether the experiences and outcomes of the legal adoption of Black children into white families reflect the paramount purpose of the Ontario’s Child, Youth, and Family Services Act, 2017 with respect to promoting the best interest, protection, and well-being.


2022: Juris Doctor - University of Windsor

2019: Masters of Social Work - Toronto Metropolitan University

2018: Bachelor of Social Work - Toronto Metropolitan University

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant, Legal Process - Osgoode Hall Law School, York University (2022-2023)

Professional Experience

Executive Lead - The Collective of Child Welfare Survivors, The Black Legal Action Centre (2020 - Present)

Research Assistant - Faculty of Law, Windsor (2021)

Lead Researcher - Project Based External Placement, The Black Legal Action Centre (2021)

Afrofest Coordinator - University of Windsor Students' Alliance (2019-2020)

Caseworker - Community Legal Aid, University of Windsor (2019)

Caseworker - Community Legal Aid, University of Windsor (2019)

Co-Creator & Project Lead - The Black Liberation Collective - Toronto Metropolitan University (2016 - 2019)

Project Coordinator - Office of the Ontario Child Advocate (2017 - 2018)

  • Harley D. Hallett Graduate Scholarship, Osgoode Hall Law (2022)
  • Anti-Black Racism Advocacy Award, Windsor Law (2021)
  • John Mountain Law Scholarship, Windsor Law (2021)
  • Anti-Black Racism Student Leadership Grant, University of Windsor (2021)
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Student Award, Windsor Law (2020)
  • Lamers, J. (forthcoming 2023). Like Father Like Son, in Idil Abdillahi et al., (Eds), Mad Matters (2nd).
  • Ewa-Elechi, E. & Lamers, J. (forthcoming 2023). The occlusive/carceral tactics of white womanhood within and outside of social work, Demeter Press.
  • Lamers, J. (2022). From topic and evidence to architect: The development of Black diasporic phenomenology and the resistive strategies of Black child welfare survivors, in Jualla van Oudenhoven R., Walcott-Parris, D., & Woodman, S. (eds), The Myth of Child Protection: An Equity Guide (Gompel & Svacina).
  • Lamers, J. (12 November 2018). Simcoe County school board’s hollow promise on equity/inclusion unacceptable,
  • Lamers, J. (13 June 2018). Fat activism’s been around…ya’ll just need to get into it, Queer Media Magazine
  • "Nothing But a Deathtrap: Ontario’s Family Policing System, Gender as Inherently Antiblack, and the Lives/Death of Black Queer and Trans Child Welfare Survivors" (Paper Presentation at Graduate Law Student Association Conference, Osgoode Hall Law, August 2022)
  • "In Defense of Caleb, Regis, and Anthony: Blackpolis and Black People “Falling” in Mental Health Distress" (Paper Presentation at Mental Health Law Conference Confronting Sanism: From Legal Education to Legal Action, April 2022)
  • "Abolition and Child Welfare" (Panelist at Collective of Child Welfare Survivors, the Black Legal Action Centre March 2022)
  • "2SLGBTQ+ Student Activism in Legal Education" (Panelist at OUTLaw National June 2021)
  • "A Discussion with Student-Activists" (Panelist at Making it Awkward, University of Windsor March 2021)
  • "Slut Nations: The Anatomy of Protest" (Panelist at Onsite Gallery, OCAD, February 2021)
  • "When We Say It & Talking AntiBlack Racism" (Panelist at Windsor Art Council, February 2021)
  • "The Black University Experience" (Keynote/Facilitator at CAOS Windsor, December 2020).
  • "Black Seeds Grow Here: How to Create Anti-Racist Communities" (Panelist at New Democratic Party -Ontario, October 2020
  • "All Out September 30" (Panelist at York Federation of Students, September 2020)
  • "No Cops on Campus" (Panelist at CSSDP- Toronto Metropolitan University, September 2020)
  • "Undoing/Rethinking Social Work" (Panelist at Social Work Student Union, Toronto Metropolitan University, September 2020)
  • "Child Protection & AntiBlack Racism" (Keynote at the Black Legal Action Centre, August 2020)
  • "From Turtle Island to South Africa: Black-Palestinian Solidarity" (Panelist at Palestine Solidarity Collective ~ York University, July 2020)
  • "Organizing While Black On & Off Campus" (Panelist at Afrofest University of Windsor Students' Alliance, February 2020)
  • "From Topic & Evidence to Architect: The Resistive Strategies of Black Child Welfare Survivors" (Paper at Congress 2019: Black Canadian Studies Association Conference, Vancouver, BC, June 2019)
  • "From #BlackOnCampus to #theRyersonWay: Black Student Organizing, Mobilizing, and Action as Complaint" (Keynote at Community Movements Conference, Trent University, February 2019)
  • "The Force That’s With Us: Improving Policing? (Panelist at Social Justice Week: Toronto Metropolitan University, November 2018)
  • "Anti-Black Racism Institute" (Facilitator at White Privilege Conference, Toronto Metropolitan University, May 2018)
  • "Black Student Mobilizing" (Panelist at Black Canadian Studies Association Conference, Brandon, MB, May 2017)