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Carranza Mirna E., Associate Professor


Research & Supervisory Interests

My research interests include immigrant and refugee families and their process of acculturation as family units.  My Canadian interests include issues of grief, ambiguous losses, war and torture, identity processes, transnational relationships and their impact on parenting practices, successful settlement processes  and mental health.   My International research focuses on social justice issues, particularly on forced migration, gender violence, children's and women's rights in Central America.

Registered Marriage & Family Therapist

Clinical Member, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)

Clinical Member, Canadian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (CAMFT)

Member, Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE)

Member, Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

Member, International Association for Schools of Social Work (IASSW)

Member, Caribbean Studies Association


  • PhD, Family Relations and Human Development, University of Guelph (2007)
  • Post Graduate Education in Marriage & Family Therapy, Kitchener Family Counselling and Research Centre, Kitchener (1997)
  • MTS, Wilfrid Laurier University (1996)
  • BSW, Evangelic University of El Salvador, San Salvador (1984)



Recent Graduate Supervision

Doctorate (PhD) in Progress

Exploring the Barriers and Enhancing Success for At-Risk Young Mothers Transitioning from Residential Mental Health Settings into the Community

Masters - Major Research Papers (MRP)

Young Canadian Muslims: Struggles to Belong
Representations of Syrian Muslim Refugee Women and Girls Suffering Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Masters - Theses

Hard Working but Hardly Working: The Experiences of Korean Skilled Immigrants in the Canadian’s Labour Market 
Violence Against Women: Exploring the Women’s Experiences in Accessing Services in Trinidad & Tobago
Examining the Experiences of Muslim Youth in Accessing Mental Health Services
Educating Future Healthcare Professionals on the Role They Can Play in Detecting Trafficked Women in Canada
Beyond the Workshop: Understanding How New Workers Training Influences the Application of Neglect by Frontline CAS Workers
“This is Not Just a Job”: Tensions in Addressing Trauma in the Neo-Liberal Context
There’s No Place Called Home? Constructions of Home, Identity and Belonging in the Memoirs of Adult Third Culture Kids
Language Brokering: Exploring Parent-Child Relationships in Chinese Families
Kinship Care Policy: Exacerbating Women's Oppression through Neoliberal Familialization
Resiliency Amidst Fragmented Lives of Afghan Refugee Women
The Effects of Agency Restructuring on South Asian Social Workers
A Needs Assessment of the Latin Community in Waterloo Region
The Experiences of Asian Canadian Elders Living in Residential Care
Front-Line Child Welfare Experiences of Work Related Stress, Trauma, and Burnout – Is Experience a Mediating Factor?

Doctorate (PhD)

Ableism, Racism and Colonialism in Canadian Immigration: Exploring Constructions of People with Disabilities

Courses Taught


  • SOC WORK 4X03 Social Work & Families
  • SOC WORK 4G03 Social Work: Immigration & Settlement
  • SOC WORK 4D06 Practice of General Social Work
  • SOC WORK 4DD6 Social Work Field Practice
  • ISS3 Inquiry in the Social Sciences


  • SOC WORK 722 Research and Practice with the Colonized “Other”
  • SOC WORK 722 Social Work and the Politics of Trauma-Informed Practice



Book Chapters

Lee, B. Carranza, M., McGrath, S. & Moffat, K. (Expected Spring 2019). Organizing within Communities that have Experienced Collective Trauma: Tensions, Contradictions and Possibilities. In Todd, S. and Savard, S. (Eds.), Canadian Perspectives on Community Development. University of Ottawa Press: Ottawa. Expected publication Spring 2019.

Carranza, M. E., Jiménez, I., López Herrera, L.A., & Suárez, M. (forthcoming). Community Engagement Across Borders – Canada and Nicaragua. In S. Todd & J. Drolet (Eds.), Community practice and social development in social work. Springer. Expected publication Spring 2019.

Carranza, M. E. (2019). La intersección de la globalización con las realidades locales: Migración y explotación sexual comercial de niñas, niños y adolescentes: El caso Nicaragua. In Las migraciones de jóvenes y adolescentes no acompañados: Una mirada internacional.
En Rodríguez García de Cortázar, A., & Gimeno Monterde, C. (Eds.), (pp. 261-276). Publicidad de la Universidad de Granada. [The intersection of globalization with local realities: Migration
and commercial sexual exploitation of children and adolescents: The Nicaraguan case. In Rodríguez García de Cortázar, A., & Gimeno Monterde, C. (Eds.) (pp. 261-276). University of
Granada Press.

Carranza, M. E. (2017). Redefining Political Spaces: Everyday Citizenship from a Place of Exclusion, In P. Daenzer (Ed.), Civil Society, Migration and Post—Migration Movements (pp. 105-119). Toronto: Canadian Scholars. ISBN10 1138066397.

Carranza, M. E. (2017). Broken Dreams - Balancing Self and Family Well-Being: The Experiences of Women Immigrants to Hamilton, ON. In A. Alvinus (Ed.), Gender Differences in Different Contexts. In Tech-Open Science Minds: Croatia. 

Carranza, M. E. (2015). Trafficking of women and children in Latin America. In J. D. Wright (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of the Behavioral and Social Science-Social Work Subsection, 2nd Ed. 24: 512-516. Oxford: Elsevier.

McGrath, S., Lee, B., Moffatt, K., Carranza, M. E., & Lagios, (2015). A. Collective Trauma as a Personal/Social Concern for LGBTTTSQ Persons. In N. Mulé, B. O’Neill & T. Swan (Eds.), LGBT issues for social work (pp. 213-232).  Toronto: Canadian Scholars.

Carranza, M. E. (2013). Re-thinking Salvadorian mothers’ “suffering” and “sacrifices” in a transnational context: Politics of engagement. In M. Bouvard (Ed.), Mothering adult children (pp. 23-32). Maryland: Lexington Books.

Carranza, M. E. (2013). Cross-border Family Therapy: An Innovative Approach to Working with Latin American Refugee Women in Therapy. In M. Kawahara & O. Espín (Eds.), Feminist therapy with Latina women: Personal and social voices. New York: Routledge.

Carranza, M. E.  (2011). Surviving War and Trauma: Consequences for Salvadorian Mother-Daughter Relationships. In D. S. Silva (Ed.), Latina & Chicana Mothering. Toronto: Demeter Press.

Carranza, M. E. & Parada, H. (2010).Child Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Nicaragua: A critical globalization perspective. In K. A. McCabe & S. Manian (Eds.), Sex trafficking: A global perspective (pp. 131-141). Lanham, MA: Lexington Books.

Carranza, M. E.  (2008).  Therapeutic interventions to domestic violence with immigrant couples.  In J. Hamel, A. Vetere, & J. Cooper (Eds.), Interventions in family violence: A casebook (pp. 273-286).  San Francisco, CA: Springer. 

Carranza, M. E. (2008). What is keeping Latino/a Students out of School?: Some Possible Explanations. In D. Mantilla, D. Schugurenski, & J. F. Serrano (Eds.), Four in ten: Spanish-speaking youth and school dropout in Toronto [Cuatro de cada diez: Juventud de habla Hispana y deserción escolar en Toronto] (pp. 61-63). Latin American  Research, Education and Development (LARED) OISE: University of Toronto. 

Journal Articles

Carranza, M. E. (2019) Challenging Colonial Legacies: Developing Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practicum in Dominican Republic. Current Debates and Dilemmas in Community Development” for Social Work and Policy Studies: Social Justice, Practice and Theory. 2 (1) ISSN 2209-0878

Carranza, M. E. (2019) Global Agendas Local Realities: Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Chinandega, Nicaragua. Journal of Human Trafficking. DOI:  10.1080.23322705.2019.1594550

Carranza, M. E. (2016). International social work: Silent testimonies of the Coloniality of power. International Social Work Journal, 1-12.

Carranza, M. E. (2015). Protesting Against Mothers’ Surveillance: Salvadorian Mothers and Their Daughters Negotiating Adolescence in a Foreign Context. Journal of Family Social Work18(2), 106-122.

Carranza, M. E., López, L. A. & Parada, H. & Jiménez, I. (2013). Granada a city under siege: Dynamics of child’s sexual commercial sexual exploitation as a human rights issue in Nicaragua. Journal of Global Citizenship and Equity Education. 2(2), 21-36.

Carranza, M. E. (2013). Value transmission among Salvadorian mothers’ and daughters: Marianismo and sexual morality. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 30, 311-327.

Moffatt, K., Carranza, M. E., Lee, B., McGrath, S., & George, U. (2013).  Collective trauma as a personal/social concern for persons within marginalized communities. The International Journal of Community Diversity, 12(4), 61-80.

Carranza, M. E.  (2012). Salvadorian ethnic pride: A bridge for reducing mother daughter conflict due to acculturation into Canadian society. Canadian Social Work Review. 29(1), 61-85.

Carranza, M. E. (2012). “No es lo mismo - ni es igual”: Las experiencias transnacionales de adolescentes Salvadoreños, 3(5) 121-126. [It is neither the same or alike: The experiences of transnational relations of Salvadorian adolescents] Rayuela Iberoamerican Journal of Childhood & Youth Rights, 3(5) 121-126.

Carranza, M. E.  (2012). Cross-border Family Therapy: An Innovative Approach with Latin American Refugee Women in Canada. Journal of Women in Therapy.

Hernandez, P., Carranza, M.E. & Almeida, R. (2010). Mental health professionals’ adaptive responses to racial microaggressions: An exploratory study. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(3) 202-209.

Carranza, M. E.  (2008). Mothering Through Acculturation. Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering, 9(20), 86-96. 

Carranza, M. E. & Rivera, A. (2009). Salvadorian Women's Diaspora: Ana Rivera's story. Canadian Women Studies, 27(1) 140-144.

Carranza, M. E. (2008). Salvadorian women speak: Coping with Past Traumatic Experiences in Canadian Context. Canadian Social Work Review, 1(25), 23-36.

Carranza, M. E. (2007). Building resilience among Salvadorian female youth in Canada. Child & Family Social Work, 4(12), 1-9.

Carranza, M. E. (2007). Salvadorians: Their Wounded Souls - Historical Oppression and Resistance.  International Journal of the Humanities, 5(6), 133-140.

Other Publications

Carranza, M. E. (2017). Examining the Intersection of Immigrants’ Integration/Acculturation and Child Welfare. Retrieved from: Hamilton: School of Social Work, McMaster University.

Carranza, M. E.  (2007).  Collective trauma. In B. Lee, S. Sammon, G. Dumbrill (Eds.), Glossary of terms for anti-oppressive practice, (pp. 5-6). Mississauga: CommonAct Press.

Carranza, M. E.  (2001). Secrets of war. Women’s Concern Report, (155), 14-16.

Carranza, M. E.  (2001). Patterns of resilience: Lessons from Sara’s narrative. Child and family: A journal of the Notre Dame Child & Family Institute and Family Service Canada, (5), 22-26.  

Recent Presentations at Meetings



Carranza, M. E. Qualitative research with vulnerable populations. Migrant children & youth. Ryerson University.

Carranza, M. E. The refugee experience(s) & Trauma. Social Work Forum. McMaster University.


Carranza, M. E. Training, Interviewing Skills in Social Work. Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Carranza, M. E. Intersection of immigration and mental health. Interdisciplinary Forum in Mental Health. McMaster University.


Carranza, M. E. Immigrant Families: Facilitating Resilient Pathways. Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW). Resilience & renewal: Envisioning the future of social work practice, research and education. Social Work Provincial Conference. Toronto, On.

Carranza, M. E. Problematizing acculturation for immigrants and refugees. Social Work Spring Forum. McMaster University.

Carranza, M. E. “La intersección de la violencia en contra de niñas y niños y la inmigración familiar”. [The intersection of violence against children and parental migration] Seminario Internacional de Trabajo Social. Educación y Cambio. Universidad Luterana Salvadoreña. El Salvador.


Carranza, M. E. Voices from the margins: Immigrant women’s leadership. Leadership Summit for Women. Redefining, redistributing revolutionizing leadership. McMaster University. Hamilton Ont.

Carranza, M. E. The intersection of immigration and woman abuse. 21st Gandhi Peace Festival. Stop Violence Against Women McMaster University. Hamilton Ont.

Carranza, M. E. Parada, H. López, A. L. & Jiménez, I. Gender violence: Children’s Commercial in Granada and Guasaule Youth and Community Development in Canada and Jamaica: A Transnational Approach to Youth Violence. York University. Toronto. Ont.

Carranza, M. E. Project grounding: Responding to youth violence in Jamaica. Respondent. Dr. Honor Ford-Smith, Urban space, neoliberal violence and popular commemorative performance: The struggle for peace in Jamaican communities. Society for Philosophy & Culture series –Environment, identity and place. McMaster University.


Carranza, M. E. International collaboration: Gender violence and violence against children. Universidad Panámericana, San Marcos, Guatemala.


Carranza, M. E. NVivo Qualitative software for qualitative data management. Autonomous University of Managua, FAREM-Estelí Campus. Nicaragua. 


Carranza, M. E. “Las múltiples opresiones de las mujeres Salvadoreñas en Canadá.  Salvadoreños en el mundo, Diáspora y desarrollo: Una mirada a la mujer Salvadoreña. VIII Convención Internacional. Toronto. ON” [Salvadorian Women’s Multiple oppressions in Canada. Salvadorians in the world. Diaspora and development: A look to Salvadorian women. VIII International Convention. Toronto. ON.

Carranza, M. E., López, L. A., & Parada, H. “La presencia de explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes en Estelí, Nicaragua.” [The presence of child commercial sexual exploitation in Estelí, Nicaragua]. Autonomous University of Managua, Nicaragua.

Carranza, M. E. Building Inclusive communities: A closer look of Kitchener Waterloo. KW Counselling Services, Bridging Resources Community Program. Kitchener. ON.

Parada, H. & Carranza, M. E. Research, development and the ethic of engagement Critical International Social Work. Brown Bag Series - Ryerson University. Toronto. ON.

Carranza, M. E. “Explotación sexual comercial de niños, niñas y adolescentes: Hallazgos preliminares de un estudio cualitativo en la Republica Dominicana.” [Child commercial sexual exploitation: Initial findings of a national qualitative study in Dominican Republic]. 2nd Social Work Conference. Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.



Carranza, M. E. "We Are Not the Others". A Knowledge Translation Approach Using Popular Theatre. Interrogating Social Work's Role in "Nation" Building. Canadian Association for Social Work Education Congress. Toronto. Canada.


Carranza, M. E. Transnational identity and ethically-driven research & development in the Caribbean and Central America. Race, anti-racism and indigeneity: Anti-colonial resurgence and decolonial resistance Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE). Toronto. ON.

Carranza, M. E. The borderland experiences of women immigrant/refugee to Hamilton: Its impact on their mental healthCanadian Association for Social Work Education Congress. Calgary. Canada.


Carranza, M. E. “A ride to a better life.” Trafficking of children in Guasaule, Nicaragua. International Conference of the Humanities. Vancouver. Canada.

Carranza, M. E. The intersection of globalization and local realities: Children’s migration and child commercial sexual exploitation - The case of Nicaragua. IIIV Congress of International Migration. Granada. Spain.


Carranza, M. E. Cross-border family therapy: An innovative approach to working with Latin American refugee women in therapy. 121st Annual Convention - American Psychological Association. Honolulu, Hawaii.

Carranza, M. E. The fallacy of “apathy” in reporting children and women’s human rights violations in Nicaragua. Engaging Hearts and Minds: Human Rights and Social Justice Today. Third Annual International Conference. Toronto. ON.


Parada, H., Carranza, M. E. & Asuad, M-E. Child commercial sexual exploitation in Dominican Republic: Lessons learned. II Latin American congress against trafficking and sexual exploitation of Women and children.  Puebla, Mexico.

Carranza, M. E. Salvadorian mothers and their daughters: Value maintenance and transformation in Canadian context. 12th METROPOLIS conference – Migration & Diversity. Montreal, Quebec.

Carranza, M. E., Hernández, P. & Almeida, R. Racialized mental health professionals: Resilient pathways to racial micro-aggressions in the US and Canada. 8th International conference on new directions in the Humanities. Los Angeles, CA.

Current Research Funding

2015-17     Examining the Intersection of Immigrant Women’s Acculturation & Mental Health
                    Hamilton Community Foundation; Principal Investigator

2015-17     Examining the Intersection of Immigrants’ Acculturation and Child Welfare
                    McMaster University - First Scholar-in-Community Fellowship; Principal Investigator

2012-17     Children and Youth Human Rights Empowerment Project 
                    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA); Co-Investigator

Community and International Development

Community Service - National


Chair, COLASCO (Consejo Latino de Acción Social) [Latino Council for Social Action], Kitchener.


Advisor, CLARO (Centre for Latin Americans Residing in Ontario).


Member of the diversity committee for organizational change for Extend-A-Family. Kitchener.

Community Service - International


Advisor, UNICEF, Dominican Republic

  • Program Evaluation “Retorno a la Alegría” [Returnig to Happiness] Program for traumatized children due to natural catastrophes.
  • Encuesta Línea de Base del Programa Educativo Afectivo Social (PEAS) [National Survey for children in junior high school related to attitudes to Sexual Activity and Aid’s Prevention] (PEAS).

Advisor, National Inter-Agency Commission of Gender, Dominican Republic


Advisor, Centro de Investigación sobre Inversión y Comercio (CEICOM), El Salvador.

Workshop Presentations - National


Cultural Competence: Latin America. North Hamilton Community Health Centre, Hamilton


Immigration and Settlement. Brucedale Youth Correctional Centre, Simcoe.

Workshop Presentations - International


Training in Gender & Anti-Oppressive Practices. UNICEF-Dominican Republic.