Dr. Jino Distasio
Alumnus, Inner-city Advocate, Faculty Member
For over a decade, Dr. Jino Distasio has worked in Winnipeg’s inner city researching Canadian and global urban issues, and facilitating high-quality, community-based urban research to help create socially just cities.
Distasio has not only managed to successfully straddle community, academic, and policy spheres, but he has also continually produced research that has impacted Winnipeg’s urban landscape for the better.
Distasio’s collaborative and inclusive style has helped draw an assortment of partners to the table and has helped build strong relationships that bridge some of Winnipeg’s divides. His cooperative leadership style has made Winnipeg a world leader in enacting Indigenous-led Housing First models.
He has been involved in over 100 research projects, publications, and community initiatives. His most recent effort is serving as co-principal investigator in a project examining homelessness and mental health in Canadian cities. This $110-million project is funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is the largest such initiative to be conducted in Canadian history.
As a faculty member in the Department of Geography, Distasio has actively taught on urban issues while also serving as an adjunct professor of city planning at the University of Manitoba, where he has taught and supervised graduate students.
He is routinely asked to provide both local and national media comment on issues relating to urban change and poverty, transportation, inner city renewal and other civic and urban issues.
Distasio emphasizes the importance of providing opportunities for students and community members to work with the Institute of Urban Studies. He’s mentored countless academics over the years, while also providing a safe-space for people with lived experiences to work and produce critical research.
Today, the Institute of Urban Studies community stretches from Winnipeg’s inner-city to Sandy Lake First Nation; from the University of Winnipeg to the University of Toronto; and from planning, property, and development at the City of Winnipeg to the Government of Manitoba.
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