Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Commemorating Jackie Kirk, 2008-2018 - Events for next year!

13 August 2017

In August 2008, Dr. Jacqueline (Jackie) Kirk was tragically killed with her colleagues Mohammad Aimal, Shirley Case, and Nicole Dial while working for the International Rescue Committee in Afghanistan.

Jackie Kirk was an extremely active INEE member and a passionate advocate for quality education in emergencies. A technical specialist in education in emergencies and post-conflict, with a particular focus on gender issues, Jackie founded and convened the INEE Gender Task Team in 2005. Jackie’s efforts and her legacy live on in many of the INEE tools and resources that she helped develop and that are used by thousands of education workers today.



Dear friends and colleagues of Jackie Kirk,

We are writing today to share with you our initial brainstorming for how to commemorate the legacy of Jackie, 10 years following her death on August 13, 2008. We met up on Prince Edwards Island in July, with the dual purpose of catching up and also beginning to think ahead to how we could best honor Jackie's memory and explore her legacy in the coming year. On a wander through a community garden in New Glasgow, PEI, we randomly came upon a grassy area marked "Jackie's Corner" - it seemed beyond remarkable and further inspired us! (see photo below!)

Our early planning has led to five ideas, including two events, a planned special journal issue, and a special supplement of another journal.  Please see details below, and we welcome your joining the planning effort and participation wherever events occur!

  1. We are organizing a double session at the annual CIES conference in Mexico City (March 2018) that will seek to highlight Jackie's legacy in multiple topical areas, and explore what has occurred in the last 10 years to move her legacy forward in such areas as education in emergencies, the role of women teachers, girls' access to education especially in conflict settings, menstrual hygiene management, and visual practices in social change.  It would be nice to have sponsorship of a breakfast or lunch so if you know of interested organizations, please let us know!
  2. We are organizing an event in Montreal at McGill (September 2018) that will similarly explore her legacy and what has changed in the last 10 years, for those working in areas not necessarily fitting into the CIES boundaries, and especially involving individuals and communities who are Montreal-based and including the many graduate students whose fieldwork has been supported by the Jackie Kirk awards established in her honor. This event will be an anniversary event linked to a memorial event that was held at McGill in September, 2008. 
  3. We will be editing a special issue (“Activist in the Academy: Feminist in the Field”) in the journal Studies in Social Justice (with Vanessa Farr) that will solicit both full length academic articles and shorter ‘from the field’ dispatches that explore Jackie's legacy. Please see this Call for Papers.
  4. The journal Girlhood Studies, envisioned by Jackie along with her two colleagues at McGill, will have a special supplement or special themed section that includes submissions particularly focused on her girl-centered work.
  5. We are encouraging all of you --- and your networks linked to Jackie (including both those who worked with her directly and those who have been inspired by her work) to undertake your own initiatives wherever you might be in the world, and let us know what you will be doing to honor and explore her extraordinary legacy.

In addition, Jackie's well known preoccupation for what she described in a McGill based workshop as "over there and over here" will be realized in a new book series "Transnational Girlhoods" that has just been announced by Berghahn Press and led by Claudia Mitchell and Bodil Formark as series editors with an international editorial board made up of girlhood scholars.  This will be highlighted on:

More from our end soon - but in the meanwhile, we welcome your thoughts and ideas, and would be grateful if you would forward this note to all the networks that speak to Jackie's legacy. Please reach out to us with comment, questions, and to let us know if you want us to add you to our email list on this subject.

All the best,

Marni Sommer (
Claudia Mitchell (


The authors in "Jackie's Corner" at a community garden in New Glasgow, Prince Edward Island.