Dr. Ravi Gokani, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Academic Qualifications: 

Ph.D., Social Work, 2018
M.A., Community Psychology, 2012
B.A., Philosophy and Social Psychology, 2007


Previous Teaching/Work: 

Lakehead University Contribution to Teaching Award, 2022

CURRENT COURSES (2023-2024) 

SOWK1100-ADE  Introduction to Social Welfare 
SOWK1100-YDE Introduction to Social Welfare


Jenica Neil, B.Sc., H.B.S.W.
The Impact of Religious Belief on Adverse Childhood Experiences (2023-2025)

Ashley Rodericks-Schulwach, B.Sc., H.B.S.W. 
Investigating the Implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 59 Among Canadian Churches (2022-2024)  

Joelle Chartrain, B.Sc., H.B.S.W. 
Impact of religious affiliation within social service agencies on substance use treatment models (2022-2024) 

Hakmatullah Sherzad, H.B.S.W. 
Islam and basic income: A survey of Canadian Islamic scholars (2022-2024) 

Nyree Kakeeway, H.B.S.W.



Brooklyn Wilson, H.B.S.W.
Mainline Protestant Religious Leaders' Responses to the Conversion Therapy Ban in Canada (2021-2023)

Mackenzie Street, M.S.W., R.S.W. 
Ambiguity of Faith and Reason: Individual Accounts of Christian Support for Medical Assistance in Dying and Their Experiences (2022)

Breanna Sweers, M.S.W., R.S.W., 
Spirituality and Substance Use: Indigenous Healing in Northwestern Ontario (2021) 



Research Interests: 


Faith and Service Provision in Canada: Understanding the Dual Mandate in Evangelical Faith-Based Social Service Organizations  

This is a SSHRC IDG-funded (2020-2024) study to understand how evangelical faith-based social service organizations manage two mandates - the first to serve the most vulnerable populations and the second to bring followers into the fold of evangelical Christianity.  



Why Are So Many People Who Experience Homelessness in the City of Thunder Bay from Out of Town? A Report on a Preliminary Mixed Methods Study Using Machine Learning Models to Understand Migration and Homelessness

This was a SSHRC PEG-funded (2021-2022) mixed-methods study in formal partnership with the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board and Dr. Rebecca Schiff (Health Sciences), Dr. Vijay Mago (Computer Science), and Dr. Travis Hay (History). The project sought to understand why roughly two-thirds of people experiencing homelessnes in the City of Thunder Bay reported being from out of town or province.  population are from out of town.  

To read about what we found, you can access the report here

To read about the report release event in the media please see the media release by Lakehead University or the following media articles: TBNewsThe Chronicle Journal, TVO  

Insights into the Human Face of Basic Income: Experiences with the Ontario Basic Income Pilot in Thunder Bay, Canada. 

This was a qualitative study in informal partnership with Kinna-aweya Legal Clinic to understand how recipients of the Ontario Basic Income Pilot experienced being on the pilot and then having to withdraw due to a premature cancellation of the project. 

You can read about the study and the public panel we hosted in the following media articles: CBC, TBNewswatch



Gokani, R., Thibault, J., & Sweers, B. (under review). Insights into the human face of basic income: experiences with the Ontario Basic Income Pilot in Thunder Bay, Canada.

Liyanage, C. R., Gokani, R., Mago, V. (2023). GPT-4 as a Twitter data annotator: Unraveling its performance on a stance classification task. TechRxiv. 

Gokani, R., Wiebe, S., Sherzad, H., & Akesson, B. (2023). “We’re looking for support from Allah”: A qualitative study on experiences of trauma and religious coping among Afghan refugees in Canada following the August 2021 withdrawal. Religions.

Liyanage, C. R., Mago, V., Schiff, R., Ranta, K., Park, A., Lovato-Day, K., Agnor, E., & Gokani, R. (2022). Understanding homlessness and migration to Thunder Bay, Canada using machine learning. JMIR: Formative Research.

Gokani, R. (2021). Client transformation: spiritual and non-spiritual outcomes in clients of evangelical faith-based organizations. Religions

Gokani, R. & Caragata, L. (2021). Non-violent evangelism: A look at how members of Evangelical faith-based organisations share faith with service recipients in Southern Ontario, Canada. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work.

Cait, C., Gokani, R., Ewan, R.A., Moasun, F., Razbani-Tehrani, A., Scarborough, J., Smith, S. J., & Woodstock, J.(2021). Epistemology and arts-based pedagogy: Insights from an autoethnographic case study.