The Drawing Board is what you come back to when you need to refresh and enliven.

Nakita Valerio is the owner, editor-in-chief and head writer/researcher for The Drawing Board. Her information can be found below. 

Present and past contributors for The Drawing Board can be found here.


Nakita Valerio is an award-winning writer, academic, and community organizer based in Edmonton, Canada. She recently completed graduate studies and work as a research assistant in History and Islamic-Jewish Studies at the University of Alberta, as well as a research fellowship on Islamophobia and anti-Semitism for The Tessellate Institute.

Nakita serves her community as an advisor for the Chester Ronning Center for the Study of Religion and Public Life,  and as a member of the Executive Fundraising Board for the YIWCL Cree Women’s Camp. She is the former Vice President of External Affairs with Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (AMPAC).

Nakita is the co-founder of Bassma Primary School in El Attaouia, Morocco and is currently working on a novel memoir weaving her experiences abroad with her community work and research.


Master of Arts (2017), University of Alberta, Department of History & Classics, 4.0+  Remembering the Departure of Moroccan Jews (thesis)
Advisors: Professors Jocelyn Hendrickson and Andrew Gow

Bachelor of Arts (2009), University of Alberta, Department of History & Classics, 3.8



Research Fellow (2018), Tessellate Institute
Jewish Responses to Anti-Semitism in Canada: Theoretical Foundations for Comparison and Lessons for Anti-Muslim Hatred
Supervisor: Dr. Katherine Bullock

Development Coordinator & Consultant (2017 to present)
Association of Translators and Interpreters of Alberta (ATIA)

Research Assistant (2016 to 2017), University of Alberta, Dept. of History & Classics
Medieval Mediterranean Pilgrimage and Encounter (Muslims, Christians, and Jews)
SSHRC-funded research
Supervisor: Professor Jocelyn Hendrickson


Advisory Committee Member (2017 to present)
Chester Ronning Centre for the Study of Religion and Public Life

Committee Member (2016 to present)
Young Indigenous Women’s Circle of Leadership Cree Women’s Camp

Vice-President of External Affairs (2016 to 2018)
Director of Public Policy (2015 to 2016)
Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council

Director (2017 to 2018)
Edmonton Heritage Council



Government of Alberta Graduate Scholarship (2017)
Sir Guy Carleton Graduate Scholarship (2016)Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC – 2016)
Walter H. Johns Graduate Scholarship (SSHRC – 2016)
Frank W. Peers Graduate Research Scholarship (2015)
Queen Elizabeth II Award for Graduate Studies – Master’s Level (2015)
State of Kuwait Award for Graduate Students in Islamic Studies (2015)
Canadian Federation of University Women Female Student Bursary (2015)


University of Alberta Alumni Horizon Award (2018)
Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship for Excellence in Service to Humanity (2016)
Edmonton Journal Difference Maker (2015)
Alberta Council for Global Cooperation – Top 30 under 30 (2015)



Co-Editor and Introduction Co-Author (with Professor Andrew Gow)
Critiquing Secularism, Special Edition Volume (Forthcoming 2018)
Past Imperfect History Graduate Student Journal, University of Alberta

Primary Author, Peer-Reviewed Article & Policy Report
Jewish Responses to Anti-Semitism in Canada: Lessons for Anti-Muslim Hatred
Tessellate Institute and IRGS, (Forthcoming 2018)

Primary Author, Peer-Reviewed Article
Jewish Responses to Anti-Semitism in Canada: Theoretical Foundations for Comparison with Anti-Muslim Hatred
Tessellate Institute and IRGS, (Forthcoming 2018)

Editor and Co-Author, Historical Pedagogical Resource
Building Acceptance: A Resource about Coexistence, Cooperation and Early Multiculturalism in Medieval Spain
Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (2016)

Primary Author, Peer-Reviewed Article
The Absent Hagiography: Investigating Mary Magdalene’s Disappearance in Islam
On Religion. (2015)

Selection of Press Publications & Interviews

Conferences/Panels/Public Talks

Public speaking events are too numerous to list here but include academic conference presentations, panel discussions, keynote speeches, and training workshops on the following subjects:

  • Moroccan History (General, Jewish, Interfaith)
  • Andalusian History
  • Islamophobia, Anti-Muslim Hatred
  • Islamophobia’s Intersections & Crosscurrents
  • Islam (General, Communities of Interpretation, History)
  • Islam and Women
  • The Hijab
  • Islam, Muslim Women and Secularism
  • Secularism (History, Genealogies)
  • Religious Literacy
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism and Racialization
  • Hatreds in a Canadian Context
  • The Holocaust
  • Feminism
  • Writing
  • Marketing
  • Building Your Own Business
  • Freelancing

For speaking engagements or trainings, email