Dr. Rusty Souleymanov is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Manitoba, with interdisciplinary training in social work, public health, and psychology.



‘Social Justice and Good Health for All’: Ensuring that health care, social care, and community-based services are accessible for marginalized people in Canada 

Health and social disparities disproportionately affect marginalized people in Canada. To address this glaring injustice, Dr. Souleymanov has dedicated himself to enhancing accessibility to healthcare, community-based services, and social programs for some of Canada's most disenfranchised and marginalized communities. Dr. Rusty Souleymanov's interdisciplinary program of study lies at the intersection of social work, public and population health, and the social sciences. His research centers on the impact of oppression and injustice on the health and well-being of socially and economically marginalized communities, with the aim of informing culturally sensitive models of healthcare and community-based services. His primary focal points includes the crucial social science exploration of the relationship between socioeconomic injustice and various health inequities, including  the following areas: 

Over the past three years, Dr. Souleymanov's remarkable efforts have secured over $1.3 million in grants from prestigious institutions such as the Federal Government of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Dr. Souleymanov has garnered national recognition for his unwavering commitment to enhancing access to care and services for some of Canada's most disenfranchised communities. Drawing upon his personal experiences and the 14 years he spent as a community-based researcher in Canada, Dr. Souleymanov aims not only to mitigate health and social disparities but also to promote well-being among key and priority populations. His work also fosters cross-jurisdictional collaborations and partnerships, uniting key stakeholders to utilize research data in the development of services and initiatives for marginalized communities. 

In 2021, Dr. Souleymanov established the Village Lab, an interdisciplinary, community-based research group at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Manitoba. The Village Lab's overarching mission is to conduct rigorous and applied social science and community-based health research to address health and social disparities among vulnerable and marginalized populations in Canada. Through the Village Lab, Dr. Souleymanov is currently working with, and strengthening capacity among key and priority populations, including: 1) First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people, 2) Black, African, and Caribbean communities, 3) refugees and immigrants, 4) 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, 5) people who use drugs, 6) people living with HIV and Hepatitis C.  

Dr. Souleymanov is currently the principal investigator on several community-based health research projects and capacity strengthening programs including:  

Dr. Souleymanov’s impactful work has garnered attention from influential figures, members of the Canadian parliament, and ministers of health, who recognized the significance of Dr. Souleymanov's research in addressing the impacts of social and economic injustice on the health and well-being of socially and economically marginalized communities in Canada. Dr. Rusty Souleymanov's dedication to improving the lives of marginalized populations across Canada continues to leave an indelible mark on social work and public health policies and services. 

For a detailed list of Dr. Souleymanov’s publications and extensive body of work, please visit his Research Gate page


Teaching and supervision

Dr. Souleymanov's is committed to creating educational spaces that centre communities who have been historically excluded in academia. He teaches from a queer-feminist, anti-colonial, and anti-racist perspectives. His teaching interests include community organizing and development, research methods and epistemology, social work practice with groups, and critical social work theory. Dr. Souleymanov is training, supervising, and building capacity among emerging scholars/students who are entering the field of HIV/AIDS, harm reduction, mental health, sexual health, Indigenous health, migrant health, and 2SLGBTQIA+ research and community practice.  

Service and membership

Dr. Souleymanov is currently serving on the Board of Directors of Nine Circles Community Health Centre, Realize Canada, and on the stewardship team of the Manitoba HIV/STBBI Collective Impact Network. He is also a member of University of Manitoba Senate Executive Committee.