Focused, hybrid-method survey gives clearer insight into Black experience in Canada

Most Black Canadians regularly experience racism, whether it is in criminal justice, education, employment, health care or in the recently added COVID-19 pandemic scenario, a York University-led ongoing survey reveals.

Lorne Foster

Lorne Foster

“This experience is not new, but because Black Canadians are typically classified under the larger visible minority group, their unique challenges have always been undermined,” says York Professor Lorne Foster in the School of Public Policy & Administration, who led the study as part of the Blackness in Canada project.

Nearly 13,000 respondents – both Blacks and non-Blacks – participated in the national survey that combined traditional and modern (online/wiki survey) methods of data collection.

The Black Canadian National Survey Interim Report 2021 was released on May 21. The online survey will remain open until June 1.

Within the survey, Black Canadians gave a series of recommendations that they feel would best address systemic racism in the country. Among them, a call for more educational opportunities for Black Canadians, more anti-racism education in schools, and amendments to the Police Services Act to allow for independent watchdog agencies and harsher penalties for racist conduct by police.

The national survey, which began on March 21, is being conducted by York's Institute for Social Research led by Foster, in partnership with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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