The project brought together three community organizations and 18 researchers from six universities in Canada and Jamaica, organized in three research clusters. It sought to realize critical social improvements in the lives of youth, ages 16 to 29, by exploring new approaches to research on the effects of violence on Black youth.
The partnership situated its team of Canadian and Jamaican researchers and community workers within an emerging body of research that confirms the success of culturally based programs in encouraging youth and broad civic engagement. The partnership expanded this existing research in two important ways. First, it included a transnational approach between the two countries. The goal was to examine whether positive youth engagement through the arts might be further enhanced for Black youth in Canada and Jamaica by bringing these youth into conversations across their intersecting national and cultural borders. Second, by using an approach that combined art-based programs with social history and literature, the partnership expanded the research field by seeking to determine whether a greater understanding of Jamaican society might help Black Toronto youth achieve the positive identity formation needed to challenge the effects of anti-Black racism.
Findings from the project confirmed that Black youth in Canada identify anti-Black racism as the most pervasive and damaging form of violence they face, particularly as expressed in the educational system and labour market, as well as through differential treatment based on class, age, gender and geographical location. Jamaican youth (both urban and rural) identified class-based oppression as the most oppressive form of violence they experience on a daily basis.
SSHRC Partnership Development Grant
Year Project Started:
Vermonja Alston; Erna Brodber; Karen Burke; Mirna Carranza; Peter Cumming; Donald Davis; Asheda Dwyer; Honor Ford-Smith; Cecil Foster; Carl James; Michele Johnson; Donna Hope; Naila Keleta Mae; Richard Maclure; Jalani Niaah; Sonja Stanley Niaah; L'Antoinette Osunide Stines; Ronald Westray
McMaster University; University of Guelph; University of Waterloo; University of Ottawa; University of the West Indies (Mona); Nia Centre for the Arts; Jamaica Youth Theatre; Woodside Community Action Group
Co-researchers and partners
(e.g type 1000 for 1,000)