President Nigel Barriffe acknowledges the 360 project's unified effort in addressing systemic issues
“Addressing the Discrimination Experienced by Somali Canadians and Racialized LGBTQ Homeless Youth in Toronto” was a one-year study conducted from July, 2013 to July, 2014 by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations (UARR) in collaboration with the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University. The study was generously supported with funding from Mitacs Accelerate. The study focused on two highly vulnerable and marginalized groups in Toronto: the Somali Canadian community and racialized LGBTQ persons who are homeless.
The 360 project was guided by these four research questions:
1) What are the unique experiences of Somali Canadians and Racialized Homeless LGBTQ Youth in the GTA with respect to: racial and/or gender identity formation, education and links to success, employment and employability, physical and mental health, housing, media representations, and the criminal justice system?
2) What experiences shape and influence common perceptions of the Somali Canadian and Homeless LGBTQ Youth communities?
3) What are the underlying factors that account for socio-economic challenges and successes of members of these communities living in the GTA?
4) What strategies, policies, and initiatives do members of these communities believe should be prioritized in order to address these challenges?
The research team recruited 10-15 members from each community to participate in two focus groups, one focused on Somali Canadians and the other on Racialized LGBTQ Homeless Youth, for a pair of enlightening two-hour long meetings. The researchers encouraged each participant to share their personal struggles and discuss issues related to the barriers and challenges that they face in relation to employment, health, justice, education, and housing.
This report provides UARR with vital information about what is currently required to fulfill its mission of working to maintain stable, peaceful, and harmonious relations among the various groups that call Toronto home. This project is also aligned with the Diversity Institute’s objective to develop customized strategies, programming, and resources to promote new, interdisciplinary knowledge and practice supporting diversity with respect to gender, race/ethnicity, Aboriginal peoples, abilities, and sexual orientation.
To view results of the 360 project please click here: 360 project results