The focus groups will offer a means of gathering the input of Canadians, providing them with an opportunity to share with us how the challenges of racism and discrimination may be confronted and overcome. A series of five focus groups will be held across all provinces and territories. Each session will host about 10-15 participants drawn from diverse backgrounds but falling within the 18-35 age cohort.
1. Toronto | February 28, 2018 | In partnership with University of Toronto, Hart House
The first pilot focus group had students from diverse disciplines and cultural backgrounds convened in three cohorts coast-to-coast for the third annual, national, live dialogue held under the auspices of the CRRF. The student cohorts convened at King’s College in Halifax, Hart House at the University of Toronto and at SFU’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver. The topic was on “Freedom of Speech on Campus: -Expression of Oppression?”
2. Winnipeg | May 27, 2018 | In partnership with the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba
The second focus group of 23 youths aged 18-35 shared their perspectives on issues of racism in Canada. Celebrating Asian Heritage with All: Our Youth, Our Tomorrow, also featured a keynote address from CRRF Board member Orlando Bowen.
3. Toronto | August 28, 2019 | In partnership with The Mosaic Institute
The third focus group had 16 young working professionals, of different ethnic backgrounds, including two CRRF Youth Ambassadors and a Prime Minister Youth Council member attend this session. These individuals, active or working in the areas of equity, diversity, inclusion, education, law, and research gathered to speak on the directions and trends of race relations, inclusion, cross-cultural relationship building, and the obstacles they see in building a more inclusive and equitable Canada
4. Alberta | November 4, 2019 | In partnership The Centre for Civic Religious Literacy
The fourth focus group had 22 young working professionals, of different ethnic backgrounds, including two CRRF Youth Ambassadors attend this sessions. The facilitators presented a short background to the subject of racism by showing statistics about growing diversity and hate crimes in Alberta. This led to a discussion among participants about recent incidents that have taken place in Alberta and how one can think about race and discrimination and some of the tools that can be used to respond to discrimination.
5. Quebec | June 29, 2020 & July 3, 2020 | In partnership The Centre for Civic Religious Literacy
The fifth focus group had 17 young working professionals, of different ethnic backgrounds. The dialogues were hosted approximately one month after the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, US, following the increase of anti-racism protests worldwide. In Canada, the protests were predominantly about anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism. The dialogues were also held three months after the COVID-19 lock-downs in Canada, where anti-Asian racism increased across the country. As such, the dialogue created the space to discuss anti-Black, anti-Indigenous, anti-Asian, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim racism in Canada before and during the time of the dialogues.