Inspiring Research for the Future

Conference Highlights, Panels and Plenary

This session highlights the work and innovation of emerging Black sociologists in Canada. Our objective is to feature work from a diverse array of fields, including but not limited to health, criminology, education, arts, culture, sports, religion, family, migration, politics and social movements, critical race theory, Black feminism, and anti-racist methodologies, among many others. We feature theoretical and empirical research, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods, and interdisciplinary scholarship. Panelists will discuss the findings of their work, challenges and opportunities they have encountered, and specific successes and barriers.

This session has been organized by the Canadian Sociological Association’s Black Caucus.

Moderator: Julius Haag, University of Toronto

Panelists and Presentations:

Giselle Thompson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Acadia University

Giving Back to the Future: Diasporic Remittances and Education in Jamaica

This presentation metaphorically draws lines that connect the dots between structural adjustment policies, austerity, migration, diasporization (which is the formation of diasporic groups), remittances, and public schooling in Jamaica, because their interrelatedness has existed in the shadows of obscurity in the academic literature for much too long. To do this, I will draw on ethnographic, auto-ethnographic, and semi-structured interview data that were collected from a bifurcated and transnational case study that was conducted in Hanover, Jamaica and in the Greater Toronto Area. This work is theorized using an anti-colonial discursive framework.

Oral Robinson, Ph.D., Lecturer and Honours Chair, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia

Engaging in anti-racist Black Pedagogy in multicultural classrooms

Expectations of multiculturalism include racial harmony and the equal representation of all races in the classroom. However, principles of equity and inclusivity necessitate that marginalized cultures, such as those of Black Canadians, are given special attention in our pedagogy. This is a complicated undertaking given that Black faculty and students make up the minority of many Canadian higher educational institutions. Furthermore, non-Black groups often experience “fragility”, uncertainty, doubts and sometimes fear when Blackness is centered in our teaching. This raises the question: how, then, do we address antiblackness, Blackness and antiracism in our pedagogy? Drawing on my practice of Black Affirmative Pedagogy, this presentation will highlight strategies for teaching Blackness in non-Black spaces. It highlights principles of critical awareness, allyship, humanity and political action as tools to engage Black and non-Black students in empowering conversations about antiblackness, oppression and marginalization that are part of settler colonial educational practices.

Jessica Bundy, Ph.D. candidate, Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto

Importance and Inclusion of African Nova Scotian Experiences

In recent years, the discussion of anti-Black racism and police violence have gained significant traction both within Canada and globally due to several widely publicized cases. Within Canada, the focus of these conversations often excludes Canada’s oldest Black community, African Nova Scotians. This presentation will centre the experiences of African Nova Scotians in a pertinent discussion around perceptions of, and experiences with, the police in Nova Scotia. This presentation will also explore how research in this area with this population has been conducted and can be conducted in the future.

Kanika Samuels-Wortley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Carleton University

'It is just something you have to come to terms with' - Exploring Black and Indigenous youth experiences with racial profiling through composite counter-storytelling

Using the critical race methodology of composite counter storytelling, the following presentation highlights Black and Indigenous youth perspectives and experiences with law enforcement officials in Toronto. This approach aims to counter Canada’s international status as a multicultural utopia and demonstrate how legal criminal justice actors, such as the police, perpetuate the marginalized status of Black and Indigenous youth through the process of criminalization.

Organizers: Julius Haag, University of Toronto, Alana Butler, Queen's University, Natalie Delia Deckard, University of Windsor, Oceane Jasor, Concordia University, Johanne Jean-Pierre, Toronto Metropolitan University