Huron County seeking participants for discrimination study

HURON COUNTY – The Huron County Immigration Partnership is building on its 2021 discrimination study, a report that recommends steps to address inequity in Huron-Perth.

The study investigating discrimination experienced by immigrants, visible minorities, and Indigenous people is being carried out by the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute at the University of Guelph in partnership with and at the request of the Immigration Partnership.

“This research builds on a 2021 study that provided statistical data on the scale of discrimination experienced by immigrants, visible minorities and Indigenous people in Huron and Perth Counties,” said Huron County Immigration Partnership Communication Officer Mark Nonkes. “It’s important to understand what barriers exist so that we can address these issues as we work to build more welcoming communities where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”

The first study, informed by 595 individuals, found clear evidence of discrimination experienced in workplaces, schools, libraries, and arenas, among other locations, that adversely impact belonging and inclusion in Huron and Perth counties.

The report surveyed 297 immigrants and visible minorities, 62 Indigenous People, and 236 White non-immigrants in Huron and Perth counties to investigate experiences of discrimination. The survey, conducted in March 2021, investigated who was experiencing discrimination, the contexts discrimination was experienced in, the basis of discrimination, the perpetrators of acts of discrimination, and the impact of discrimination.

Huron County Warden Glen McNeil’s previous comments on the 2021 study said, “This report on discrimination in Huron and Perth provides the county with a tool to self-reflect. With it, we can acknowledge privilege, seek better understanding, and make positive changes to create a more inclusive community where everyone feels that they belong.”

Jim Aitcheson, Perth County Warden, commented in 2021, saying, “This research also demonstrates that those who experience discrimination are less likely to feel accepted by the community. As we consider issues such as labour shortages, we need to think about strategies that make our communities and workplaces as inclusive and welcoming as possible.”

The 2021 report recommended that anti-discrimination initiatives be developed for areas where discrimination most frequently was reported to occur – workplaces, public areas, and schools.

Other approaches recommended to address discrimination include targeting behaviour and attitude change training to individuals most likely to perpetuate discrimination, helping bystanders develop the skills to intervene effectively, and working with organizations to change policies and practices.

To be eligible to participate, people must be older than 18 years of age, be a resident of Huron County, and identify as an immigrant, visible minority, and/or Indigenous person.

Eligible participants will be invited to participate in an individual or group interview via Zoom or phone. Interviews are anticipated to take up to one hour.

Participants will be provided a $50 e-gift card to express gratitude for their time.

To register to participate, visit https://tinyurl.com/HuronEoD.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times