Multicultural council looking to study racism in New Brunswick

·2 min read

The New Brunswick Multicultural Council is trying to get a better idea of how prevalent racism is in the province.

The group has launched an online survey aimed at gathering the experiences of New Brunswickers and their understanding of racism.

Husoni Raymond, the anti-racism project policy development co-ordinator for the council, said a lack of New Brunswick-focused studies on racism led to the survey being commissioned.

"We saw this as foundational to any anti-racism work, because without understanding the scope of the problem and the individual and collective experiences of racism, we can't meaningfully address the issue," he said.

Raymond said often the experience of Black people and other people of colour in New Brunswick is diminished or erased, so it's important to get those experiences recorded.

"It's often dismissed as overreacting or 'It's all in your head,' or they didn't intend for it to be that way," said Raymond.

But Raymond said it's also important for white New Brunswickers to participate in the surveys to provide what they've experienced and learned about racism.

"Have they been bystanders to racist incidents? How did they respond? And what resources can we create to address this issue? Because it really poses a barrier to social and economic prosperity of New Brunswick."

Raymond said he hopes the survey will shed light on the pervasiveness of racism in New Brunswick society.

"We think that if we don't talk about it, if we don't study it, then, you know, it doesn't exist," said Raymond.

"So this survey is foundational in understanding that and understanding that racism is alive in New Brunswick, and this is what people are experiencing."

Raymond said the survey is looking for both qualitative data, such as examples of racist incidents experienced or viewed, and quantitative data, show as how many times someone has been called a slur.

He said the survey results will be used to inform the group's work, but parts of it will be published.

"We're hoping to create a report on the state of racism within New Brunswick to make that available to the public," said Raymond.

"So anyone who's interested in viewing our key findings will be able to view it from that report."