The Blackness in Canada Project

What does it mean to be Black in Canada? 

The goal of this project is to conduct a landmark national survey of Canada’s Black population as an ethnoracial identity. The primary question we address is: What does it mean to be Black in Canada? This research project will investigate the Black Canadian population as a national ethnoracial identity and determine the most promising approaches to alleviate anti-Black racism experienced by Black Canadians. Our aim is to uncover what it means to be Black in Canada by focusing on Black people’s actual lived experiences in such areas as education, child welfare, criminal justice and the labour market.

participate in our national survey

Who is this survey for?

Our survey is a Canadian race relations survey in which all groups in Canada are welcome to participate! In light of current trends and global concerns with systemic discrimination and anti-Black racism, one major focus will be on the experiences of Black communities. The overall survey and group comparison will inform Canadians about the current state of race relations in society. 

Why does this survey matter?

The first-of-its-kind, this national survey of Canadian ethnoracial relations is designed to explore social, political, and economic relations among races and ethnicities across society. This specifically includes the study of systemic anti-Black racism in the major sectors and institutions of society. This research has gained a new impetus in 2020, as global protests such as Black Lives Matter movements have inspired deep reflection across Canadian society about anti-Black racism and revealed a thirst for understanding race-related social problems and improving outcomes. With your assistance, we hope to achieve a more in-depth analysis of Black and other racialized community members in Canada.


To provide opportunities for collaboration among the diversity of groups and researchers involved in anti-discrimination and anti-Black racism across Canada.


To make existing research on Black Canadians more accessible and reduce the geographical, sectoral, and socio-economic divisions that impede knowledge exchange.

make research matter

To ‘make research matter’ by exploring ways that research can more effectively engage the general public, policy makers and other decision-makers in the community development sector.

In what ways can research more effectively contribute to solutions to social problems impacting Black communities in Canada?

In many communities across Canada, Black Canadians experience isolation, anti-Black racism, school disengagement, racial profiling, gun violence and unemployment. In order to address these issues and concerns, Canada’s Black population as a national ethnoracial identity needs to be studied.

This project brings together top researchers on Black studies and anti-Black racism in Canada. Working in collaboration with a range of key stakeholders and institutions, we are committed to enhancing the impact of research on the contemporary social problems. The focus is on establishing effective mechanisms for knowledge mobilization and transfer in the area of Black studies in Canada. This unique project, developed at York’s Institute for Social Research (ISR) will allow the broadest public reach, ensuring results are more meaningful and reliable than past ethnoracial research interprises.