We promote understanding and address social issues through the skills, knowledge, and lens in the religious literacy framework. Each research, training, and consulting project engages partners, community members, and/or clients using our three-pronged approach.
Creating systems-based approaches to address racism long-term (Feb 2023 – Feb 2024)
This research and development project will design, develop, and test a new framework specifically for well-being in small, remote, and rural communities with populations less than 40,000. No such framework currently exists to support rural communities of this size, though this is where resources are often lacking most, local culture is deeply rooted, and Indigenous communities have existed alongside in separate ways for generations.
Partners: Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), Rural Development Network, Keepers of the Circle, Town of Strathmore | Funder: Canadian Race Relations Foundation
Intergenerational and Intercultural Dialogue in Rural Communities in Canada: Interrupting divisions and systemic racism and discrimination among Indigenous Peoples, racialized migrants, and white settlers (Dec 2022 – Dec 2023)
This project will support the Kirkland Lake Multicultural Group in documenting, analyzing, and disseminating information about potential service gaps in their work to address Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action #93 and #94, focused on increasing understanding among newcomers about Canada’s colonial history. Specifically, the KLMG has asked Dr. Parker-Shandal and CCRL to review their cross-cultural dialogues between the local Indigenous (12%), racialized (2.5%), and white settler groups (85%), which aim to generate public education and awareness about the effects of racism and hate.
Partners: Dr. Crystena Parker-Shandal, Kirkland Lake Multicultural Group, Keepers of the Circle | Funder: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)
Civic Literacy Youth Network (CLYN): Engagement and skills to discuss, analyze, and counter racism and religious discrimination (Apr 2022 – Mar 2024)
The CLYN is an online network and pan-Canadian community for youth and young adults, moderated by educators and researchers. It offers a space for youth across Canada to discuss racism, discrimination, and related issues by incorporating a full spectrum of religious, spiritual and non-religious viewpoints. More details available here.
Funder: This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. Department of Canadian Heritage.
Preserving griot tradition and empowering Black youth: A means forward for Black and non-Black communities (Apr 2022 – Mar 2024)
This two-year project will create an intergenerational pan-Canadian online resource to document the influence and role of Black communities in Canada from Afro-Canadian perspectives – a missing patch of Canadian history. This influence includes the significant link between Black communities and the local church, economy, and social-culture in Africville, Hogan’s Alley, Amber Valley, and Montreal. The resource will share lived histories and experiences from aging Black community members, using modern day griot storytelling – a practice of oral storytelling which is part of African diasporic culture that the Nova Scotian Black communities are familiar with, but many people are losing.
Partners: West Island Black Community Association, Westhaven Elmhurst Community Association | Funder: This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada. Department of Canadian Heritage. It is also funded by Ecclesiastical Insurance’s Community Impact Grant.
Being proactive in rural Canada: Creating mechanisms for inclusive workplaces that support employers and employees (Jan 2022 – Dec 2023)
This two-year pilot project will support employers, immigrants, and refugees in the Temiskaming Shores & Area Chamber of Commerce region to engage with diversity through an intersectional religious literacy lens. Together, we will pilot faith-friendly employee resource groups (ERGs) and a faith-friendly workplace certification for rural small-to-medium sized businesses. CBC Sudbury’s Up North show featured the project here.
Partners: Rural Development Network, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, Temiskaming Shores & Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Temiskaming Shores, Keepers of the Circle | Funder: World Education Services Mariam Assefa Fund
A collaborative project that includes assessment, research, facilitation, and training to support CMHA – Toronto in strengthening their equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Partner: All Things Equitable Inc. , Me to Moi Health and Wellness Coaching, Nurturing Our Wellbeing Inc. | Client: Canadian Mental Health Association – Toronto
Religious, spiritual, and non-religious understanding in rural Canada: A pilot project to promote social and economic well-being through religious literacy (Jan 2021 – Jan 2022)
This project is Phase 1 of a multi-year project that aims to improve the social and economic well-being of rural communities connected to the Islamic Families and Social Services Association in Edmonton and the Keepers of the Circle Indigenous Hub in Temiskaming Shores and Kirkland Lake, Ontario. This phase focuses on adult education training. Photos from this project are in our gallery.
Partners: Rural Development Network, Islamic Families and Social Services Association, and Keepers of the Circle Indigenous Hub | Funder: Catherine Donnelly Foundation
Discussing racism: Leading change from multi-faith spaces (Jan 2021 – Mar 2022)
This one-year project aims to lead anti-racist attitudinal change by engaging religious and non-religious leaders in Victoria and regional and provincial leaders in British Columbia, as pivotal insiders in their communities who are positioned to lead cultural change. In dialogue with eight Victoria leaders and eight regional and provincial leaders, we co-created a resource for their anti-racist work that would suit their needs. Our Toolkit is available here. Photos from this project are in our gallery.
Partner: Victoria Multifaith Society | Funder: Vancouver Foundation and the BC Government
A pioneering endeavour to help OELC create a new program for Ontario students to understand how religious literacy skills are a valuable asset for leadership today. An education and training-specific project.
Client: Ontario Educational Leadership Centre (OELC)
A collaborative project to support The Stop in strengthening their organizational culture and work. An assessment, facilitation, and training project to support The Stop in its anti-racism and anti-oppression priorities.
Partner: All Things Equitable Inc. | Client: The Stop Community Food Centre
A localized project to help the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries complete a Diversity Audit of adult and juvenile library materials held at the A.C. Hunter Public Library in St. John’s.
Partners: Social Fabric Institute Inc., Mending the Chasm, Audrey Wubbenhorst | Client: Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries
A national project to help P2C-S understand student experiences in their programming across Canadian campuses. An assessment, research, and training consultancy in relation to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Client: Power to Change – Students (Canada)
Image sources: Rajiv Perera, Cytonn Photography, Gabrielle Henderson, Priscilla Du Preez, Tungsten Rising, Hans Peter Glauster