Study will help Black youth facing racism

By Gerald V. Paul

Sharon Douglas, director of Community Investment for United Way of Peel Region and staff lead to the Black Community Advisory Council, says feedback she has had since the release of research on the wellbeing of Black youth in Peel has been phenomenal.

“The findings tell us many things – including that there is a shortage of culturally appropriate programs and services needed to support Black youth in Peel.

“The exclusion of racialized youth has significant implications today and tomorrow. One person not included in Peel, is one person too many,” Douglas said.

She said the F.A.C.E.S. report (Facilitating Access, Change and Equity in Systems) examined the social well-being of Black youth in Peel and the supports needed to ensure the opportunity to thrive. The research presented is a compilation of demographic and socio-economic data as well as key interviews with service providers and Black youth themselves.

According to Douglas, they are the fastest growing racial group in Peel yet many Black youth in the region say they feel unwanted, devalued and socially isolated, and face racism on a daily basis, from being streamed at school to being stopped by police.

“I was really disheartened that our youth feel devalued and unwelcome,’ said Douglas.

Douglas said as a mother and resident of Peel, “what hurt me most was the fact a number of youth felt they were being watched all the time.”

Among the key findings:

  • 16,225 Black persons live in Peel Region
  • between 2001 and now the Black community grew by 64%
  • children and youth make up 44% of this population
  • the unemployment rate for Black youth in the GTA is 30% – 10% higher than the general youth unemployment rate
  • Blacks earn, on average, 76 cents for every dollar a white worker earns.

For a copy of the full report, visit

Gerald V. Paul
Gerald V. Paul