The Black Impact Longitudinal Study: A Pioneering Study By Us and For Us

As a Black researcher, I am thrilled to be leading the Black Impact Longitudinal Study, a pioneering 4-year research project examining how social enterprises assist Black and other racialized Canadians.

Far too often, the narratives, experiences and needs of Black communities are overlooked in decisions that directly impact us. This study aims to flip that script. By surveying 500 Black professionals and social enterprises, we will capture data that spotlights the real systemic barriers holding our communities back.

The study’s mixed methodology will uncover quantitative insights through statistical modeling while also collecting qualitative narratives via interviews. This combination reflects our community’s diversity and will lead to a multidimensional understanding of our realities.

Our research team will closely follow 5-10 case studies of social enterprise programs serving Black communities across labor market access, health, education, employment and social justice. This rigorous 4-year analysis will reveal what practices are most effective for these programs to recruit and uplift Black Canadians.

Just as importantly, we will document the impacts on income, mental health, career growth and quality of life. The study’s longitudinal format will illuminate long-term outcomes that cross-sectional studies cannot.

As one of few Black-led longitudinal studies in Canada, this research has the potential to directly inform policy and spark innovation in services designed for us, by us. The knowledge transfer activities will equip changemakers nationwide with actionable insights to drive equity.

I am honored to steer this study and make visible the outstanding contributions of Black professionals and social enterprises. Our communities have awe-inspiring promise that can only be achieved when our full humanity is recognized. This study will document our struggles and our strengths – and make clear that lasting progress requires listening to those most impacted. Our voices matter. Our lives matter. And this study is one step toward the change we deserve.