RESEARCH WITH YOUTH
The My Script My Voice (MSMV) research project emerged in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, where there was an increase in reports and discussion of anti-Asian racism (AAR) within Canada and around the world. MSMV began as a community-informed, art-based research project to understand more about youth’s experiences with AAR and its impact.
A total of 68 Asian youth participated in the project in different capacities, from personal artwork submission to participating in focus groups. Our findings indicate that Asian youth experience AAR early on, and continues to experience it throughout adolescence and early adulthood in the form of “sneaky” and “casual” racism. Youth also reported experiences of racism related to COVID-19, such as being shouted at on the street, hearing racist remarks in schools or other public settings, which contributed to a heightened sense of stress and insecurity. Youth also reported difficulties finding social support, and lacked a platform for discussing and sharing experiences of racism, particularly with their parents at home.
Our research with Youth highlighted the lack of a collective and community-specific strategy and framework to discuss and respond to AAR within the Asian community.
Nov 2020 - Jan 2021
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked East Asian youth to share their experiences and perspectives on the psychological impact of anti-Asian racism through photo and art submissions.
RESEARCH WITH PARENTS
Based on findings from Youth, the MSMV Team reached out to Asian parents to consolidate our understanding on how anti-Asian racism is perceived and discussed in Asian homes. Our research with parents started from the Chinese Canadian community. In Spring 2022, we conducted focus groups with over 57 Chinese Canadian parents, across English, Cantonese and Mandarin language groups.
Parents’ perspective on racism varied across language groups, and between parents who are 1st and 2nd+ generation Canadians. While some parents recognized the pervasiveness of anti-Asian racism and anticipated racism in their children’s lives, we find that majority of Asian parents do not talk to their children about race or AAR at home. Many parents believe discussion on race is unnecessary, irrelevant, or challenging. Many parents who identify as 1st generation migrants also believe their children will not experience racism because they grew up in Canada and will not encounter language barriers like they have.