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New study by counties shows likelihood of discrimination for minorities

Huron and Perth counties say a new research report has found that Indigenous people, immigrants and visible minorities are more likely to experience discrimination than white, non-immigrant individuals in the region.

In a release, the counties say a survey done in March of 2021 found evidence of discrimination experienced in workplaces, schools, libraries and arenas, among other locations, that adversely impact belonging and inclusion in Huron and Perth.

Dr. Natalia Lapshina, Dr. Victoria Esses and the Network for Economic and Social Trends of Western University conducted the research, in partnership with the Forum Research Inc. who administered a survey to 595 individuals in Huron and Perth Counties.

The report surveyed 297 immigrants and visible minorities, 62 Indigenous People and 236 White Non-immigrants in Huron and Perth Counties to investigate experiences of discrimination.

“The County of Huron is committed to addressing discrimination.” said Huron County Warden Glen McNeil. “This report on discrimination in Huron and Perth provides the County with a tool to self-reflect. With it, we can acknowledge privilege, seek better understanding, and make positive changes to create a more inclusive community where everyone feels that they belong.”

“This research also demonstrates that those who experience discrimination are less likely to feel accepted by the community. As we consider issues such as labour shortages, we need to think about strategies that make our communities and workplaces as inclusive and welcoming as possible,” said Perth County Warden Jim Aitcheson.

The report recommends that anti-discrimination initiatives should be developed for areas where discrimination most frequently was reported to occur, like workplaces, public areas, and schools.

Additional approaches include targeting behaviour and attitude change training to individuals most likely to perpetuate discrimination, helping bystanders develop the skills to intervene effectively, and working with organizations to change policies and practices.

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