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by Maureen Brown (made available through CDH with the permission of the author)

This study examines how black youth in Oakville are included in their communities. It also explores how Halton and Oakville can develop a partnership with black youth in efforts to create a socially inclusive environment for all of its citizens. Based on the examined data, recommendations are made according to specific categories relating to youth, parents, governments and institutions.

The study is based on multiple sources of data. Information was collected in focus groups with close to 60 randomly selected black youth in Oakville, ranging from 13-24 years of age. The youth shared their feelings, experiences and perspectives with the researchers. Additionally, more than 20 parents, as well as community leaders and civic politicians were interviewed. Analysis was built on existing community-based research of Halton and Oakville as well as on academic research about the way communities form and how youth acquire a sense of ‘ownership’ in their community. An advisory committee of representatives of Halton-based agencies, institutions (such as school boards and police), youth and parents guided this work. York University professor, Dr. Carl James, an expert on the topic, advised the research process.