July 1, 2016


Over the past several years our research team has been involved in a large number of projects both as principle investigator and as a collaborating organization. This is a comprehensive list of all our publications.

All files are in Adobe Acrobat PDF format unless otherwise noted. You will need to download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these documents.

Racialized Groups and Health Status

Building on the previous reports on labour market barriers facing immigrant and racialized communities (see Working Rough, Living Poor and Where are the Good Jobs? below), this report focuses on the experiences and voices of immigrant women facing labour market barriers.

This report contains ten powerful case stories of immigrant families from racialized backgrounds who are struggling to find stable employment in Canada. The case stories are based on results from the third phase of a community based researcher project conducted by the Income Security, Race and Health team in Toronto. Results from this phase build on our Working Rough, Living Poor report released in 2011.

“Working Rough, Living Poor” is the result of research conducted in Toronto’s Black Creek community in collaboration with local residents trained to be community-based researchers by Access Alliance. The report’s new insights into the disturbing racialization of precarious employment and poverty in Canadian communities and the far-reaching health impact that these trends have on individuals and families, fills a key gap in data on the experiences of racialized groups in Canada.

The ‘exposed’ Photovoice project is a community based, arts-informed research project conducted in 2008 by the Income Security, Race and Health (ISRH) research working group. This photobook is a compilation of some of the key photos and narratives produced by 14 photoresearchers who live in Toronto’s Black Creek community. The photos and narratives produced by the photo-researchers offer a nuanced, multilayered and rich picture of the everyday realities of living in a low-income neighborhood in Toronto.

This literature review looks at the significance of income as a determinant of health, focuses on the barriers that racialised groups face in the labour market and on the health effects of precarious employment.

This research report looks at how race-based discrimination and racism impacts the mental health and overall well-being of consumer survivors from racialized communities. The report is based on a series of stakeholder consultations with consumer survivors and service providers.

Determinants of Newcomer Health

The first phase report for this project documents the experiences of adult immigrants and refugees who have used single men’s or women’s shelters or drop-ins in Toronto and develops best practices among shelter and drop-in staff for working with immigrants and refugees.

This second phase report discusses how the recommendations were turned into advocacy points by the steering committee of the project.

Drawing on our study with newcomer youth from four communities in Toronto, this article discusses post-migration determinants of mental health for newcomer youth in Toronto and reflects on policy implications. Preliminary study findings indicate that settlement challenges and discrimination/exclusions are salient risks to the mental wellbeing of newcomer youth and their families.

This report provides systematic, documented evidence of key barriers and opportunities faced by visible minority social workers, and how these learnings can contribute to organizational change. It provides a direct comparison of Canadian and internationally educated social workers’ experiences in the workplace and how individual and systemic racism are underlying factors that impact the access to employment, promotion and retention of visible minority social workers in the workplace.

Presents the quantitative results of a survey done with visible minority social workers and employers, including demographics, employment patterns and barriers to employment.

The experiences of internationally educated social workers in the workplace in Canada are the focus of this literature review. It looks at barriers faced by visible minority social workers in Canadian organizations, the impact of discrimination, and the need for an integrated anti-racism approach.

This report describes the health advantage that most newcomers bring to Toronto, the decline in their health over time and the need to strengthen our efforts to support newcomers, especially those whose health risks are compounded by their income level, gender, immigration status, ethno-racial background, sexual orientation or other factors. The report was developed and written in partnership with Toronto Public Health.

Access to good quality health care is one of the fundamental principles of our Canadian health care system. Yet, there is a small but growing body of research that highlight that Canadians who are not proficient in Canada’s two official languages experience major health inequities as a result of language barriers. Although addressing health inequities must be considered an ethical and legal obligation, the perceived cost of providing interpretation services represents a major health systems-level challenge.

Non-Status Immigrants

This report is based on historical research, key informant interviews and focus groups which document how the Canadian state has dealt with the issue of regularization, how the efforts of community groups and pro-immigrant organizations affected policy changes in regularization procedures, and about the contemporary needs of persons without status in Canada concerning regularization.

Research Department Annual Report

This report highlights Access Alliance’s research activities and accomplishments for the period of April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.

This report highlights Access Alliance’s research activities and accomplishments for the period of April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

This report gives an overview of Access Alliance’s research activities and accomplishments for the period of April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009.

Like Wonder Women, Goddesses and Robots

The experiences and voices of immigrant women – particularly those from racialized backgrounds – have largely been missing in mainstream research, policy framing and public debates about labour market and economic issues in Canada. Even when we are discussing labour market barriers facing immigrant communities, the focus is largely on male immigrants. The stories of internationally trained male doctors and engineers driving taxis or working in factories in Canada have become all too familiar now – sadly. Within this, immigrant women’s experiences and aspirations are either rarely talked about or mentioned as side notes to those of male members of their family. The lack of, or marginal, focus on racialized immigrant women – their invisibility – is the key reason why this group continues to face the worst labour market and economic outcomes in this nation; this is true in terms of every possible indicator from unemployment rate, wage gap, and low-income rate. Moreover, it stands in the way of making our immigration, labour market and social policies more gender-sensitive and equitable. There is an urgent need to reverse this.

Key Findings from the report:

  • Immigrant women workers who cannot find stable employment in their field are being pushed into long-term pathways of highly gendered, low-paying, and precarious types of jobs.
  • Along with economic and work related barriers, social barriers (such as social isolation, lack of affordable childcare, heavy household work, limited social mobility) also play a key role in preventing immigrant women achieve employment security.
  • Migration process and Canadian immigration policies are highly gendered in ways that can disadvantage immigrant women from early on in terms of labour market participation and socio-economic wellbeing.
  • Immigrant women migrate to Canada for social and health reasons and not just for economic reasons; in absence of progressive gender policies, the prioritizing of social and health can undermine labor market and economic outcomes for immigrant women.
  • Immigrant women may face lengthy periods of unemployment between precarious jobs.
  • Many Immigrant working women do extensive volunteer work and informal income generating work in response to employment precocity (including lengthy periods of unemployment between job) and as active labour market and social contribution strategy.
  • Precarious employment conditions result in heavily gendered social burden on immigrant women in ways that worsen their post-migration household gender relations and social status.
  • Precarious employment conditions is having damaging impacts on the health of immigrant women workers and their families; health impacts include depression, digestive problems, cardio-vascular illnesses, chronic muscular-skeletal pain, and life threating illnesses like diabetes.
  • Immigrant women play an active role in maintaining and promoting health of their family even when facing severe economic difficulties.

Where are the Good Jobs?

Where are the good jobs coverWhere are the Good Jobs? Ten case stories of ‘working rough, living poor’

July 2013. Written by members of the Income Security, Race and Health team.

This report contains ten powerful case stories of immigrant families from racialized backgrounds who are struggling to find stable employment in Canada. The case stories are based on results from the third phase of a community based research project conducted by the Income Security, Race and Health team in Toronto. Results from this phase build on our Working Rough, Living Poor report released in 2011.

Study results point to deep structural barriers pushing racialized immigrants into precarious work. These include systemic discrimination, limited professional network, immigration-related barriers, temp agencies, ineffective services, and conditions of precarious employment itself. Being stuck in bad jobs has severe economic, social and health impacts across generations. Although participants were not unemployed, they were living in near-poverty conditions, experiencing breakdown in family relationship and communications, and facing numerous health problems including debilitating workplace injuries, gastro-intestinal ailments, severe mental health issues, cardio-vascular illnesses and chronic diseases. Bad jobs are making Canadians very sick.

The ‘case study’ format of the stories means that you get intimate insight into the everyday forces and challenges that people are facing in finding stable employment and the day-to-day level impacts from this. This level of detail is not often captured in other research methods. The case stories can be used to develop more effective policies and services that reflect real life conditions. Our policy and service recommendations are included in the report. The case stories will also serve as excellent resource material for professional development training of service provider staff and as course readings for students.

eXposed Photovoice Book

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 Poster Presentations