SSHRC grant helps contribute to meaningful structural change for Black youth
October 11, 2023
Congratulations to Dr. Thomas Tieku, Professor of Politics and International Relations, who was a co-applicant and co-director of a $450,000 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Partnership Development Grant, “Empowering Black Youth in Southwestern Ontario: A Collaborative Project Exploring How Black Youth in Southwestern Ontario Negotiate their Multiple Marginalities.”
Dr. Tieku was co-applicant of the Western University research team, headed by Dr. Godwin Arku, Professor in Western’s Department of Geography and Environment, that will use the SSHRC grant to document, analyse, and co-create strategies to alleviate the systemic and racial inequalities faced by Black youth in the under-documented areas of London-Middlesex, Sarnia-Lambton, Chatham-Kent, and Windsor-Essex.
The team will collaborate with the African Canadian Federation of London and Middlesex Area (ACFOLA) to invest in and enrich Black youth in Southwestern Ontario by mitigating structural barriers of entry into post-secondary education and work, nurturing youth well-being, and providing opportunities for mentorship and professional development.
“We are really excited about this project as it gives us the opportunity to work with Black youth in Southwestern Ontario, including Black students at King’s, to co-create knowledge and strategies to fight systemic and racial inequities in our part of Canada,” says Dr. Tieku.
As co-applicant of the grant, Dr. Tieku contributed to the building of the research team and worked with them to develop the project proposal. He will be one of the authors of the publications and reports that will come from the project.
Dr. Tieku explains that the SSHRC grant is using the whole of Western system approach, meaning they have brought relevant Western units and affiliates together. For example, King’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization (EDID) Office is part of the grant’s working group and a representative from the Office attends team meetings. “This project is more than a research exercise as we seek to contribute to meaningful structural change in the greater interest of our youth and our dear country,” says Dr. Tieku.
Dr. Tieku says his time at King’s has greatly influenced his research direction and the decision to team up with Western colleagues to work on this project. Trained as a political scientist, Dr. Tieku says most of his work and focus has been on the international side of politics.
“Coming to King’s and being in a small class environment where I get to know more about students/youth has really opened my eyes and encouraged me to turn some of my attention to domestic issues,” says Dr. Tieku. He adds that his work on this and other projects is part of his attempt to bring some of his equity work home.
Congratulations, Dr. Tieku!