Assessing the Needs of Black Students

Our Approach

Student Services’ Anti-Black Racism Action Plan includes a campus-wide assessment of the specific realities of McGill’s Black student population. By centering the student voice in our assessment planning, the Strategy, Assessment and Evaluation group will help promote wellness and success as our students themselves define them. 

Due to the legacy of historical injustices, doing meaningful work with underrepresented and marginalized communities means engaging in a holistic harm reductive framework that includes everything from planning to data collection and dissemination.

Every effort will be taken to carefully create measured steps to guide the needs assessment process. Our goal is to be respectful and intentional, so that data can be used to generate change that is both consequential and substantive.

With these considerations in mind, the Strategy, Assessment and Evaluation group will:

  • Recognize how research, healthcare and education spaces have been harmful for communities of colour
  • Make a strong investment in Culturally Responsive Evaluation
  • Act with appreciation for OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access, Possession) principles as governed by FNICG (First nations Information Governance Centre)
  • Create spaces for dialogue across cultures using the 4 R’s (Kirkness, Barnhardt)
  • Respect Anti-Oppressive Principles

This process will use the elements above in the creation of all instruments, the dissemination of information, and in measuring accountability.

The Strategy, Assessment, and Evaluation group will:

  • Hold specific focus groups led by BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Colour) facilitators to find out what questions should we be asking of the Black student community.
  • Conduct a comprehensive and intersectional survey (derived from student focus groups) to establish the barriers, needs and experiences faced by the Black student community.
  • Invite Black student community members to assist in analyzing and making meaning of the anonymous data that has been collected.
  • Plan a future focus group to engage the community in our findings and clarify any ambiguous information.
  • Remunerate for all students who give their time to assist this project.
  • Hold interactive sessions where the data collected can be shared with community members.
  • Translate knowledge gained, including the report itself, infographics and other programs and resources to be planned and developed.
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