Effective Institutionalized Antiracism: Negotiating Backlash, Neoliberalization, and Geopolitics
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In this research, I provide a foundation for theorizing and understanding institutionalized antiracism initiatives; under-examined sites of geographical research. Through an examination of three different research sites (Queen’s University, the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), I seek to understand how organizations working in different contexts negotiate a range of variables so as to achieve the most effective outcomes possible. With a focus on site-specific context and its role in antiracist initiatives, this research combines a range of qualitative methods including interviews and researcher observations to assess the factors that influence the strategic directions and decisions of organizations. This thesis contributes to the exploration of social change and human rights strategies by positioning institutionalized antiracism initiatives as the focus of study; highlighting the importance of geopolitical context and other institutional factors in this work; identifying key challenges and opportunities; presenting findings on effective human rights strategies; and filling a gap in this area of geographic study. More specifically, this research demonstrates that institutionalized antiracism initiatives experience specific advantages and challenges as a result of factors internal and external to the organization. It also provides insight into the climate of social change in Canada and reveals some important findings with regard to antiracism strategies that can be used by organizations to improve the effectiveness of their initiatives and programs.