Tuesday, May 26, 2015
1:00 - 1:25 PM
Ted Talks - Trinity Ballroom One

Community-based Research for Collective Storytelling

Storytelling is part of the fundamental essence of public opinion and market research, which might be defined as the art and science of combining a set of individual voices into a coherent narrative. Most research focuses on a particular product, service or issue that oftentimes limits or obscures the underlying story. It is much less common for research to take a holistic perspective through which a more complete story of people’s lives can emerge.

This presentation introduces such a study that explores the “lived experience” of an important but marginalized and poorly understood part of Canadian society. The Black Experience Project in the GTA is a groundbreaking study of this diverse community in Canada’s largest urban region, to better understand individuals’ experiences, values, identities and aspirations. The research employs an innovative community-based research approach to gather representative data from a cross-section of the population while at the same time providing the scope to meaningfully capture individuals’ stories about their own Black experience. The presentation will introduce the research paradigm, describe its unique aspects, highlight selected results, and address implications for future research.
Keith Neuman, Ph.D. CMRP
Executive Director, Environics Institute for Survey Research

The primary presenter will be Keith Neuman, Ph.D. CMRP, Executive Director of the Environics Institute for Survey Research.  Dr. Neuman is an established research professional with close to 30 years of senior level experience. His work has covered many sectors and types of clients, with much of the focus on public affair, social and environmental issues at the national, regional and local levels. He was Project Director for the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study (UAPS), which was awarded MRIA’s first ever Public Policy Impact Award in 2010.

Dr. Neuman has extensive experience with public presentations, ranging from academic and professional conferences (including keynote addresses), to client senior management sessions and workshops, to media panels (TV, radio, webinar). He is a frequent commentator in the Canadian media on public affairs and the environment.

Keith has been giving research-based presentations at conferences on an ongoing basis since 1978. This includes peer-reviewed paper presentations at the PMRS National Conference in 2001, the MRIA National Conferences in 2007 and 2010, as well as at the Annual Conference of the American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014.He has also given invited keynote presentations at MRIA Ottawa Chapter Events, most recently in 2014.


Suelyn Knight
Project Manager, Black Experience Project, Environics Institute for Survey Research

Suelyn Knight is the Project Manager for the Black Experience Project (BEP) with the Environics Institute for Survey Research. She is directly responsible for the implementation of the fieldwork and outreach for this study, and brings extensive experience in ethnocultural community development. Suelyn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and is currently completing a Master of Education degree at York University, with a focus on community-based research in equity and diversity studies. Her research explores the connections between race, marginalization and social and cultural capital.