Canada is regarded as a global leader when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, and queer (LGBT2Q) rights.
However, the OECD (2019) reports that Canadians are only halfway towards accepting homosexuality. Statistics Canada (2020) reports that LGBT2Q people are three times more likely than cisgender, heterosexual people to experience sexual or physical assault and sexual minority Canadians are twice as likely to experience harassment in the workplace. Clearly, the work towards LGBT2Q inclusion is not finished in Canada.
Educating people about their homo/transphobic biases can be highly effective and lead to inclusion of LGBT2Q people in organizations. Yet, often the response by organizational leaders is to provide short, standalone LGBT2Q-awareness workshops, which rarely leads to social transformation in the workplace. Organizations need different and more effective forms of educational interventions.
The Canada Research Chair in Queer, Community, and Diversity Education will research various innovative anti-homo/transphobic educational interventions and determine their effectiveness on policy development and social cohesion. The first project will assess how organizational designs function as a dialogic tool about experiences with homo/transphobia and other forms of prejudice. The second project will ascertain how teaching through visual art can positively shape organizational policies on equity and inclusion, particularly for LGBT2Q people. The third project will determine how staff behaviours change when gender-sexuality alliances are present in workplaces.
The findings that Dr. Mizzi’s team provides will change the way we engage educational interventions around LGBT2Q inclusion and ultimately lead to more safe, diverse, and prosperous workplaces.
This research was undertaken, in part, thanks to funding from the Canada Research Chairs Program.
The CRC in Queer, Community, and Diversity Education involves an Advisory Committee and several other supporting administrative and research staff roles.