Resiliency Through COVID-19 (RTC)

Federation of Black Canadians in partnership with the University of Toronto. Funded by the Government of Canada.

 Resiliency Through COVID-19: Using Race Based Data to Create Intervention Through a Health Equity Lens.

In the spring and summer of 2020 the Federation of Black Canadians heard loud and clear that our members felt that COVID-19 was an enormous concern and had a major impact within the community.

The RTC project is a 3-tier project comprised of: systematic review of articles, qualitative study and quantitative study. The project aim is to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the Black community through participatory research.

This project was made possible by funding support from Canadian Heritage and The Public Health Agency of Canada, in addition to internal funds.

This project had 3 main objectives:


Create a national, Black, data infrastructure that collects, stores, and manages data about the lives and experiences of Black Canadians.


Help inform current and future public health services how to serve better Black communities.


Provide a better public understanding of how Black Canadians are affected by COVID-19, through providing increased community awareness, information and education related to COVID-19.

The virus (COVID-19) was confirmed to have reached Canada (Toronto) on January 27, 2020. The first case of community transmission in Canada was confirmed in British Columbia on March 5.[4] In March 2020, as cases of community transmission were confirmed, all of Canada’s provinces and territories declared states of emergency. On September 23, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau declared that Canada was experiencing a second wave of the virus. Following Health Canada‘s approval of the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, and later the mRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Moderna, mass vaccinations began nationwide on December 14, 2020.


In the spring and summer of 2020, the Federation of Black Canadians heard loud and clear that our members felt that Covid19 was an enormous concern within the community. After responding quickly to coordinate a national call to interface the Federal Government with the community to share their concerns, needs, and to also hear what the government was doing to address the Pandemic, we quickly moved to generate and create a National petition addressing our asks

Following its overwhelming support inching over 35,000 signatures, our members did not want to wait for the government to support our call for national race-based data.  In the fall of 2020, The Federation voted to redirect some of its internal funding to support an interim staff role that would aid in scoping out a national project and provide support in securing funding to support the work. We are pleased to share that the FBC was able to confirm funding support from Canadian Heritage and Public Health Canada as well as divert some of its own funds to support the project.

While it was not easy and there is still more to figure out and do, we are excited to share this success and with you. Furthermore, we understand that across Canada several groups and grassroots organizations have seen the need for race-based data collection and stepped up to support this work, and we hope that we are able to support collective goals through our work as well.



This project used Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), to invert traditional data collection methods. This project is rooted in the notion that individuals and experts from Black communities are the best equipped to identify the needs and experiences of Black communities and that their survival in the colonial state is inextricably tied together. 

This project seeked to answer the following:

  • Examination of the barriers and facilitators of COVID-19 preventative measures among Black Canadians. 
  • Understand how COVID-19 related public health restrictions impact the quality of life and livelihood of Black communities.
  • Experiences and attitudes of Black Canadians towards vaccines.
  • What Black communities need to experience effective recovery from COVID-19.

Upon collecting data from the various participants, audio files were transcribed and  analyzed. NVIVO 12, a qualitative data analysis computer software package produced by QSR International was used to complete the process.



Inclusion Criteria:

  • Black Canadians or individuals of African descent (including immigrants). 
  • Black Canadians/immigrants or individuals of African descent residing in Canada.
  • Individuals over the age of 18 Individuals that can understand and speak either English or French. 
  • Individuals that have the ability to give informed consent. 
  • 30- 45 minutes time commitment.

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