Tags: Vol. 1, Issue 4, June 2021
In Issue 1, research being led by faculty at Humber, funded by the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) was highlighted. One of the research projects was on Engaging and Educating Young-Adult Cannabis Consumers (EEYCC).
In early 2020, a team of researchers began a three-phased project on young-adult cannabis consumption and education. The goal of this study is to positively impact young cannabis user’s consumption practices by developing non-stigmatized, evidence-informed educational campaign materials to reduce the harms associated with cannabis consumption. The research study was led by principal investigator Daniel Bear, researcher Ashley Hosker-Field, communications specialist/researcher Marilyn Cresswell, and three research assistants from Humber’s Criminal Justice Degree Program, Kelsey Westall, Marta Minta, and Lauren Perry.
This study began in early 2020, and since then, the research team has completed the first phase of data collection and has moved forward to phase two of development and production. The updates are detailed below:
The research team began phase one by creating and distributing a national survey that collected data on young-adult cannabis consumption patterns and their trusted sources of cannabis-related information. Following the survey, online focus groups were conducted to gather an in-depth understanding of young-adult cannabis use and opinions on past cannabis public health campaigns. As the project launched shortly after the beginning of the pandemic the team was able to include questions about how the impact COVID-19 pandemic has affected cannabis consumption patterns in young Canadian adults and is drafting an article on their findings.
The research team began phase two in March 2021 as students in Humber’s Bachelor of Creative Advertising Program were briefed with the survey and focus group results in the aims of developing an educational campaign. On April 29th, 2021, six teams and their campaign ideas were presented to a panel of judges including the research team, advertisement professionals, and those in the cannabis retail industry. Two teams were chosen to serve as the basis for a future public education campaign on cannabis consumption. In the coming weeks, the research team worked with various stakeholders to hear feedback on the proposed campaign, which includes cannabis consumers, drug policy experts, and those in the cannabis retail industry.
The last phase of the project will consist of the launching of the educational cannabis campaign and ongoing evaluation to ensure its efficacy.
Research is underway on determining issues around the cost of living for low-income and working class citizens, and how can a Community of Practice be created to sustain advocacy efforts to support new models for affordable housing through social policy change. The Principal researcher is Salomeh Ahmadi, faculty at Humber, with partners in the community, LAMP Community Health Centre.
Affordable housing in South Etobicoke has become an urgent issue, with over 25,000 projected units in the city books. This research project is moving into the primary data collection phase in Spring 2021, with student research assistants and outreach workers and few residents, using surveys, focus groups and interviews.
Some achievements to date include a National Housing Day event in November 2020, workshops on: Above Guideline Rents, Housing Rights and Community Benefits, the formation of an Advisory group, presentations to over 40 organizations at the South Etobicoke Community Coordination Plan cluster, and to 43 individuals, a monthly community newsletter, and the launch of a website and social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter.
Another achievement that was unplanned, as a result of a network with Toronto Community Benefit Agreements, a tool used to leverage social procurement through development projects, a workshop session has inspired an ad hoc residents and agencies group to form on Community Benefits for South Etobicoke.