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York University Professor receives community research award

York University Professor receives community research award

York University Assistant Professor Marsha Rampersaud, who teaches law and society in the Department of Social Science in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, has received a prestigious award from Community-Based Research Canada (CBRCanada) in recognition of her work with marginalized youth.

The Emerging Community-Based Researcher Award is among the top honours given out by CBRCanada, recognizing excellence in community-based research. The organization selected Rampersaud as its winner this year among a list of 18 other high-calibre nominations from across Canada.

Rampersaud received the award as a recognition of her research engagement with marginalized youth and their communities, working toward societal change in the criminal justice system. In particular, she combines insights from the critical race, punishment, and abolition theories to examine issues of racial and social justice, the purpose of punishment and the impacts of societal structures on differently situated groups.

Rampersaud’s approach as a socio-legal researcher, whose approach is firmly rooted in practice, collaborates closely with the communities that inform her research to cultivate projects from the ground up.

Her community-driven research approach has led to impactful work, like a report she co-authored, titled “Half the Time I Felt Nobody Loved Me,” which has been praised for its examination of youth “aging out” of state guardianship in Ontario and the tangible and intangible costs associated with inadequate support. The report offers policy suggestions to enhance outcomes for youth and society.

Marsha Rampersaud

Her extensive work in the field has also helped shape programming at StepStones for Youth, an organization she is involved with that supports youth in and from the foster care and group home care systems.

During a virtual awards gala, CBRCanada presented Rampersaud with a $1,000 cash prize to support her future community-based research projects. “This generous funding from CBRCanada will help support a Social Work Symposium this fall, hosted by StepStones for Youth, that will bring together international experts to tackle current issues in child protection,” she says.

Originally published in YFile.