A couple hundred Black Lives Matter movement supporters walked the Red Deer Peace Walk downtown in October. Ubuntu is hosting several events to commemorate Black History Month in February. Photo by Advocate staff

Preliminary survey results show racism worse in Red Deer than other places

A survey conducted in Red Deer indicates that some racism exists in the city.

Red Deer Local Immigration Partnership (RDLIP) has released information on some of the preliminary results of the survey, “Understanding Racism in Red Deer” conducted earlier in the year from Feb. 16 to March 2 with 665 respondents.

About 50 per cent of those respondents say that racism is worse in Red Deer than in other places, while 15 per cent say that racism in Red Deer is better than in other places.

The COVID-19 pandemic also appears to have factored in. About 47 per cent of respondents said racism has gotten worse in the city since the start of the pandemic, while only 4.6 per cent say it’s gotten better.

Nearly 76.2 per cent of people who responded said if they experienced racism, they would not likely seek help.

About 29.9 per cent of respondents say they’ve experienced racism and 16 per cent said they’ve experienced it from local police.

“This survey has provided us with insight on racism in Red Deer and has helped us not only in shaping the direction of a community-wide anti-racism campaign, but also in understanding the need for supports for those who experience racism,” said Ezgi Sarioglu, program manager, RDLIP.

Among those who had experienced racism, they said they had been treated unfairly because of their race/ethnicity; physical features or language or accent. For those people, online was the number one place where they experienced racism, second was in the workplace and third was in the grocery store.

RDLIP said the survey provides the community a glimpse on the data that was gathered from yhr survey, which will primarily be used to develop the anti-racism campaign that will be launches in fall. The agency will release a full report in order to share the results and help the community understand the extent of racism in Red Deer further.