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Congratulations Winners of the 2024 Community-Based Research Excellence Awards

Updated: May 22

May 21, 2024

The Community-Based Research Excellence Awards is an annual CBRCanada program that nationally recognizes exceptional people and partnerships that embody the what it means to do community-based research well. Launched in 2021, this is our fourth year of the Awards program and we couldn't be more impressed by the caliber of nominees in both categories - Excellence in Community-Campus Researcher Partnership and Emerging Community-Based Researcher. Thank you to all 40 of our nominees this year. We hope you take the time to learn more about them in the nominees map.

CBRCanada is thrilled to now announce the 2024 Community-Based Research Excellence Award Winners.

The 2024 Excellence in Community-Campus Research Partnership Award Winner is the Community Voices Building Homes in Nishnawbe Aski Nation partnership. Accepting the Award on behalf of the partnership is Michael McKay, Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Dr. Shelagh McCartney, Director of the Together Design Lab at Toronto Metropolitan University.


Using community-led governance, design, and planning methods that centre First Nations ways of knowing, the Community Voices Building Homes in Nishnawbe Aski Nation partnership reimagines homes through the values, goals, and aspirations of those who live in them. The housing tools and strategies that have resulted from this ground-breaking partnership have placed First Nations in better positions to advocate for their rights, needs and priorities, and has resulted in concrete change: new housing designs that better serve the needs of the community. This partnership has laid a strong foundation for sustainable change that is supportive of self-determination, generating a housing system that not only ensures basic housing needs but is responsive to and respectful of local lifeways, geographies, and climates.

More information:

The 2024 Emerging Community-Based Researcher Award Winner is Dr. Marsha Rampersaud, Assistant Professor, Law and Society at York University.


Dr. Marsha Rampersaud is a socio-legal researcher who investigates how the criminal justice system amplifies issues of social issues, particularly for youth who are racialized, leaving the foster care system or newcomers, and advocates for transformative change to the criminal justice system and our communities. Marsha's doctoral research, To Protect or To Punish: Illuminating Pathways from Care to Criminalization, explored the compounding effects of the child welfare and criminal justice systems on young adults in Ontario and was inspired by her community work with the Elizabeth Fry Society in Kingston and StepStones for Youth in Toronto. The findings were mobilized in a co-authored public policy report, "Half the time I felt like nobody loved me": The Costs of 'Aging Out' of State Guardianship in Ontario. The report was launched in collaboration with the Office of Children's Lawyer at an event in 2021 with over 200 stakeholders, including youth with lived experience. The report and event contributed to discussions in the province as the Ministry of Children Community and Social Services were redesigning child welfare policy. The Ministry's Ready Set Go policy which aims to provide more suppot to youth preparing to transition out of care was released in April 2023. Marsha continues to work in the field, as a researcher and mentor, and is expanding community partnerships and projects.

More Information:

The CBRCanada Award Adjudication committee has nominated two Honorary Mentions for the Excellence in Community-Campus Research Partnerships Award:

The Inner City and Wellness Research Partnership

  • Community Partner: As It Is (Edmonton chapter of Alberta Alliance Who Educate and Advocate Responsibly)

  • Academic Partner: University of Alberta

This partnership, based in Edmonton, Alberta, aims to improve the health and social outcomes for structurally vulnerable populations including people who use substances as well as individuals experiencing unstable housing or homelessness.

Youth Wellness Lab Research Partnership

  • Community Partners: The Youth Wellness Lab (YWL) partners with an extensive array of community-based organizations, including but not limited to: Children's Aid Foundation of Canada, Covenant House, Midaynta Community Services and Mending a Crack in the Sky, One Vision One Voice, PEEL Black Community Action Network, StoryCentre Canada, Transit Access Project/TAP4Youth, The Second City Toronto, Young Parents No Fixed Address, and YWCA Toronto.

  • Academic Partners: The Youth Wellness Lab (YWL) is housed in and partners with researchers and projects across the University of Toronto. The YWL research team also actively collaborates with researchers and projects at the University of British Columbia, the University of Melbourne (Australia), the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (Australia), and is a core research contributor to pan-Canadian and international research collaboratives, such as the CART-Access Project, funded by Health Canada.

The Youth Wellness Lab Research Partnership based in Toronto, Ontario, aims to amplify youth voices in the design, development, and translation research that impacts service delivery to improve youth outcomes.

The CBRCanada Award Adjudication committee has nominated two Honorary Mentions for the 2024 Emerging Community-Based Researcher Award:

Dr. Crystal Gail Fraser - University of Alberta

Crystal is an Assistant Professor, in the Faculty of Arts and Native Studies at the University of Alberta. She is Gwichyà Gwich'in and Scottish/English, originally from Inuvik and Dachan Choo Gę̀hnjik in the Northwest Territories. Crystal's research focuses on the strength and resilience of Indigenous northerners in the face of the tragedy of child relocation and institutionalization at residential schools in the Inuvik region.

Learn more:

  • Website

  • Book: By Strength, We Are Still Here: Indigenous Peoples and Residential Schools in the Northwest Territories. (Coming December 2024)

  • Podcast: 'How I Survived' (Coming Soon)

Kerry Rempel - Kelowna Homlessness Research Centre

Kerry is the Director of Applied Research at Okanagan College and a founding member of the Kelowna Homlessness Research Centre. Her research focuses on centering the voices of people with lived and living experiences. Kerry is currently working on her PhD focusing on homelessness in Kelowna, Penticton and the greater Okanagan region.

Learn more:

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