The Mary Ann Shadd Cary Centre for Journalism and Belonging advocates, supports and participates in inclusive and belonging-focused journalism in Canada through research, education, community-building and media production. It is a central hub to conduct research, create community-focused journalism and networking opportunities for equity deserving groups, and produce research-based journalism that centres belonging. The first and only one of its kind in Canada, the Centre is led by Nana aba Duncan, a Black journalist, associate professor and Carty Chair of Journalism, Diversity and Inclusion at Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communications.

Mary Ann Shadd Cary was the first Black woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America, and a leader who stood for education, equality, and liberation. Living in the Chatham area of Ontario, Shadd Cary founded and edited The Provincial Freeman in 1853, advocating for equality and education for Black people and supporting the rights of women. She was also an activist working against discrimination and enslavement, and established a racially integrated school for Black refugees in Windsor, Ontario. 

In her spirit, and with a blessing from her descendants, Carleton’s School of Journalism and Communication is launching the Mary Ann Shadd Cary Centre for Journalism and Belonging. The centre will focus on journalism through education, equality and liberation and leadership, beginning with the following research:

  1. Reporting in Black Communities: A Guide For Journalists and Journalism Educators in Canada
  2. Surveying the Experiences of Black Journalists in Canada

Students will work with professor Duncan to assist in managing the Centre’s research projects. This includes analyzing data, assisting with developing questions, facilitating focus groups, and contributing to the creation of reports and resources based on research results.

Students will gain opportunities to build relationships with working journalists, other Black professionals and community leaders, thereby widening career opportunities and increasing professional capacity. The perspectives of Black, Indigenous and racialized student researchers at the Centre will assist in building its structure and facilitate capacity for current and future journalists of all backgrounds. Their lived experiences will also inform the design, conduct, analysis and dissemination of surveys and focus groups.