"Anchored in Our Culture, Focused on Our Future": Negotiating Spaces for Somali Women in Toronto through Gashanti UNITY
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This research presents and analyses the experiences of second-generation Somali women in Toronto, and argues that there is a significant gap in research about young Somali-Canadian women, and the way they utilize different strategies to manage their multiple and hyphenated identities in order to negotiate social and political spaces for themselves. Through organizations like Gashanti UNITY, with their Anchored in Our Culture, Focused on Our Future motto, young Somali women have taken ownership of their own narratives, through the sharing of their experiences and aspirations. This research seeks to examine and understand specifically the experiences of young self-identified Black, Muslim, Somali, Canadian women, drawing on an interdisciplinary theoretical framework, as well as Intersectionality and Black feminist theory. It highlights ways in which these young women resist and subvert multiple forms of oppression, including, racism, Islamophobia, xenophobia and sexism. This thesis concludes with suggestions for further research that considers the lives and contributions of young Somalis in Canadian society. Keywords: Somali, Women, African, Black, Canadian, Identity, Intersectionality, Black Feminist Thought, race, gender, Islam, islamophobia.