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Ampersand The Six

Toronto the Good?
Negotiating Race in the Diverse City
By (author): Shana Almeida
Shana Almeida


University of Toronto Press



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Higher Education
Nov 02, 2022
$29.95 CAD


9in x 6 x 0.4 in | 250 gr

Page Count:

172 pages
University of Toronto Press
POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Canadian

Toronto the Good? uniquely explores what diversity does to remake the City of Toronto as a beacon of democracy, racial inclusion, and progress. 

Armed with the motto "Diversity Our Strength," the City of Toronto has garnered a world-class reputation for challenging racism, largely because of how it is seen to value and include racialized groups through its diversity policies and practices. Toronto the Good? unsettles popular depictions of both diversity and the City of Toronto by attending to what diversity does in and for the City in the context of historical relations of race.

Toronto the Good? brings together Shana Almeida’s critical insights as a former political staff member along with her years of in-depth research on diversity in the City of Toronto to offer a compelling case to rethink how we understand diversity and racial inclusion in the City of Toronto and beyond. Initiated in a local context, Toronto the Good? critically contributes to global discussions on diversity, race, democracy, political participation, and power.

-Pursues a detailed and in-depth critical reading of hundreds of City policies from 1975 to 2018
-Addresses racism experienced by Toronto residents alongside interview transcripts of racialized City of Toronto staff
-Reveals how historical relations of race continue and are authorized through diversity discourse and racial inclusion
-Adds critical depth to claims that more representation and inclusion of racialized and Indigenous groups in political spaces is needed to address their social, political, and economic exclusion

Shana Almeida is an assistant professor in the School of Professional Communication at the Toronto Metropolitan University. Her research and teaching contributions are informed by over six years as a senior political staff member at the City of Toronto.

For more information contact
[email protected]

"This book’s most important contribution is that it enables us to see how a liberal logic of reform is a part of routine racial governance. Highlighting the role that people of colour can play in diversity discourses, Toronto the Good? shows that diversity policies provide the City with ways to claim that it has transcended its racist past even as little concrete change results. In these times, when many believe that we are finally in an age of redress and reconciliation, Shana Almeida invites us to consider how spaces of raciality persist where we least expect it. This is a critical lesson for our times as we are prompted by movements, such as Black Lives Matter to distinguish between reform and abolition."

- Sherene H. Razack, Distinguished Professor and Penny Kanner Endowed Chair, Gender Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

"At a time when race and racism sculpt the fractious contours of political and economic life, and from a city known all over the world as the capital of diversity, Toronto the Good? is both high stakes and deeply rewarding. Shana Almeida skilfully interrogates ‘diversity’ as a means and signifier of struggle and offers prescient insights for a different way forward."

- Deborah Cowen, Professor of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto

"Shana Almeida’s meticulously researched and accessibly written book on the politics of diversity in Toronto has crucial implications far beyond the city limits. Almeida moves critical thinking on race forward by showing how the inclusion of racially minoritized people within public and private institutions paradoxically underwrites a white vision of ‘good diversity’ and contributes to further compounding the abjection of those whose otherness remains unassimilable in the racial colonial state."

- Alana Lentin, Professor of Cultural and Social Analysis, Western Sydney University

"In Toronto the Good?, Shana Almeida offers a rare inside-outside perspective on municipal multiculturalism. Focused on City employees who do the ‘diversity work’ that sustains the City of Toronto’s motto Diversity our Strength, Almeida analyzes how routinized discourses of ethno-racial diversity reproduce rather than challenge racism and racialization. This is a must-read for all those interested in understanding the contradictions of diversity as institutional practice in Big City politics."

- Stefan Kipfer, Associate Professor, Environmental and Urban Change, York University

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