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Reducing Stigma and Promoting Social Inclusion:

Putting Social Citizenship into Practice

This is a four year project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. This is also a Participatory Action Research (PAR) study. PAR focuses on the co-creation of knowledge for the purpose of supporting social change.

This type of research is action-oriented and shifts the power relationships found in more traditional approaches to research.
PAR is conducted in partnership with a community of interest, with collaboration from the group throughout all stages of the study.

An important and distinctive aspect of the group is that only people with dementia are included, not care partners. Initially, the group met in person once a month. However, when the pandemic started, the group made a successful transition to ZOOM, and began meeting twice per month by request of group members.

Early Action Group meetings were focused on members talking about their experiences of dementia and on coming to agreement on specific actions to take. Once the
toolkit was identified as a primary outcome of the study, subsequent meetings focused on development of toolkit content. 

The creation of this
toolkit has been an explicitly iterative process, with Action Group members providing input and feedback throughout the entire process of development.

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For this research study, the community of interest is an Action Group of people living with dementia. The action-oriented focus of this study is to reduce the stigma and discrimination that people with dementia experience on a regular basis. 


The Action Group began meeting in June 2019, and since the study began this group has included 16 members. This number has shifted over time and the Action Group currently includes 11 members. 

Action Group Members

Sherri Adams, Geoff Atkins, Craig Burns, Karen Edwards, Lester Gierach, Marcia Gresch, Robert Haynes, Lynn Jackson, Granville Johnson, Myrna Norman &

Donna Wager

Academic Research Team

Principle Investigators: Alison Phinney, Jim Mann, Deborah O'Connor

Co-Investigators: Habib Chaudhury, Gloria Puurveen, Elaine Wiersma

Research Staff: Ania Landy (2019-2021), Paulina Malcolm, Eric Mcnoughthon, Mariko Sakamoto

Web Designer: Samantha Pineda

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