Come see us and our culminating exhibition at 301 McEwen, The Gallery of Risk during Congress.

From May 27 - June 2

In the meanwhile, you can read some of the research we have published here, or proceed to our main page and see how our work was interpreted by a team of 20 designers at the BDes Program at YorkU!

  • Sarah Flicker, Nadha Hassen & 4theRecord Research Team
  • Women’s and Gender Studies Room FC106
  • Day 3- May 31, 2023 10:45- 12:15 PM

4theRecord: An Intersectional Feminist Approach to Gathering and Analysing Stories that Reconsider Risk

by Sarah Flicker, Nadha Hassen & 4theRecord Research Team

4theRecord focuses on understanding how COVID-19 has changed the ways that young (16-21) queer and racialized women and non-binary folks in Canada, Australia and the United States think about risk. Our intergenerational and interdisciplinary team involved 6 investigators, 6 graduate students and 11 undergraduate students from 5 universities across 3 countries and 2 time zones. We recruited 703 survey participants, 321 of whom completed timelines and 102 completed in-depth interviews. We explore our successes and challenges in collecting and making sense of this large mixed-methods dataset as we sought to ground our work in feminist principles of care, collaboration, and community. This proved challenging within neoliberal institutions and funding structures that hold us accountable to tight timelines, budgets and reify differences across race, class and power. We conclude with recommendations for other teams seeking to do similar work.

  • Helen Yaqing Han, Jen Gilbert, Deana Leahy, Angela Norwood
  • Eastern Seymour Schulich Building (SSB) E115
  • Session: Curriculum Studies 2

    Monday, May 29, 8:15 – 9:30 A.M.

Representing Risk: Designing a “Vertical Studio” for Knowledge Mobilization and Impact

by Helen Yaqing Han, Jen Gilbert, Deana Leahy, Angela Norwood

This presentation describes a collaboration between 4tRecord, a large, international, mixed methods research project that explored the meanings of risk during COVID in racialized and/or LGBTQ2S+ young women and non-binary folks’ lives and design faculty committed to a collaborative, pedagogical model known as the “vertical studio.” Through a special topics course proposed for this collaboration, design students across all levels of study worked together in an environment much like a real-world studio to design the “Gallery of Risk,” a digital gallery that represents and extends the research findings of 4tRecord.

  • Jessica Fields and Cheery-Maria Attia
  • Curtis Lecture Halls CLH-E102
  • Session: Re-Feeling Research in Covid’s Wake.

    Wednesday May 31 10:30 am to 12:00 pm (EDT)

Fatigue, Curiosity and Sorrow in a Study of Sexual Risk

by Jessica Fields and Cheery-Maria Attia

Most of the time, when adults talk about risk in young people’s sexual lives, the conversation assumes that risk is both inevitable and bad. In our international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational study of risk in the lives of racialized and queer young women or nonbinary youth during Covid, our team (4theRecord) learned to think differently about sexual risk. We consider risk a right that young people have both to grow and to learn. Taking risks is thus central to better understanding ourselves and the world. This perspective on risk allows us to ask different questions about risk in young people’s sexual lives. Rather than focus on avoiding or eliminating risk, we explore what happens when young people decide to take a risk, when they opt not to, and when they are compelled to take risk despite their own feelings and priorities. Our research focuses on racialized and queer young women or nonbinary youths perspectives in order to decenter the assumption that young people are either at-risk or risky themselves. Members of our team are or were queer, nonbinary, young, or racialized; but we do not experience these things in the same way: some of us are straight, cisgender, no longer young, or white. In this paper, we explore the varied affective relationships our team members had to the risks we studied and to the risks our participants take. We explore how intersecting experiences of race, gender, sexuality, and age afforded some analytical and affective possibilities, inviting some shared connection, while shutting others down. We consider how a shared experience of fatigue and sorrow allowed team members and study participants to reach across generational, temporal, and geographic lines to risk curiosity about one another’s lives. Ultimately, we identify new grounds for meaningful relationships and rapport with study participants and research team members…

  • Jessica J. Mencia, Ciann L. Wilson, & 4theRecord Research Team
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Negotiating Sexual Safety: How Young People Navigate, Discuss, and Cope with Sexual Violence

by Jessica J. Mencia, Ciann L. Wilson, & 4theRecord Research Team



Experiences of sexual assault and violence are prevalent within the lives of young people, especially those of marginalized gender identities. However, little is understood or known about how young people discuss, navigate, and cope with their experiences. In this qualitative analysis, we utilize thematic analysis to examine how young people of marginalized racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual identities describe, navigate, cope and discuss sexual assault.




From Spring 2022 to Summer 2022, the 4theRecord project team conducted in-depth interviews with young women and gender expansive young people in New York City, United States, Toronto, Canada and Melbourne Australia to understand their experiences with sexual and non-sexual risk-taking during COVID-19. Deductive coding was then utilized to further analyze the collected data. In the proposed manuscript, we engaged in thematic analysis of interviews that discuss sexual violence and assault.




Overall, it was found that young people discuss and navigate experiences, and the fear of sexual assault and violence in various ways. In particular, we analyze how youth across various intersecting identities differ in how they describe sexual assault, as well as how they negotiate space, boundaries, and their bodies in navigating their own sexual safety.

  • Jen Gilbert, Jessica Mencia, and 4theRecord Research Team
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Coming out in a Pandemic: Reimagining Risk in the Lives of Queer Young Women and Non-binary Youth during COVID.

by Jen Gilbert, Jessica Mencia, and 4theRecord Research Team

4theRecord is an international, mixed methods, participatory research study that explores racialized and/or LGBTQ+ young women and non-binary youth’s shifting understandings of risk as they navigate their lives through COVID restrictions and lockdowns. COVID-19 fundamentally altered nearly every aspect of youths’ relational lives; new norms regarding physical and social intimacy and access to public and private spaces affected family, peer, and sexual connections. For many, the challenge of navigating this new terrain coincided with adolescence, a developmental period when choices regarding risk and well-being are already fraught and complicated. Though decisions around how to connect, date, and love continue to be influenced by factors including gender, race, sexual cultures, community, and space, pandemic logics cause a profound shift: behaviors that once sparked alarm were endorsed as low risk (e.g., sexting); practices that were up for debate were decidedly off-limits (e.g., sleepovers); and idealized innocuous romantic gestures were the height of danger (e.g., kissing). Changing policies and regulations (e.g., wearing masks, keeping distance, forming pods) influenced sexual and intimate possibilities in new and unanticipated ways (c.f., Fish et al. 2020). 4theRecord traced these possibilities in the lives of racialized and LGBTQ+ young women and non-binary youth. This presentation focuses specifically on queer and gender diverse youth and their experiences of sharing—and not sharing— their gender and sexual identities with their family, friends, communities and online during COVID…