Tokenism Project

Project Overview

Addressing Tokenism within Health and Human Services Organizations in New York State

Tokenism: What is it? How does it affect our workplace?

Feel like you were hired to “fit a quota”? Does your company provide clear and transparent position promotion processes for all employees?

We invite YOU to a scheduled focus group to gather data on how tokenism operates within and outside your organization, the effects of tokenism on your work, and your thoughts on what we can do to minimize tokenism at work.

In order to create space for sharing experiences without fear of losing potential future funding, we divided focus groups into those that give and receive funding and those that solely receive funding. Please choose the best focus group for you.

Focus groups will have up to 10 participants each, will last between 45-60 minutes and will be recorded and transcribed. All recordings will be destroyed at the conclusion of this project.

LGBTQ+ Health Initiative logo

Goal of Project: Gather information on developing technical assistance and capacity building to address tokenism.

We’re defining tokenism as “The practice of doing something (such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly.”

Thus far we have:

  • Conducted 4-part training on qualitative research methods
  • Reviewed focus group guide with study team
  • Received IRB approval
  • Advertised for focus groups

Principal Investigator: Brook A. Levandowski, PhD, MPA
The mission of the LGBTQ+ Health Initiative is to reduce disparities experienced by gender and sexually diverse populations by helping health and human services agencies that are a part of the NYS HHS LGBT Network more effectively reach and serve these groups. LGBTQ+ Health will share best-practice, evidence-based interventions designed to help Network agencies build trust with their clients so clients can gain the full benefit of health care resources available to them.