Announcing our 2017 Youth-led Community Change Grantees!

Posted: June 29th, 2017 at 03:06pm

We are thrilled to announce our 2017 Youth-led Community Change Grantees! This year we welcome a diverse and compelling cohort of groups focussing on issues such as the promotion of reconciliation, food sovereignty, and carding to name a few! Read below to learn more about their incredible work across the province!


Project Name: Beausoleil First Nation Youth Engagement Strategy
Location: Christian Island Reserve
Amount: $25 000

Project Description: The Beausoleil First Nation Youth Council will raise awareness of Truth and Reconciliation and collect recommendations of what reconciliation means to local youth by hosting a series of forums. By engaging in these forums the group aims to develop relationships with indigenous youth on and off the reserve and contribute to positive action.


Project Name: Freedom School
Location: Toronto
Amount: $25 000

Project Description: Freedom School is a youth-led arts-based education and leadership program designed and implemented by Black youth for children (4-10) based in three wards in Toronto (Eglinton-Lawrence, York University Heights, and Crescent Town). Freedom School is developing best practices for teaching and engaging Black students including the development of Black-affirmative educational materials. Using a peer-mentorship model, Freedom School aims to address the root causes of high TDSB suspension and drop-out rates for Black youth by offering an alternative educational space through summer programming and conducting a community-informed needs assessment regarding educational attainment for Black youth and children.


Project Name: Naadmaagit Ki-Ningo Gikinonwin (Draft)
Location: Toronto
Amount: $21 000

Project Description: Ningo Gikinonwin proposes to work with urban Indigenous youth and community members by exploring culturally based ways to reconnect with the land in the city over the next four seasons. Participants will work with Indigenous elders, teachers, and knowledge keepers to explore the past, current, and potential future Indigenous relationships with the land for both themselves and their nations.


Project Name: Voices of Learning Disabilities Association of York Region Project
Location: York Region
Amount: $20 000

Project Description: The Voices of LDAYR is a youth-led team made up of youth diagnosed with either learning disabilities and/or ADHD living in York Region. The project has three goals: growing the Voices of LDAYR Team, making presentations to decision makers annually and carrying out public outreach activities. Project activities will involve designing promotional materials; developing content for the LDAYR agency newsletter on topics such as special education funding, mental health awareness as it relates to LDs, benefits of informing children of their diagnosis, learning preferences, self-advocacy strategies, etc. and recruiting more members to the group.


Project Name: LegalSwipe Workshops Connect
Location: Greater Toronto Area
Amount: $25 000

Project Description: Legalswipe is developing and delivering legal education workshops for racialized youth in Toronto. Facilitated by young lawyers, these workshops include simulated police interactions, critical analysis of police practices and police-community relations, and understanding basic legal concepts to equip young people of colour, primarily young black men with education on their legal rights.




Project Name: Intercepting the Pipeline to Prison: Black & Indigenous Youth, Mental Health, and Community
Location: Greater Toronto Area/Northern Ontario
Amount: $25 000 with conditions

Project Description: This documentary film project will increase awareness of experiences of Black and Indigenous youth with mental illness and mental health challenges, and their support caregivers inside and outside of institutions (hospitals, prison, education system, and shelters) in the GTA and on Garden River First Nation Reserve. Participants will identify challenges, barriers to accessing support, discuss family stigma, develop strategies for survival, identify systemic changes they would like to be made and what supports they need or would like to create. The project also includes six community gatherings, workshop, and skills-sharing sessions, where participants will have the opportunity to make connections with other youth and caregivers.


Project Name: Mno Wiisini Gitigaanan (draft)
Location: Midland
Amount: $25 000

Project Description: Mno Wiisini Gitigaanan is a 2-spirit, rural, Indigenous youth-led food sovereignty project centred on growing and sharing traditional plan foods and medicines in the community, in the spirit of honouring Dish with One Spoon Treaty responsibilities. This project will support the continued development of 2Spirit and Indigenous youth leadership opportunities in Simcoe County through land and culture-based learning in food and medicine growing. In addition to hands-on learning, the project will result in local research and documentation of treaties and current realities, regional native plants and invasive species culminating in educational materials focussed on treaty responsibilities and environmental stewardship.


Project Name: A Voice for Ontario’s Youth in Care
Location: Province-wide
Amount: $22 500

Project Description: Youth in Ontario have expressed a desire to see the establishment of a provincial youth in care network. These networks provide vital supports for young people in the child welfare system to close service gaps, support youth in transition out of care, and advocate for increased support and services. This Project involves research with youth in care across the province to identify the current gaps in the child welfare system and effectively build a case for a sustainable Ontario youth in care network.


Project Name: NGEN Youth Centre/Pass the Mic: Youth Strategy Formation & Action Project (draft)
Location: Hamilton
Amount: $25 000

Project Description: The City of Hamilton is in the process of launching its youth strategy and this project will ensure that young people’s needs will be reflected in strategies developed through an evidence-based approach. Building on their strong presence and leadership in Hamilton’s youth space, NGen will organize 2 youth-led community consultations inviting community members, with social service workers and policy makers to listen to the needs of youth in Hamilton and advocate for youth-centered policy recommendations.


Project Name: (Rootcare) 
Location: Toronto
Amount: $22 000

Project Description: Rootcare is a queer womxn of colour led project committed to care-based social and environmental justice work that centers bipoc – black & indigenous people and peoples of colour with activities such as community dinners, critical food education, a youth immersion program, and story-telling gatherings. As mostly settlers, we are committed to visioning how our work can support indigenous sovereignty work.


Project Name: Youth Odena Summer of Growth
Location: Sault Ste. Marie/Algoma Region
Amount: $23 000

Project Description: Youth Odena Summer of Growth (YOSOG) is hosting community events throughout the summer in Sault Ste. Marie as part of a strategic advocacy plan seeking to secure a dedicated space. These events include: developing artistic talent, leadership/confidence, professional skills, activist/advocacy skills, self-care/physical health routines, sexual health safety, reconciliatory practices, and newcomer youth safety/integration.


Project Name: Youth Sexual Health Action Group
Location: Kitchener/Waterloo
Amount: $5000

Project Description: The Youth Sexual Health Advisory Group (YSHAG) is a group of youth who strive to create safer spaces that foster an open dialogue about relationships and sexual health, in particular for LGBTQ youth in Waterloo Region. The YSHAG will be creating and revising resources and tools for teachers and service providers to more intentionally create safer spaces. In particular, they are seeking to help bridge a gap between the school board equity and inclusion policy and students’ experiences of inclusion, or lack thereof, in their education. The YSHAG will develop and facilitate trainings and a first-day-of-school package for teachers to assist them in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment.


Project Name: The Edgewalker Project: A Call to Action on Youth-led Reconciliation for the Ontario Philanthropic Sector
Location: Thunder Bay/Algoma Region
Amount: $25 000

Project Description: The Youth Social Infrastructure aims to support Ontario’s philanthropic community to implement reconciliation practices as committed to in the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions’ Call to Action. By leveraging the organization’s deep relationships in communities and drawing on their learnings from their work promoting reconciliation, this project will test and develop tools and processes to support reconciliation efforts by philanthropic organizations and share these learnings and models across the sector.




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