Introducing our 2016 Youth-led Community Change grantees

Posted: June 20th, 2016 at 03:06pm

We are excited to introduce our 2016 Youth-led Community Change grantees. Read below to learn more about the inspiring work young people are doing across the province.

AM Collective/Where are you from Collective

The Where Are You from Collective (WAYF Collective) is an art-based activism program for Asian-identified youth. The WAYF Collective works from an intersectional, anti-oppression framework to empower Asian youth to develop critical art practices and build activist spaces that challenge dominant culture after decades of collective silence. This project supports the development of workshops, a zine fair, and an online platform.

Baby Steps Parenting/Turn The Page

Turn the page is a youth-led program for incarcerated parents, serving short sentences, who are currently on parole, to provide them with an opportunity to write and publish their first creative children story from their inner child through a therapeutic literacy art-based parenting program. Key activities include running a focus group to further understand the challenges incarcerated parents face and conducting workshops on child development, positive parenting, and self-care.

Be A Spot of Ground

Inspired by the victory gardens of WWI and WWII, Be A Spot of Ground transforms unused land on faith-based properties into productive gardens to create community teaching gardens. This project supports the development of community garden spaces as well as educational opportunities on church, mosque and faith-based properties, promoting inter-faith collaboration on environmental health.

Black Women in Motion/For Youth Initiative

Black Women in Motion (BWIM) is a youth-led group that provides mentorship, programming and support to young women aged 15-29 from the African-Caribbean diaspora, who live in marginalized neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto. The Peer Consent Committee project will focus on skill building opportunities for youth in the Weston-Pellam Park community of Toronto. The project includes the training and development of the Peer Consent Committee and hosting the annual This Means WAAR (Weekend of Action Against Rape Culture) conference that will focus on bringing men and women together as allies in shifting conversations about sexual violence from rape culture to consent culture.

 Cipher/ ACCESS Charity Project

Project Cipher in Peel Region is increasing computer programming literacy opportunities for young people who are underserved through peer-to-peer learning opportunities. This project includes weekly meet-ups and monthly workshops to support increased computer literacy and exposure to tech-related learning opportunities.

Connections/ RNJ Youth Services

Connections was created to work with students who are showing evidence of disengaging from the school system as seen through suspensions, progression towards suspensions or difficulty participating in school programming and with at-risk youth who have had or are moving towards contact with the criminal justice system. As part of a community response to these youth, Connections provides intensive, personalized academic, social and life skill development opportunities to build positive experiences. To foster continuing success, the primary focus is on re-integrating the youth into an engaged community network.

Dare to Dream/ Level. Changing Lives Through Law

Level works to increase access to justice for marginalized populations worldwide through education and mentorship. Dare to Dream engages Canada’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth through hands-on justice education workshops and mentorship activities. It connects Aboriginal young people with role models and mentors as well as opportunities to learn about the justice system through fun experiential learning experiences like criminal mock trials and sentencing circles. The program also incorporates inspirational speakers and field trips to local universities, courthouses, and law firms or businesses to expose students to the diverse range of opportunities and careers available to them.

DreBu/ The Toronto Youth Peer Support-Himalayan Network

DreBu The Toronto Youth Peer Support-Himalayan Network $25 000 2016/043 The Toronto Youth Peer Support (TYPS)- Himalayan Network project is building a sustainable youth-led and youth-focused peer-support network for vulnerable youth of Himalayan heritage. It focusses on creating information resources and discussion focused social media sites, an annual TYPS networking conference and a user interfaced website for direct access to receiving or providing peer support.

For Youth By Youth/ Sexual Assault Centre London

For Youth By Youth is an opportunity for youth in London and Middlesex County to engage in conversations about sexual violence. Over the course of a 2-day conference, youth will come together to discuss healthy relationships, consent, violence, gender stereotypes and other topics using fun and engaging public education workshops and activities. This project creates a platform for young people in the community to talk about how youth are affected by sexual violence.

Girls Can Too/Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Girls Can Too is a youth-led group based in Caledon, that aims to empower female youth and reduce the underrepresentation of women in skilled trades and the environmental sector. Working on the revitalization of the Bolton Camp with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, GCT participants work on projects that contain construction and ecology aspects that enable them to gain hands-on skills, learn about the natural environment and sustainability.

Life Change Adventures

Project Breakthroughs focuses on supporting young people as they transition from high school into whatever comes next. It connects young people in the Sunnydale community of Waterloo, with a safe space to dream, tangible learning experiences, mentors to guide them, and opportunities to give back to their community, in order to dream up, plan and actually walk into brighter future. Activities include bringing in members from the greater community to talk about finances and budgeting, how to write a resume, healthy adult relationships and how to identify abuse, how to move out successfully, and how to manage stress and mental health.

London Youth Advisory Council

The London Youth Advisory Council is bringing four youth-led organizations together to research and document the challenges that multiple generations of newcomer/immigrant youth face while in London high schools. By training young people as researchers, the purpose of this project is to empower young people to conduct the research necessary to begin to educate teachers, administrators, and school boards about the systemic barriers that racialized youth face in London’s school system.

Pieces to Pathways/ Breakaway Addiction Services 

Pieces to Pathways (P2P) is a peer-led initiative that aims to create Canada’s first substance use support program for LGBTTQQ2SIA Toronto youth aged 16-29 years. P2P seeks to address the lack of current programming to meet the needs of racialized LGBTTQQ2SIA youth. This project focuses on opening the “QT Walk-In” for racialized queer and trans youth. The QT Walk-In will provide participants access to walk-in one on one counselling, a space to build community with peers and an opportunity to learn about substance use coping strategies.

Project Toosoo

Project Toosoo is a high impact skills development program that works with twelve Somali youth between the ages of 18-25 over the course of twelve months, once a month, four hours per session. It will use a unique, youth-led media and leadership model to empower Somali youth to use their voice, document their experiences, and begin to take more active leadership roles both on behalf of and in their communities.

Reclaim Honour/Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and

Reclaim Honour engages young people in London in participatory action research and digital story telling. The Luminance project uses photo-voice as a strategy for newcomer Syrian youth (ages 12 to 18) to examine and express their experiences of integration in London/Canada. Photo-voice creates an opportunity for newcomer Syrian youth both to reflect upon and express their identities, dreams, hopes, strengths, values, successes and challenges.

Team Student Voice/Lambton Kent District School Board

Team Student Voice is working with the Lambton Kent District School Board to support young people in transforming secondary schools and to realize their ideal educational experience. 13 high schools will participate in an appreciative inquiry summit that will allow them to envision their ideal school, understand the barriers in achieving this vision and determining strategies that would be successful in overcoming these barriers. Throughout the school year, school-based teams will be supported to implement change projects at their respective schools

Toronto Youth Food Policy Council/The Stop Community Food Centre

The Toronto Youth Food Policy Council (TYFPC) works to ensure that youth voices are heard in municipal food policy development. This project engages youth in 5 community events across Toronto aimed at mobilizing youth and providing them with the tools to advocate for a more socially just and sustainable food system, focusing on policy change at the municipal level. TYFPC events are an opportunity for youth to learn about food issues, network and collaborate to increase collective impact. Youth will develop the skills and tools necessary to engage with City of Toronto staff and elected representatives on food policy.

Wasauksing Youth Regalia Group

The Wasauksing Youth Regalia Group engages Wasauksing First Nation youth in a series of workshops that foster a strong sense of community identity, pride and confidence in themselves as Anishinaabe people. This project creates opportunities for participants to design and sew their own powwow regalia and participate in workshops that includes teachings from elders, singing on the powwow drum, and presentations on mental health and health promotion.

Young Diplomats Ethiopian Youth Development Group/ Teret Teret: Storytelling to Bridge our Intergenerational Gap

Young Diplomats Ethiopian Youth Development Group is a youth-led organization that unites and empowers Ethiopian-Canadian youth living in Toronto. Teret Teret is a project to help bridge the gap between youth and their parents through storytelling workshops that allow youth and parents to find their voice and by hosting storytelling events that will give both youth and parents a public forum where their voices will be heard by the broader community.

Y+ Contemporary

Y+ contemporary is a community arts hub in Scarborough that provides an inclusive space for young people of all backgrounds to develop, produce, engage and experiment through programming that includes art exhibitions, performances, group critiques, skill-building workshops and youth residencies. The project aims to initiate a cultural shift within the Scarborough community through providing a platform for young, diverse voices to be seen and heard.



< Back to All the News