Our Youth Space is dedicated to the young people who need it. Operating out of this space, located at Westview C.S.S, we run various programs aimed at engaging youth. Each month we aim to go on a different trip. Those who participate in our homework club get first dibs on any events/trips that we go on.
We went to Skyzone; a place for youth to have fun playing dodge ball while jumping on a trampoline. A familiar trip for us but it is always refreshing to have a new group of youth each year! The obstacle course was a challenge but one of the best workouts for everyone who came.
You’ve seen the video now here is the report you’ve been waiting for. A closer look at what we’ve been up too this year and an opportunity for us to share some stories and profiles of the great people in our program.
This summer was amazing and we had a young person who is also a former participant put together this video. Did I mention it was her first time making a video? She is an amazing photographer and did a great job capturing our summer experience in a short video. Look out for our Summer Report coming to a website near you!
On Thursday July 19th, SBL’s Sam Tecle, had the chance to speak with Matt Galloway, host of CBC’s Metro Morning. He was invited to discuss Minister Michael Tibollo’s wearing of a bulletproof vest during a police ride-along in Jane and Finch. He brought up the bulletproof vest during question period which sparked a city-wide debate on racism and what we once called “priority” neighbourhoods. In addition to the interview, we wanted to interrogate what the wearing of a bulletproof vest in Jane and Finch means politically. In so many ways, the donning of the bullet proof vest and Minister Tibollo’s touting of that fact re-inscribes Jane and Finch as not only a no-go community, one in which the general public need avoid at all costs but it also continues to position Jane and Finch (and other similar communities) as those worthy of continued structured neglect and disinvestment. By structured neglect, we mean the cruel irony of the fact that in order for a community, an entire swath of people to be considered at-risk, marginalized or priority means that for generations they would had to have been structurally neglected and continually disinvested. There is no other glaring truth to this fact than the set of community housing by Firgrove that were deemed too far gone to even have been renewed or revitalized. In a city and province with dwindling social housing, that we are allowing the small number of housing we do have to decay to that degree is neglectful to say the least.
This year’s March Break Career Exploration Program focused on the increasingly technological nature of young people’s lives. More and more, growing up today means you are almost born with digital tech and grow up in a social media world. Hence, we wanted to focus on not only post-secondary trajectories, career exploration – as we do every year – but we also wanted to focus on young people, social media and digital technology. In doing that, we were able to really tap into the zeitgeist of the moment as it relates to young people who are, in so many ways, growing up in a whole new digitally interconnected world. The week focused on this new reality and made sure we instilled fun, education, technology and Hip Hop!
The Toronto Maple Leafs are celebrating 100 years and have invited youth from across the city to join them in this celebration. Thanks to Kids Up Front, an organization that is dedicated in getting kids in seats for any sporting game happening in the city, we had the pleasure of being invited. 15 of us listened in on some of the notable comments made about the 100 years; we ate a spectacular meal and of course got to watch a mid day game at the Air Canada Centre. We are excited to always partner with Kids Up Front and look forward to more opportunities for youth from our community of Toronto.
The time has come for great films, fun moments and of course a chance to rub shoulders with celebrities. In partnership with tiff we are always excited to expose our youth to a world of film each and every September. This opportunity has allowed for some young people to think about film in a different way. Meaning a way that feels more attainable rather than thinking of film as only blockbuster screenplays that make it to Cineplex. Film can be a chance to tell our stories and share it with the community or the world through festivals such as this one. Please check out the tiff website for a complete list and just know that we hope to have some young SBL people on that list soon!
Today was a day of remembrance, celebration, and self care. Westview and the larger community started the day in the cafeteria; explored different spaces in Westview for the afternoon and ended the day back to where we started with a tribute to those we have lost in this difficult year. During the break out sessions, we collaborated with Game Changers who are experts in facilitating conflict mediation sessions for youth. We wanted to build community health by focusing on every day issues and how it can be managed through positive conflict mediation techniques. The day was a success and it showed true community strength towards a common purpose.