YOW Summer Training:
As part of the sector's commitment to continued professional development for youth workers, the provincial Youth Outreach Worker (YOW) program worked with the Transformative Community Education Network (TCEN) and Sankofa to customize the certificate program for the Toronto YOWs. Three of the 12 sessions were combined to form a Summer Program which is being offered to YOWs in May - July 2014. By the end of the program, over 50 youth workers will have participated in sessions focusing on Youth Work, Social Determinants of Health and Practical Skills in youth work. The sessions are grounded in an anti-oppression framework and focus on concepts such as location, currency, positive identity formation and the 40 assets.
Youth Workers Tool Kit
As a finale to the YOW summer training, a practical tool kit will be prepared for the YOWs. Based on their expertise, practical experiences in doing youth work in Toronto for several years (cumulatively, the YOWs have xxx years of experience of working with youth) – this manual will document their best examples of strategies and exercises which are effective in working with youth.
Community Linkages are Critical!
Individuals live in the context of communities, and community linkages are critical if work with any population is to be holistic and authentic.
With this in mind, community partners have been integrated into the Summer Program. In May, the York Youth Coalition (YYC) joined the sessions to share their recent milestone in advocating against Carding. Strategically linking with Lawyers for Human Rights and other key partners, the YYC was able to make systemic changes by significantly CHANGE the way in which carding is done in the City of Toronto.
In June, METRAC led youth workers through several critical exercises which made them examine their understanding of womanhood and manhood. The facilitators facilitated an exercise which looked at ownership of issues, how 'trans' issues are framed, and power dynamics, and ended with an engaging look at rape culture.
Following Toronto's hosting of world Pride in June, Black Cap and SOY will join the YOW sessions in July.
A Labour of Love - From Self-Hate to Self Love Initiative
Today, despite, or perhaps because of the facility of mass communication, several black archetypes exist – the thug, the gang-banger, aunt Jemima, Beyonce (over-bleached and over-sexualized), the absent fathers, baby-mothers, death by violence, mourning, helpless mothers, to name a few. Few if any of these archetypes are positive, and it is no wonder that in the Afrikan community, self-hate is alive and well. Afrikans are at the tipping point of a total identity crisis, and unless deliberate steps are taken to turn this around, our future looks bleak.
‘From Self Hate to Self Like and Self Love’ is an initiative which addresses several areas.
How we as Afrikans feel about ourselves
How we as Afrikans treat each other
How we allow others to treat us
Belittling beliefs and attitudes which we hold about ourselves
How we prepare those who come after us to be effective in a hostile world
Between March and December 2014, Sankofa will explore self-hate and self love in Afrikans, identify strategies for increasing self love, and develop and share materials and resources which can assist Afrikans move themselves and those about whom they care, from self hate to greater self love.