Youth Network Project
Youth Network Project:
BUILDING CONNECTIONS FOR QTBIPOC STUDENTS
You’re invited to join our latest Intersectionality and Diversity initiative!
The Youth Network Project is a new initiative by the Intersectionality and Diversity program at the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD).The Youth Network Project focuses on supporting queer and trans students through activities such as outreach to and networking with gay-straight alliances (GSAs), educational workshops and queer and trans Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (QTBIPOC) specific resourcing. The Youth Network Project will assist in building connections that will mitigate feelings of loneliness and isolation brought on by the pandemic.
Built for QTBIPOC students in Ontario, this free online program is a chance for students and educators to learn more about how our unique identities impact our lives and the world around us through educational workshops teaching students peer-to-peer support strategies, critical thinking, and empowerment.
Facilitators will provide a dynamic, interactive space for youth to gain deeper empathy and compassion for their peers, community members, through engaging activities such as art, poetry, writing, and other mediums.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
The continued pandemic has created a new set of challenges for students. As they participate in online learning, deal with mental health challenges, and navigate the potential of caregivers becoming ill, students are under more stress now than the year prior.
We’ve adapted to this reality by tailoring our programming to suit an online environment and remote delivery.
We can see the Youth Network Project manifest itself in different ways. Here are some of them:
- To allow students to feel comfortable and safe in spaces that support them, such as gay-straight alliances (GSAs)
- A way for queer youth to connect with queer elders in an educational capacity through the Youth Network Summit
- To learn empathy and compassion for folks in the 2SLGBTQ+ community who might be different than you
- To give youth the resources to learn and engage in social issues that impact queer youth or their friends
- An opportunity to provide resources and guides to queer youth
HOW WILL THE PROJECT OPERATE?
This project is completely online and free for students and educators across Ontario.
The Youth Network Project has many different facets such as:
- 60-min workshops within elementary and secondary school classrooms across Ontario
- Specific programming for established GSA (Gay-Straight Alliances) groups within schools
- Keeping Each Other Safe: Discussions on Community Wellness (May 2023): This youth event will feature QTBIPOC facilitators and mental health care experts that centre conversations around community healing and building peer-to-peer support. Registration opens Spring 2023
- Resource guide for QTBIPOC youth and students, providing culturally-affirming supports available locally, provincially, and federally.
Pick one of our workshops that focus on community building, youth leadership development, and capacity building that your students are interested in through our booking sheet.
WHO IS THE YOUTH NETWORK PROJECT?
Youth Network Project Coordinator
Summeiya Khamissa (they/them) is a queer and gender-fluid community organizer, writer, educator, and founder of @queermuslimnetwork! They are currently completing their BA in Children, Childhood, and Youth Studies at York University and are passionate about making the education system a more equitable place for QTBIPOC youth. On their days off, you can typically find Summeiya baking, reading, and spending time in nature
Youth Network Project Coordinator
Namitha Rathinappillai (she/they) is a queer, disabled, Tamil-Canadian, organizer, academic, and artist. They are currently a Masters candidate in Sociology at York University researching the “Karen” archetype. Beyond their academic work, Namitha is an award-winning spoken word poet, performing locally and internationally. She enjoys crafting, writing letters to friends, and looking at the moon.