I want... in my neighbourhood.

I want… in my neighbourhood.

Have you ever looked around your community and thought to yourself, “I wish we had a _____”?  Have you ever thought to yourself that if only your community had a ____, it would be so much better? Did you ever wonder what life would be like if your community had a _____? How much would change? What would be different? Continue reading

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Part 3: Language

Blog 3Language is an important part of our society. Throughout this blog series on newcomer youth, we have discussed the relationship between language and the settlement experience. In this blog, I will talk about the ways in which language affects newcomers in Canada, exploring life inside the classroom and at home. Continue reading

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A Beautiful NOISE

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A Place for All: Living, Learning, Building Community

Not so long ago, the NOISE project was a hope, an idea with no people.  No people = no NOISE.  Over the last nine months, students from Emery Collegiate and York University have worked together with Social Work Faculty members and alumni to bring NOISE to life!

In small groups, what we call “pods”, NOISE fellows have developed new relationships – supporting and learning from each other, and collaboratively researching, developing, designing and implementing social action projects that address issues that matter to them.

On April 29, we celebrate NOISE and the people who have breathed life into an idea. Continue reading

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Drawing Social Action: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Talishascan2 012On Monday February 11th NOISE held its first dialogue session of 2013. We invited all the youth fellows and their pods to an interactive dinner and meeting to discuss how their action projects were coming along. Continue reading

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The Path to Jane & Finch On-Stage


For the past six months, I have had the privilege of working with an incredible group of high school students and social work undergraduates in the Jane & Finch community. We started our work by extensively researching Continue reading

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Doing Things I Never Thought Possible

Fall is quickly upon us and the NOISE project is moving into full swing. The pods composed of Emery Collegiate students and York students have begun their group meetings. There is something about having the youth from Emery present that breathes new energy into the project. Continue reading

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Words Speak Louder Than Actions

“Words inspire action.” So explains Jeff Perera (@jeffperera), a social work student at  Ryerson University and a workshop facilitator for the White Ribbon Campaign, the world’s largest effort to engage men in ending violence against women. Continue reading

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In My Own Eyes – Aboriginal Youth Storytelling

Check out the In My Own Eyes project, a “partnership between the Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Harbourfront Centre. This project gives Aboriginal youth a chance to share their stories with people across the province. They also learn the role photography can play in storytelling and social change.” Visit the In My Own Eyes website, and read below for more information.

From “Aboriginal youth, both on-reserve and urban, are mentored in their communities by an Aboriginal photographer. Over the course of three days, the mentors teach youth basic photographic history, theory, techniques, and equipment. The participants learn that photography can be a new and slower way of seeing. They also learn how to use the mediums of colour, shape, pattern and texture to create a narrative. The youth use digital cameras in the local environment to try this new way of seeing and to tell their stories.

“Mentors are assisted on-reserve by a member of the Ontario First Nations Young Peoples Council (Chiefs of Ontario), and in urban settings by a member of the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres’ Youth Council.

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Part 2: Inclusively Socially Excluded

Social inclusion can be described as a part of the societal safety net that is essential to the functioning and well-being of all members of a society. An inclusive society is one in which its members are recognized and equally valued, despite the cultural and structural challenges that at times prohibit the full participation of some. Continue reading

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Part 1: Newcomer Youth & The Cultural Transition

North American countries that have been built on immigration, such as Canada, have managed to remain havens for newcomers despite recent economic troubles. Research published by Statistics Canada revealed that a total of 248,748 people immigrated to Canada in 2011. Canada has managed to weather the recent financial crisis slightly better than our American counterparts, but economic immigration has accounted for over 50% of the immigrant population for the last decade. Whether newcomers immigrate as economic immigrants, family class immigrants, refugees or undisclosed immigrants, the challenges that result can range from financial hardships to separation anxiety. Regardless of the source, a majority of newcomers will face at least one challenge during their transition. Continue reading

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