Divas Girls Group - "This is Me"

Divas Group

October 6th 2017

Starting off for the month of October the Divas shared their “This Is Me” poems that they wrote the previous week. Many of the poems were inspiring and the girls spoke highly of themselves. The Canvas ladies, Londzo and Maymuna had an activity prepared that involved digging skin deep. The Divas were required to analyze their meaning of beautiful then study a few pictures of racial stereotypes and moved forward in having a discussion on the impact of these negative stereotypes. They even shared their own experience of being stereotyped. After a 15-minute break the Divas regrouped and watched a video about colorism then were to reflect on how they felt about the video. A lot of the girls had great insight on how they felt about the video. Lastly, the Divas wrapped up the rest of the evening with writing in their journals. Next week, there will be a lot more exciting activities for the Diva girls.

By: Alexis Augustine

Catch da Flava - Mental Health Awareness Week

For our Catch da Flava Youth Radio show on October 2nd, 2017 we centred the show on mental health concerns as it is mental health awareness week. We started the conversation with covering the recent news on 17-year-old teenager Noah Irvine and his quest to bring more awareness and resources to mental health concerns to the Canadian government. Noah was only five years old when his mother passed away from suicide. Then three years ago when Noah was fifteen, his father passed away from a drug overdose. Noah believes it could have been prevented if the government had provided more resources for mental health.

He started off writing to every member of Parliament, then later was able to meet with the Federal Minister of Health, and just recently had a scheduled meeting with the Prime Minister, scheduled for Wednesday morning. Sharing this story, we also provided some audio clips of the story being covered by local media outlets to highlight how much public attention young Noah i…

Catch da Flava - Racism in the Education System

For our September 26th show, Catch da Flava explored the topic of racism in the education system, and how coming back to school affects students. For our first half, our co-host Diamond led the discussion on racism in school. She brought up a recent event in Toronto hosted by Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate, which invited 30 Youth from across Ontario who witnessed or experienced racism, and how they participated in an engagement session. The event was held in order to bring a spotlight to the everyday struggles that students face, and to give legitimacy to the experiences that they youth face. Ontario’s Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau was present to give remarks before the start of the event, as well as the Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism. With the introduction of this topic, Diamond and another co-host, Tyger, discussed their personal experience in dealing with racism. Diamond discussed her general experiences as a young Black girl in the schoo…

Divas Girls Group - Canvas workshops

Divas Group

September 29th 2017

Last Week was a very great week for the diva girls because they started their spoken word with Canvas. The girls started off with an icebreaker and decorated their notebooks. The girls then took part in the circle rock, where they told the group a few things about themselves. The Canvas ladies Londzo and Maymuna went over the program overview and came up with some “safe space” rules with the girls about what is expected when coming to the program. After a 15-minute break the Divas re- grouped to listen to Maymuna perform one of her spoken word pieces that she wrote. The girls were very moved by her poetry and after asking many questions and sharing their opinion on the poem they were able to create their own poems. The diva girls are excited for this week because they will be sharing their poems with everyone!

Divas Girls Group - Jessie's Centre

Divas Media Group – Friday Sept 22, 2017

Today at Regent Park Focus, Sherry Rutter and guest speaker visited the Divas. Sherry is a youth leadership program leader at Jessie’s, which is the June Callwood Centre for young women. Guest speaker, a young mother shared her story with the Divas about what it is like to be a young mother and the challenges that mothers face. She also explained how Jessie’s helped her with her pregnancy, they even helped her get her high school credits and after she had the baby they provided her with supplies and daycare.

After the girls heard about the story they had many questions that they were able to ask. The guest speaker answered all their questions and Sherry spoke a little bit more about what is offered at Jessie’s.

The girls had a 15-minute break where they had refreshments and were able to chat. After the break the girls participated in a creative activity where they had to use words that described them to create an image. As a group they ca…

Regent Park Focus Summer Program - Its a Wrap!

This week (Aug 21- 25) for the Regent Park Focus Summer Program, participants wrapped up video editing for the Neighbourhood Kickstart Summer Camp program and held a screening of the videos on Wednesday, August 23rd. Youth participants were also there to film for the screening and get feedback from the summer camp.

A few participants focused on preparing a segment on Student Life and Mental Health for Catch Da Flavour Youth Radio. For the first half of the segment, students had prepared a pre-recorded interview with registered psychologist and media personality Doctor Oren Amitay, to comment on the current climate of mental health among the student body. For their second half, they discussed their personal experiences in school and how it has affected their mental health.

A few other participants worked on developing their games, such as a Tic-Tac-Toe platform, a Pokemon-style game located in the neighbourhood of Regent Park, and a mental-health themed game. They have been diligen…

Summer Program - Aug 14-19th

This week (Aug 14-19th) Youth participants finished up their rough edits for the ten part video series in partnership with The Neighbourhood Group Kickstart Program. Participants collaborated to create uniformity in the videos by creating the same background images, credits reel and font type, to build communication skills and teamwork abilities. The rough draft of their videos were completed by the end of this week.

Some participants also participated in the youth radio program Catch Da Flava. This week they focused on the issues of affordable housing, looking at local speakers on the topic and current events on affordable housing in Toronto. They had guest A.J. Withers come to studio to talk about the topic and their book on the topic. For the second segment, they had a panel discussion on affordable housing.

A handful of participants also continued development in gaming, learning how to work with various different gaming programs and software. Some finished up video ed…