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Showing posts from March, 2018

Catch da Flava - Concussions

For our March 29th episode of Health Talks Radio, we talked about the movie "Concussion".

Will Smith stars in Concussion, a dramatic thriller based on the incredible true David vs. Goliath story of American immigrant Dr. Bennet Omalu, the brilliant forensic neuropathologist who discovered CTE, a football-related brain trauma, in a pro player and fought for the truth to be known. Omalu's emotional quest puts him at dangerous odds with one of the most powerful institutions in the world. He is pushed to the fullest as he becomes a neuropathologist defending himself in court. A jack of all trades you could say, as he falls for his roommate who later on in the movie becomes his wife. In discussing youth health and how it ties into the movie, it is about football and the human brain. It is not hard to see why it important to make sure your body is safe before getting ready to go on the field and take on a tremendous amount of physical contact. We had a panel discuss…

Catch da Flava Radio - Peer Support

For this episode of Health Talks Radio with host Diamond, we talk about peer support and why it is important and effective for youth to engage in peer support when it comes to mental health. We asked our ​youth panel why it is important to have peer support as opposed to clinical and professional support, the advantages in having someone an equal listening as opposed to someone of authority over youth. Sometimes, given the context of the situation, we are inclined to have peer talks because we want to be able to be listened and heard, we don’t necessarily want or need a solution, which is often the role of a clinical professional. Having a peer to support us when it comes to mental health helps us to just feel normal, that we can talk to someone just like us and be accepted as we are.

We don’t condone peer support as the only method of youth that are facing mental health issues to turn to, but only exploring the topic because it helps us understand that there are multiple ways…

Catch da Flava - Children's Mental Health Ontario and the Centre of Excellence

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In 2007 Children’s Mental Health Ontario and the Centre of Excellence partnered together because there was a need for youth voice in the mental health system. Through The New Mentality’s 10 years of existence, it has effectively grown from a small pilot project to an established thought leader practicing in youth engagement in mental health that has had a province-wide impact. Since the beginning, The New Mentality has aimed to give opportunities to youth to make a difference in ways that were meaningful to them. In order to keep youth mental health on the political agenda and to decrease public stigma, youth need to speak publicly about the issues they are facing. Youth also need to have input on how to make counseling and other mental health treatments more accessible, youth-friendly and, ultimately, more effective.

For the March 27th episode of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, host Travis had the pleasure of speaking to Program Manager Caralyn Quan and Network Coordinator Mary…

Divas Girls Group - Spoken Word Practice

The Diva Girls Group

March 23, 2018

A sweet break from Button Poetry’s routine Friday afterschool workshop brought out the stage, the mic and strong Diva voice.

Facilitator in training OMO led the afternoon with a small activity; the girls collectively created their own 'check-in' using reusable speech bubbles and shared with the group their ideal sweet treat choices. Our Divas got specific, naming summer hits like strawberry ice-cream, melon popsicles and caramel popcorn as some of their favorites. After sharing their favorite treats, the Divas were challenged to purchase their favorite choice with a budget of $20, in the real world...The catch? Not everyone received $20; with that in mind, the Divas were then asked to think about solutions to the income disparity between them; suggested actions of approach included, sharing the $100 budget, cancelling out acquired resource if they shared the same identity, asking parents to become independent funders and, as expect…

3D Modeling - Organic Modeling

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1. Setting Project folder on the desktop and MAYA (3d software) and how to be organized when working on a project.

2, Then,the class learnt how to clean up images in Photoshop(Organic Modelling) and the eventual importation into Maya to start modelling.

The Students were beaming with interest,enjoyed the class as its a new area though tasking.
Next week we hope to put some finishing touches into these by revising this topic.

- Jude

Catch da Flava - Space Jam and Youth Health

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Does anybody remember the movie Space Jam? It’s about the Looney Tunes needing the help from the greatest basketball player alive, Michael Jordan. Bugs Bunny and the gang were visited by a group of little aliens who told them that they were sent from Moron Mountain to take them back to be the main attraction for their theme park. I think this movie created an interesting outlook on youth health. For example the scene where Michael stretches his hand all the way from half court to score the winning shot. Imagine the things going through a youth’s mind, wondering what it would be like if they could actually do that in a game. It can work out positively as well as negatively. But to keep on the positive side, seeing the best basketball player in the world achieve something like that says to our youth that they can do anything they put their mind to. Here’s a basic sum up of the questions asked:


1) The movie starts out with Michael Jordan as a kid practicing, and his dad giving …

Catch da Flava Radio - Panel Discussion About Mental Health

For the second half of the panel, host Erika walked us through a discussion of how mental health is addressed in the education system, and how we can go about making things better. Some of the questions include why we think there is stigma around mental health, how we can go about making things better in the education system and even at home, and how the education system can change to make mental health something positive. Erika shared that she dislikes how we use the term “crazy” when we talk about people suffering from mental health issues because she feels it’s dehumanizing and dismissive of what the person is going through. Other panelists chimed in to share about their own understanding of mental health.

Iman talked about mental health and mentions that when it comes to mental illnesses, there are such a diverse number of illnesses and even so, each illness will manifest in different ways per person so inevitably the way any one of us defines mental illness will be differ…

Catch da Flava Radio - Nigel Bariffe, President of Urban Alliance on Race Relations

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For this March 20th edition of Catch da Flava Youth Radio, host Travis sat down with Nigel Bariffe who is a school teacher with the Toronto District School Board and the President of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. He is also a community organizer in Rexdale, Board member of the Rexdale Community Legal Clinic, and a member of the Good Jobs For All Coalition. He was the interim-treasurer of the Ontario Alliance of Black School Education (ONABSE) and a former Co-Chair of the African Heritage Educator’s Network (AHEN). Nigel does a lot of work on promoting quality in public education and a just society inside and outside the classroom. He is a well-known member of the community when it comes to his activism work, and he has received many awards because of it including the 2011 Urban Heroes Award, the 2012 JS Woodsworth Award and the 2014 Jack White Service Award from the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. So it was with great pride and warmth we welcomed him in studio to ta…

Music Production - February in Review

Hi everyone! In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new music specialist at Regent Park
Focus, it’s me - Will Hunter!

I have a long history in working in music as an educator, composer, performer and
recording artist on guitar and keys. I have two degrees - one in classical guitar performance
(York University) and another in education (OISE). I am excited to share and learn in a new
community!

So far, students have come from across Toronto - some have had a very general interest
in learning about music, while others have had very specific questions, one student asked in
depth about recording vocals, and one student asked me to help him learn more about the
Cuban guitar instrument - the tres!

It’s always exciting being asked questions that I don’t know the answer - sometimes the
most difficult part about learning something new is knowing what aspects to hone in on, which is
where I’m always happy to help my students.

A lot of students are working on creating songs on Logic Pro and a lot…

Catch da Flava Radio - Parkour

For our Thursday, March 15th show of Health Talks Radio, we talked about the death defying sport known as Parkour. Parkour is a training discipline using movement developed from military obstacle course training. It’s the idea that the person wants to get from one point to another in a complex environment without assisting equipment, so they just use their bodies in the fastest and most efficient way possible. It includes running, climbing, swinging, vaulting, jumping, rolling and such- so movements that involve using your arms and legs all at once.

It was developed from the military and gives it some aspects of a non-combative martial art. It can be practiced alone or with others and usually in urban spaces. What’s great about it is that it involves seeing the environment in a new way, imagining the potential for movement around the space. It was developed in France mostly by Raymond Belle and then his son and their group of friends during the 80's. It has since been …

Catch da flava - Team Sports

For this edition of Health Talks Radio, Diamond led the panel discussion in the topic of recreational therapy, which is utilizing physical activity to heal holistically. We talked about the fun ways we used physical activity in therapeutic ways, the different sports and actions we engaged in. Diamond shared that she often drew pictures and did colouring especially after the passing of a friend. Another participant mentioned how interesting it is that we as individuals are drawn to certain activities more than others and wonder what it is that makes us gravitate to one activity more than another. Judy talked about how cycling has been very therapeutic for her, because of the feeling of wind blowing by.

When discussing the significance of team sports, we assessed that it is probably helpful because it forces people to work together, so has an element of social development. Travis mentioned that he has tried all types of sports including football and soccer, whatever he c…

Catch da Flava Radio - Collective Future

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For our March 13th show of Catch da Flava Radio, our host Diamond talked to Kevin McGregor who is a partner at Collective Future which is an organization that looks to create programming for organizations that empower youth. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience with traveling and helping kids in different ways, teaching them to heal through play and build resilience. Diamond asked him a few interesting questions about his work and what he does, how he helps kids around the world facing different life circumstances and how to build resilience as kids. He’s been to places like Burkina Faso, Bolivia, Ethiopia, and Uganda. He’s helped kids in organizations like Right to Play, and trained as a safe TALK facilitator to help people facing thoughts and issues of suicide.


In discussing his experience working with children, Kevin mentions the reason why “play” has been effective in helping children going through extreme life circumstances is because “kids just want to have fun”, recall…

Catch da Flava Radio - Gridiron Movie Review

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I’m sure we all love talking about movies that inspire us to do better and be better. For our March 8th show, me and other youth members from Radio Regent took part in a panel discussion about a movie called Gridiron. Gridiron is about a counselor (The Rock) at a juvenile detention facility who decides to turn the young inmates in his charge into a football team to give them a sense of self-respect and social responsibility, but he faces opposition from high-school coaches who do not want their players facing criminals on the field. The outcome was pretty hilarious as well as interesting because we had more females than males on the panel. One of the questions asked was if you had a child that was in & out of jail or just giving trouble at home and was enrolled in the Gridiron challenge without say, how would you feel? One of the ladies said that they would question their parenting skills or themselves because as much as he gives trouble, would they really want to risk h…

Catch da Flava - Sex Ed In Schools

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For this edition of Health Talks Radio, host Diamond talks to us about sexual health and what we learned through school and institutions. When asking about our earliest experience learning about sex, each panelist talked about their diverse and oftentimes hilariously confusing experiences. Erika talked about how her parents lied about how she was mailed to them in a box, and Divine talked about his understanding of it through the stork and then learning the truth through ruthless classmates. The panel talked more about their earliest memories learning about sexual health in school, and how early it started. When discussing their first lessons on their menstrual cycle, Erika took it up another level sharing a news article on a young girl who used a tampon for nine whole days without removing it from her body, causing toxic shock syndrome and the tampon being “disintegrated.”​



Talking about other issues in the body, the panel talked about the effective and ineffective things they…

Catch da Flava - Casey House - HIV/AIDS Hospital

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For this episode of Catch da Flava Youth Radio on Radio Regent, we had host Diamond talk to CEO of Casey House, Joanne Simons. Casey House is the only HIV/AIDS hospital in Toronto and specializes in helping those in the more severe levels of HIV/AIDS. Named after Canadian journalist, author and activist June Callwood’s son Casey, the hospital has been in Toronto since 1988- almost thirty years! Diamond asked a lot of questions about what Casey House does to help those living with HIV/AIDS and what we should know about HIV/AIDS in general to broaden our understanding and compassion toward those living with HIV/AIDS.


When asking about HIV/AIDS, Joanne shared with us that is predominantly transmitted through sexual activity and substance abuse such as the use of shared needles. HIV/AIDS stands for Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. With no known cure for the condition, those who are diagnosed with it can take measures to take care of t…

Session 21: Polishing up: FINAL WORK PERIOD!

The Diva Girls Group

Session 21: Polishing up: FINAL WORK PERIOD!

March 2nd, 2018


Today was another fun day with the Divas. The Divas got warmed up with another game of charades. This time it was a bit different. The Divas had 30 seconds to act out an action and whoever got the answer correctly got a point. The person with the most points by the end of the game wins.

The Divas had their last chance to work on their poems and discuss what is going to be happening for the next couple of weeks before the showcase. The Divas were encouraged to have their poems memorized for next week’s session because they will practice them along with dress rehearsal.

For the remainder of the session the Divas had a snack break along with the continuance of writing their solo and team pieces for the showcase on March 23rd.

By: Jade Mkhonza