Youth leadership forum on diversity and inclusion

Experiences Canada’s Youth Leadership Forum on Diversity and Inclusion will be taking place from June 29 – July 6.

The event brings together 75 youth participants and youth leaders from across Canada to develop their knowledge and awareness for issues of diversity and inclusion and provide them with resources, skills, and experience to become stronger youth leaders when they return home to their communities.

“The program relies on the support and active involvement of other not-for-profit agencies operating within the GTA,”  says Deborah Morrison, president and CEO of Experiences Canada.  “Our program partners generously open their doors and share their expertise so that the youth in our program can see first hand how some of the challenges and barriers to inclusivity are being addressed and hopefully be inspired to volunteer for similar organizations in their own communities, or if they don’t yet exist—start one themselves.”

National Chief Perry Bellegarde will kick off the week with a special message about diversity, inclusion and Indigenous ways at the official opening at YMCA Cedar Glen at 13300 Concession 11 in Schomberg.

Youth participants will be handing out Canadian Flags, leading outdoor games and supervising a crafts table for visitors to Fort York on July 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 250 Fort York Blvd.

Youth participants will be learning about the root causes of poverty and food insecurity on July 4 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Daily Bread Food Bank (191 New Toronto St. in Etobicoke) and will be lending a hand by sorting non-perishable food donations and fresh produce that will be distributed to Daily Bread member agencies across the city.

“It’s great to see youth taking initiative to volunteer and showing a desire to learn how they can support their communities. The Experiences Canada’s Youth Leadership Forum is a valuable opportunity for them to see how they can have a positive impact in the lives of others by giving their time, getting informed and advocating for change,” said Neil Hetherington, CEO of Daily Bread Food Bank.

Throughout the week the youth will be working with artist educators from Young People’s Theatre to create their own set of performances and activities to share what they have learned with younger children.  The day campers at YMCA Cedar Glen will be their first audience at the Youth Forum Finale on July 5.

“Young People’s Theatre (YPT) is thrilled to be collaborating with Experiences Canada on the creation of the Youth Forum Finale. At YPT we use theatre and arts education to strive for a positive and lasting impact on the emotional, social and intellectual development of young people – giving them the chance to grow into the unique and wonderful people they were born to be, said Aimee Bouchard, Community Programs Manager, YPT.  “We are excited to be partnering with Experiences Canada to inspire the youth in their program to become leaders for change in their own communities, and facilitate a “youth-teaching-youth” learning opportunity for the many participants involved.”

Experiences Canada is widely recognized as Canada’s leading service provider for youth travel opportunities and exchanges. Launched in 1936 and previously known as SEVEC, Experiences Canada provides experiential learning opportunities for an estimated 4500 young Canadians annually.  The Youth Leadership Forums provide immersive opportunities for youth between the ages of 14-18 to explore contemporary challenges and opportunities facing Canadafor their generation.  The program is generously supported by The RBC Foundation, Canadian Heritage, Canada Life, and WestJet.

For more information, visit www.experiencescanada.ca

Photo: The 2019 Experiences Canada Youth Leadership Forum will be presenting their Forum FInale, produced in partnership with Young People’s Theatre at the YMCA Cedar Glen on July 5th, 2019 from 9 am to 12 pm (CNW Group/Experiences Canada).

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