Sneak peek at six things we’ve planned for 2021. And oh, YouthREX is six!
It’s been six years already since YouthREX launched on November 22, 2014 as part of Ontario’s Youth Action Plan with a mandate to connect Ontario’s youth sector to shared knowledge to support better youth outcomes!
Six years is a very long time to survive and thrive in a non-profit sector where project-based funding frequently means that too many really great projects don’t have the opportunity to celebrate a six-year anniversary.
We are grateful to our funder, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services who originally funded YouthREX from November 2014 to March 2017, renewed this funding from April 01, 2017 to March 31, 2020 and again renewed it from April 01, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
This six-year anniversary would not have been possible without the strong engagement and support from our Ontario youth sector stakeholders. We are inspired by and thankful for all of your support and engagement with YouthREX over the past six years. Whether you visited our website to access our resources, learned with us through one of our certificates, webinars or workshops, or worked with us 1-on-1 with on an evaluation of your program so you can understand the difference you are making, we truly appreciate your time and interest!
Thank you for allowing us to learn with and from you, for your willingness to engage with evaluation and research, and your openness to the opportunities that we have offered. We’re honoured to be part of Ontario’s youth sector.
And thank you to the School of Social Work at York University, where YouthREX’s provincial office is located. You have been a very welcoming home for our team.
Thank you to our small but mighty team of staff, graduate students, research assistants, and members of our academic network – both past and present. Everything we do at YouthREX is a collaborative effort so every one of us is an important piece of the puzzle without which the puzzle could not be whole!
What a Year 2020 has Been!
We send our warmest embrace to those who have been affected by this virus, either personally or through close relatives. All of us at YouthREX wish you a speedy recovery – physically, emotionally and economically.
While the virus has disrupted and changed the ways that youth programs respond to the needs of young people, families, and communities, it hasn’t changed our relentless search for ways to keep supporting better outcomes for Ontario’s youth.
We also know that this pandemic is affecting communities differently and has called attention to the systemic and structural inequities experienced by youth and youth workers – and within and across the youth sector.
The seven part In-Conversation Series we held with youth programs in late summer and early fall to learn how youth programs are pivoting their approaches to youth engagement, programming and advocacy during this pandemic was very insightful. We learnt about the issues that are emerging as priorities in their work; the lessons they are learning (and unlearning); and ways they are adapting in real time during this unprecedented period. Check it out here: Reimagining Youth Work in a COVID-19 Era. Also, if you’re short on time, you can check out 4 key takeaways from the series in this blog by Clementine Utchay, YouthREX Research Assistant .
Feet Turned Forward to 2021
Check out the six things we are looking forward to sharing with you in the first quarter of 2021! We’re especially excited about the launch of our anti-Black racism certificate: “Centering Black Youth Wellbeing: A Certificate on Combatting Anti-Black Racism. that we hope will support a structural transformation in Ontario’s youth sector.
Happy holidays from all of us at YouthREX. We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful, safe and relaxing holiday season.
Uzo Anucha, MSW, PhD
Provincial Academic Director, YouthREX
York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity
Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Six things you can look forward to from YouthREX in 2021
#01: February 01, 2021
The launch of our anti-Black racism certificate: Centering Black Youth Wellbeing: A Certificate on Combatting Anti-Black Racism. This certificate was collaboratively developed by YouthREX and STRIDES Toronto to provide the Ontario youth sector with the foundational knowledge to cultivate practices, policies and alliances that challenge, disrupt and combat systematic anti-Black racism.
The vision is that this certificate will support a structural transformation in Ontario’s youth sector that centers the wellbeing of Black young people and their families in our individual practices and organizational policies.
“NOW is the time, well beyond this moment of extreme social unrest, to better educate ourselves about the pervasive anti-Black racism that interlocks with other structures of oppression that Black youth and their families.
– Will This Be The ONE? Reflection, Engagement & Action Against Anti-Black Racism in Ontario by Uzo Anucha and the YouthREX Team (June 08, 2020).
#02: February 11, 2021
Re-Imagining Trauma for Youth in Contexts of Inequities. A Virtual Event with Dr. Shawn Ginwright as our keynote speaker. Dr. Ginwright is an Associate Professor of Education, and African American Studies at San Francisco State University. Check out a YouthREX research summary on his work on healing & its role in Black organizing (2015).
#03: Always open 24/7
Having coffee / tea with you all on REX Virtual Café, our virtual community of practice where you can connect with likeminded peers. Did you miss our first ever event on the Café earlier this month? You can always check out the incredible discussion on land-based teachings, supporting Indigenous Sovereignty, and more.
And now for our oldie but goodie fabulous offerings:
#04: Knowledge Hub
Our Knowledge Hub now features more than 1,300 resources – reports, factsheets, infographics, research summaries, evidence briefs, and videos that supports you to connect evidence to your practice – and available online, all the time.
#05 Program Evaluation Courses
We’re getting ready for the Winter offerings of our certificates: Program Evaluation for Youth Wellbeing (registration closed) and Using Spreadsheets In Program Evaluation (registration open until January 9, 2021).
#06 Skill-Up Samplers
We’ve just launched the Winter Skill-Up Samplers: short & sweet mini-courses for youth workers on evaluation, cannabis & youth, and critical youth work. These are available until February 28, 2021 – register now.
Finally, here are six things you can do (this week!) to show us some love:
- Sign up for our monthly newsletter. Seriously, it is packed with so much good stuff!
- Visit our Knowledge Hub and download one (or more) of our learning resources.
- Become a member of our REX Virtual Café and connect, learn and share with other Ontario youth sector stakeholders
- Skill up by registering for one of our Winter Skill-Up Samplers (or our certificates)
- Like us on Facebook.
- And follow us on Twitter or Instagram.