Building Black Futures Through Literacy1 year ago 1 year ago
“Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. As a child they won’t be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and as a parent they won’t be able to support their own child’s learning. This intergenerational cycle makes social mobility and a fairer society more difficult.” (National Literacy Trust)
To celebrate International Literacy Day, YouthREX and The Reading Partnership co-hosted a conversation about the importance of literacy learning that centres the cultures, histories, and identities of Black communities.
Literacy programs for Black children, youth, and families respond to the systemic discrimination that youth and their families experience in the education system that leads too many youth to disengage from school. Literacy programs that centre the voices and experiences of Black youth can ignite their imagination and foster a sense of possibility.
This conversation, co-moderated by Cyril Cromwell and Kathe Rogers from YouthREX, showcased the work of The Reading Partnership, a literacy-focused program for children and families in the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park neighbourhood of Scarborough, and Black Girl’s Magazine, created by and for Black girls by Black Youth Write. Opening remarks were provided by award-winning placemaker and author Jay Pitter.
Our expert panel included:
- Camesha Cox, Founding Director, The Reading Partnership
- Annette Bazira-Okafor, Editor/Founder, Black Girl’s Magazine & Founder, Black Youth Write; YouthREX Fellow
- Pauletta Wandja Dika, Past Participant, Reading Partnership for Parents Program
- Joanne Marcano, Past Participant, Reading Partnership for Parents Program
- Tana Turner, Owner & Principal Consultant, Turner Consulting Group
This event also featured two live performances from award-winning spoken word artist, writer, and facilitator Amoya Reé.
- Why Literacy Matters for Youth in Ontario: Five Benefits of Strong Literacy Skills (YouthREX Factsheet, 2021)
- Eight Best Practices for Extracurricular Literacy Programming for Black, Racialized, and Low-Income Youth (YouthREX Evidence Brief, 2021)
- Necessary But Insufficient: How Educators Enact Hope for Formerly Disconnected Youth (YouthREX Research Summary, 2018)
- Preparing Youth to Thrive: Promising Practices for Social & Emotional Learning (Susan Crown Exchange & David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, 2016)
- Towards Race Equity in Education: The Schooling of Black Students in the Greater Toronto Area (York University, 2017)
- An Assessment of the Needs of Black Parents in Ontario (Turner Consulting Group, 2020)
Youth Research & Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX). (2021, September 8). Building Black Futures Through Literacy (Webinar Recording) on YouTube [Video file]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/3uTZbp6gY6k
Categorised in: Webinar