We had a busy summer, mentoring eight (8) inspiring student leaders through our Respect in Action (ReAct) youth employment program. It was an intense experience working with such amazing young people who travelled from east, west, north, and central Toronto, to attend the program every day for 7 weeks. The time flew quickly, and now we must shift to Autumn, in preparation for running weekly afterschool violence prevention sessions in 3 high schools, during the 2017-2018 school year.
Save the Date: METRAC’s Annual General Meeting
Please join us at our annual meeting of members to be held on Monday, October 30, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Cabaret Room (12 Alexander Street, Toronto, ON), located between College and Wellesley subway station.
The evening will include a special presentation by Dr. Lori Haskell, a leading scholar and clinical psychology practitioner whose research has focused on neurophysiological trauma and its impact on survivors of sexual violence, and why trauma and the lack of understanding of the dynamics of trauma can be a barrier to justice in the criminal legal system.
Come and learn more about METRA’s work in 2016 and our plans for 2017. You’ll also get to elect new Board members, vote for the appointment of METRAC’s auditor, renew your membership, or apply to volunteer with METRAC.If you are interested in becoming a Board member, please apply here! For more information the call-out details can be found here.
The METRAC Team
ReAct Summer Mentorship Program
Image Description:Photo of our Youth Leaders, ReAct Coordinator and Team Leader during the summer mentorship program.
METRAC held a successful summer employment and mentorship program led by Youth Program Coordinator, Wendy De Souza, and Team Leader, Awo Abokor. This immersive program empowered youth to create an inclusive Youth Council Model, for METRAC to engage diverse youth in conversations and decision-making processes around Gender Based Violence (GBV) programming. Program participants also developed a “youth-friendly” tool to assess frontline workers’ understanding of young people’s needs and the barriers they may face in social services.
Youth attending the program developed skills in community building/development, self-care, community outreach, budgeting and critical thinking, while informing service providers about the need to improve access to services and supports for young people in Toronto’s most underserved communities.
METRAC is thankful to these brilliant youth leaders for their hard work and expertise in making the summer program a success.
We express appreciations to our community partners, Ryerson University and Black Creek Community Health Centre for sharing program space with us.
The Board and staff of METRAC are grateful to Employment and Social Development Canada, for its generous financial support to provide meaningful employment and skill-building opportunities for Toronto youth.
New Updated Resources from the Community Justice Program
As many of us know, on April 28, 2017, the federal government ended the Conditional Permanent Residence Program. This change was welcomed by many women’s organizations like us, who were critical of the program, and especially its possible harmful effects on women. We are working to update resources in the Family Law Education for Women (FLEW) campaign to reflect this change. Watch the FLEW website for the revised written booklets in 12 languages, audio booklet, and ASL video on Family Law Issues for Immigrant, Refugee and Non-Status Women, coming soon on the Family Law Information for Women (FLEW) website.
Also coming soon: an updated version of our popular booklet for Indigenous women affected by partner violence. Swimming with Sharks will be revised and available on the Ontario Women’s Justice Network (OWJN) website and in electronic version by request, for download.
Our Turn: A National Student Movement to End Campus Sexual Violence Launches This Fall
Students from Carleton University, working with SSMU (Student Society of McGill University) have developed an action plan called Our Turn. Our Turn will be a national student-led action plan to end campus sexual violence through evidence-based programs and effective action. The action plan will be published in Fall 2017, with over 20 student unions committing to creating sexual violence prevention taskforces, running surveys and advocating reforms to their sexual violence policies. A key part of the action plan is the Our Turn Sexual Violence Policy Scorecard. This measurement tool will enable students to grade their own campus sexual violence policies on how well they support survivors. Learn more here!
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