Beyond Invisible: Black Youth Mental Health

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Beyond Invisible: Black Youth Mental Health

Join us to explore pedagogies, perspectives, and practices for Black youth mental health!

When and where

Date and time

Location

Online

About this event

In collaboration with Donna Richards, Hellen Gateri, and the York Research Chair in Youth and Contexts of Inequity, YouthREX is excited to co-host a Youth Work Teach-In for the Ontario youth sector on pedagogies, perspectives, and practices on Black youth mental health.

The Teach-In will include a keynote presentation, engaging workshops, and conversations that explore how race shapes the mental health experiences of Black youth, and the importance of an anti-Black racism framework in transforming oppressive practices and policies.

Our keynote speaker, Mercy Shibemba, is an award-winning youth activist from the UK who uses her story of growing up with HIV to educate, challenge stigma, and inspire!

Six concurrent workshops (see below) by young people, practitioners, academics, and researchers will explore different facets of anti-Black racism and mental health.

A closing workshop will share preliminary findings from the Ontario Youth Sector Compass by YouthREX on how Black youth understand a ‘good life’ and how mental health pervades many aspects of their daily lives, as well as their self-worth, relationships, and networks.

There will also be a spoken word performance by The Poet MJ.

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We will use Zoom for this event. You will receive the link to join the live event and the complete event program by email.

Please note that live transcription/closed captioning will be made available in English for both the keynote presentation and the closing workshop.

Live simultaneous interpretation services will be made available in French for both the keynote presentation and the closing workshop.

Please note that the keynote presentation and the closing workshop will be recorded and archived on YouthREX's Knowledge Hub; Q&As, discussions, and concurrent sessions will not be recorded, so no contributions from participants will be recorded and shared.

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Keynote Presentation: "Unashamed & Unsupported"

Mercy Shibemba is an award-winning activist, who uses her story of growing up with HIV to educate, challenge, and inspire. Mercy works on youth engagement and participation across pediatric clinical trials and research. In addition, she is co-leading the development of the £10 million ‘We Move Fund’, enabling Black children and young people to reach their full potential. Mercy is passionate about ensuring that the voices of young people are centered in decisions and processes that impact their lives. As a speaker and consultant, she regularly works with organizations to embed community-led practice and capacity building within their work. She is a health journalist, passionate about sharing key scientific developments with communities directly affected. Mercy is also a Non-Executive Director at The Social Innovation Partnership. Follow Mercy on Twitter.

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Concurrent Session Presentations:

  • Fiona Edwards, The Mental Health Experiences of Afro-Caribbean Canadian Youth Utilizing Mental Health Services
  • Leo Edwards, Harnessing Cultural Humility Against Anti-Black Racism and Microaggressions in Mental Health Care
  • Tiyondah Fante-Coleman, Anti-Black Racism as a Determinant of Poor Access to Mental Health Supports for Black Youth in Ontario: Problems and Solutions
  • Chantal Phillips, Resist the Current: Upstream Pathways to Mental Health Services for Black Youth
  • Rohan Thompson, The Impact of Dehumanization and Racial Violence on Black Youth
  • Terence D'Souza & Katelyn Wang, Young Ontarians United, Finding the Right Frame: Building Integrated and Holistic Approaches to BIPOC Youth Mental Health

Each concurrent session will feature two presenters. You will be able to select which session to attend by entering the corresponding Breakout Room; complete details will be available in the event program, to be shared with registrants by email before the live event.

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Closing Workshop:

A closing workshop by Rahma Siad-Togane and Kamau Davis-Locke will share preliminary findings from the Ontario Youth Sector Compass by YouthREX on how Black youth understand a ‘good life’ and how mental health pervades many aspects of their daily lives, as well as their self-worth, relationships, and networks. Rahma Siad-Togane is a Research Assistant at YouthREX and a Ph.D. candidate at York University's School of Social Work. Her research examines surveillance and policing within public housing communities. Kamau Davis-Locke is the Learn & Research Associate at YouthREX. He studied Criminology and Sociology at Douglas College.

For more resources on Black youth mental health, please visit our Knowledge Hub.

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Youth Research and Evaluation eXchange (YouthREX) is a province-wide initiative based at the School of Social Work at York University. Our Mission is to make research evidence and evaluation practices accessible and relevant to Ontario’s grassroots youth sector through capacity building, knowledge exchange, and evaluation leadership. Our Vision is an Ontario where shared knowledge is transformed into positive impact for all youth.

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