Youth Working Group represents a diverse group of BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ youth, ages 14 to 18 from Toronto and the GTA, who are interested in community-based arts programming, led by youth and emerging artists, organization, and collectives. The 519 provides mentorship relationships through one on one or group mentoring. By equipping them with coping, goal setting, communication, and other life-skills; and by providing them a safe space to meet and interact with like-minded and goal-oriented youth. We operate through an social justice art-based framework, strengths-based and youth engagement approaches, and through consistent support and engagement from our facilitators and volunteer mentors.
We are exploring the experiences of cyberbullying in relation to racism, discrimination, violence, strength, and resilience. This working group aims to create a space for healing, skills development, and creative potential, empowering both personal and social change through the power of art. The 519 Youth Working Group’s overall mission is to prioritize building trusting, honest relationships with the youth to create works that truly reflect their experiences. By achieving these goals, the program ultimately improves youth’s wellbeing and prevents negative mental health outcomes such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
Through the use of art to express themselves, The Youth working Group, are supporting the development of online anti-hate strategy, support the development of an online anti-hate campaign, launching of the campaign, and design and develop a youth conference. By making art with an equity based social justice lens, it opens the door for us to learn from each other and see things through new perspectives, with new hope for our future leaders.