Youth Resiliency

At  Midaynta  Community  Services,  we  seek  to  empower  racialized  communities  in  Ontario,  provide  a  platform  where  issues  impacting  the black community  can  be  discussed,  and  take  a  leading  role  in  addressing  such  issues.  The  3rd  Annual  Conference  on  Youth  Resiliency,  Hate, Racism,  and  Youth  Radicalization  is  one  the  many  ways  Midaynta  provides  a  platform  for  youth  and  brings  multiple  stakeholders  together  to  discuss  and  devise  solutions  on  issues  that  impact  the  black  community  in  Canada.  This  year’s  conference  brought  together  a  diverse  group  of  panelists  to  share  their  expertise,  knowledge  and  strategies  on  youth  resiliency,  hate,  racism,  and  youth  radicalization—  issues  that  are  current,  continue  to  dominate  news  headlines  and  impact  racialized  communities  in  Canada,  especially  racialized  youth.

Racialized  youth  and  communities  in  Canada  continue  to  face  systematic  barriers,  racism  and  discrimination,  trauma  and  grave  mental  health  concerns  that  need  to  be  addressed.  Amid  all  these  challenges  and  barriers,  the  resiliency  of  racialized  youth  in  Canada  is  something remarkable.  Notwithstanding  all  the  barriers  and  challenges  racialized  youth  face,  important  lessons  can  be  drawn  on  how  the  youth  cope  with  such  adversity.  The  3rd  Annual  Conference  provided  such  a  platform,  affording  different  communities  the  opportunity  to  learn  from  the experiences  of  the  youth  and  share  their  own  success  stories.  Highlighting  the  importance  of  youth  resiliency  and  including  youth  voices  on  different  platform  helps  counter  the  dangerous  negative  narratives  that  tend  to  generalize  communities.  Through  this,  different  communities  can  recognize  the  importance  of  promoting  positive  narratives,  empowering  the  youth  and  collaboratively  working  with  different  sectors  to  address  some  of  the  issues  affecting  racialized  communities  in  Canada.  Violent  extremism  being  an  example  of  an  issue  that  transcends  different  communities,  nations,  religions  and  requires  collaborative  effort  from  everyone  in  Canada  and  beyond.  According  to  Detective  Feras  Ismail,  “this  is  not  a  ‘Muslim’  problem,  this  is  a  ‘all  of  our’  problem.”

While  organizing  this  conference,  the  planning  committee,  mostly  youth,  recognized  that  discussion  arounds  the  issue  of    radicalization  are  not  devoid  of  controversy  largely  because  mainstream  perception  of  youth  radicalization  is  framed  around  race  and  religion  and  the  topic  is  highly  politicized.  In  many  ways,  the  conference  offered  an  opportunity  to  address  the  issues  of  youth  radicalization,  debunk  myths  associated  with  this  topic  and  offer  alternative  perspectives  which  was  evident  throughout  the  two  days  of  the  conference.  Notably,  panelists  expressed concerns  that  policies  addressing  youth  radicalization  almost  exclusively  target  racialized  youth  and  ignore  other  facets  of  youth  radicalization  especially  when  a  white  youth  is  involved.  A  terror  act  committed  by  a  white  youth  is  more  often  given  little  attention  or  depicted  as  a  “lone  wolf”  crime  whereas  a  reverse  situation  involving  a  racialized  youth  is  viewed  as  an  act  of  terror.  According  to  Dr.  Ghayda  Hassan,  “this  discourse that  we  constantly  hear  when  an  attack  is  committed  by  the  other,  it’s  extremism.  When  an  attack  is  committed  by  a  member  of  the  majority  group  it’s  mental  health.  Right?  This  is  rhetorical,  this  is  ideological  and  this  hurts.  It’s  a  false  dichotomy.”Such  double  standards  and  lack  of  cohesiveness  in  addressing  these  issues  greatly  impact  racialized  communities  hence  the  reason  why  conferences  like  this  one  are  very  important

To read more about the report please download the report on the link below.

DOWNLOAD THE YOUTH RESILIENCY REPORT

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