Workshops

At If I Ruled T.O. you can choose to attend two of eight interactive workshop sessions.

Workshops will be led by subject matter experts who will guide you through a solution –focused conversation about policies, practices, programs, systematic gaps and/or challenges that youth face. At the end of each session, you will collaborate on action plans that can be proposed to funders, policy developers and decision-makers.

After the event, we encourage all attendees to consider applying for support to implement their ideas through the Strengthening Communities Youth Leadership Project or Youth Action Grant programs in 2016. The 2016 application process will recognize applicants who have attended If I Ruled T.O.

 

Which topics interest you most?

 

Accessible Youth Spaces

If you ruled T.O. and were building spaces to attract youth, how would you make them more inclusive and accessible?

Toronto was named the most youthful city in the world in 2013. This is in part to the access that young people have to fulfill their dreams and engage in many activities. To support this, youth lounges and new spaces are being built all over the City, however, some may say these spaces do not reflect the diverse youth that want to use the resources or spaces.

 

Civic Engagement

If you ruled T.O., what would you want your Mayor or elected official to do in order to make Toronto a better place to live?

Youth are one of the largest demographics in Toronto, yet many feel that voting is a waste of time even though the decisions of the elected officials impact their daily lives – from employment to creating a better transportation system. Unfortunately, many youth don’t understand the power of their vote, and exactly how they can impact their communities by holding elected officials accountable. How can you make your voice heard using your vote and other forms of civic engagement?

 

Education

If you ruled T.O., how would you help create a safe and equitable learning environment?

Is your school environment conducive to learning? The current rates of secondary school drop outs, expulsions, suspensions and acceptance into post-secondary studies may reveal the contrary. Join us in a workshop exploring current educational practices and processes that attempt to either support or deter learning.

 

Mental Health

If you were in charge of explaining mental health, what would you say? If you worked with youth who may have mental health challenges, what would you do?

Mental health is highly misunderstood in many of our daily social environments. Agencies, schools, work places, organizations and law enforcement all deal with people who may be suffering from a mental health condition with little to no formal training in effectively supporting their clients or customers. This workshop will attempt to challenge popular misconceptions surrounding mental health, as well as explore preventative measures and existing supports available for youth coping with their own mental health issues and/or living alongside individuals with mental health.

 

Police Relations

If you were the Chief of Police or on the Police Board, what would you do to improve police and community relations?

Toronto Police Services motto is ‘to serve and protect’, however many young people feel the strategy around community policing is failing. We will discuss how to create more opportunities for positive interactions with police and issues around police abuse of power. Our goal is to propose solutions for how law enforcement can build greater community support and trust.

 

Social Housing

If you were CEO, what would you do to improve Toronto Community Housing?

Toronto Community Housing is one of the largest housing providers in North America, with a resident population the size of a small city. Seeing to the needs of the thousands of units and residents is extremely difficult and sometimes people may feel like they have been left out. From maintenance transfers and safety concerns to employment opportunities, Toronto Community Housing has a huge task ahead of them. What issues would you tackle first and how would you engage residents to be a part of the solutions for each issue?

 

Social Media

What changes would you make around social media and protecting your privacy?

From YouTube to Facebook, Twitter to Instagram, the world of social media is growing. It is one of the newest forms of looking for employment or posting your talents in the hopes of getting recognized, however there is also a downside to social media including the sharing of your information and the ability for complete strangers to learn lots about you. What are your concerns and what can be done to address them?

 

Violence and Safety

If you ruled T.O., what would you do to create a safer city?

The terms “violence” and “youth” have become synonymous in this day and age. Our communities are also disproportionally affected and stigmatized in the media. This workshop will attempt to deconstruct our understanding of violence and those who are most affected by it. What would you do to address the issue of violence?