MEDIA ADVISORY - Black youth speak out on their experiences with province's care systems

TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2016 /CNW/ - More than 120 Black youth who receive services from the child welfare, youth criminal justice, special needs, mental health and Provincial and Demonstration schools systems will gather at the HairStory: Black Youth Unite for A Right to Speak youth forum to speak out on the issue of over-representation and other systemic barriers they face to government, child welfare providers, educators and various other service providers. The forum takes place on October 21-24, 2016.

Delegates will participate in facilitated discussion groups to share their lived experiences and discuss systemic barriers facing Black youth in the province's care systems, and their ideas for change.

Following the discussions, young people will work with nine local artists to create works of art (e.g. photography, music, dance, visual arts, creative writing) to express their stories.

On the final day of the forum, young people will speak to a group of decision-makers at a "listening table" attended by government officials and representatives from child welfare service providers, youth justice, education, special needs, mental health care systems and community organizations.

The HairStory project was initiated by the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth to elevate the voices of Black youth from across the province's care systems, and provide a safe platform for them to speak about their experiences.


"HairStory: Black Youth Unite for A Right to Speak" youth forum


Artistic workshops from across different mediums (e.g. photography, visual arts, music, dance), led by local artists

Sunday, October 23 from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.


120 Black youth from across the care systems

Trudy Lee Gayle, dance artist and choreographer

Gene One, hip hop visual arts


Chelsea Hotel

33 Gerrard St W

Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z4


SOURCE Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth

For further information: Media Contact: Akihiko Tse, Communications, Media Relations Coordinator, Tel: 416-325-5994 or Cell: 647-458-1204,


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