Youth for Social Justice Inspires Students

A large Youth for Social Justice regional conference was held on November 8, 2002 at Kings County Academy in Kentville. This all day conference introduced students to the issues of social justice through an excellent group of speakers, and the hip-hop sounds of Papa Grand and DJ Mark Mirage. An exciting performance was followed by workshops on topics including Mi'kmaq Culture, The World & You, Its About Language, and The Power of the Media.

YAR partnered with the Race Relations Cross Cultural Understanding and Human Rights (RCH) division of the Annapolis Valley District School Board to host the event. 180 students and advisors from 16 schools across the region attended. The conference was planned to raise awareness of social justice issues, to generate discussion and for youth to create plans for action for their schools.

Youth Against Racism and Sco-Town Entertainment Rock Sackville Heights

May 1st was a day of phenomenal energy at Sackville Heights Junior High in Sackville. Sackville Heights has recently partnered with the Youth Against Racism project, and together they planned a day of fun and awareness for the students and staff of SHJH and members of the community.

The theme for the day was RESPECT: respect for others, and respect for yourself. This was echoed in the music and poetry of Garry James, a.k.a. Papa Grand, as he and co-performers RS Smooth and DJ Mark Mirage brought hip-hop and urban music with a message to kick off social justice at Sackville Heights. Garry James heads Sco-Town Entertainment, who has recently partnered with Youth Against Racism to take social justice messages to schools around Nova Scotia. Garry says, "Kids need to see that they can be themselves and develop their own identity. Music is powerful, lets use it talk about respect and share a positive message."

The theme of RESPECT was also embraced by an enthusiastic group of guest speakers, who shared their knowledge and experiences on topics such as multi media awareness, body image, cultural interaction, youth stress, human rights, and respect for the diversity within everyone. These individuals represent many youth agencies and resources are a big reason why the day was so successful.

Sackville Heights has been working with Youth Against Racism, a program of the Multicultural Association of N.S. funded by the Metro United Way. YAR Coordinator Lisa Matsell says that the opportunity to partner with schools is very exciting. "Through the YAR project a need was recognized to talk to youth about social justice issues. This project is great because it brings resources to the school." And the enthusiasm and energy of the youth shows that this collaboration is working at Sackville Heights. As Principal Debbie Sutherland said, "We have a great school, but we want to keep making it better".

For more information about Youth Against Racism contact Lisa @ MANS @ 423-6534.

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Last updated: 01/06/2003