On October 10th, RSEKN Co-director Nicholas Ng-A-Fook and Network Coordinator Noor El-Husseini traveled to Brock University to attend the Youth Summit 2017! To begin, keynote speaker, Britta B., shared her story about finding her voice through poetry: “Speak your truth”.

A Teacher’s Journey: Creating Change

In this workshop, two secondary school teachers shared their personal stories about being caring adults, and how they “changed their mindset” to support their students. Educators must invest in their students and their stories in order to see markers of difference.

A former student of Blessed Trinity Catholic High School shared his story on moving from Jamaica to Canada and overcoming a multitude of obstacles such as extreme poverty and adjusting to Canadian society and culture. Throughout his story, he highlighted the impact his teachers (the presenters) had on his resilience, academic performance, and interests, like his discovery of his passion for track, football and singing.  This workshop was presented by Kelly Mercuri & Tony Gambale from the Niagara Catholic District School Board.

Youth Panel: What you Need to Hear

This panel was led by four high school students from Durham District School Board and two Brock University students. 

Panel members introduced themselves, taking turns to share their lived experiences and insights for equity and diversity education. Topics ranged from violence, alcoholism, physical and emotional abuse, murder, poverty, gender, sexuality, and being a child of an immigrant family or racialized background. Systemic barriers such as these had a serious, and sometimes devastating, impact on academic performance, engagement with school, and harmful assumptions held by teachers, parents, and administrators in their understanding of students who struggle with academic performance as a result of such barriers.

Dr. Michael Owen, BrockU’s Dean of the Faculty of Education, highlighted the importance of community engagement of various stakeholders and partners such as university, school systems, community organizations, parents, and youth from secondary schools. 

For more information about BrockU’s Youth Summit, click here to view article about the Summit.

What does “changing mindset in a changing world” mean to you? 

Equity Knowledge Network (RSEKN), hosted by the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Education and the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services (CRECS), is a provincial multi-stakeholder bilingual knowledge mobilization network that brings equity innovators together in order to stimulate activities and support product development that can be used to break down current systemic barriers to children and youth from marginalized groups. Email: Twitter: @KNAER_RSEKN