YCoP is a space to empower youth leadership, learn and unlearn from peers, and challenge current practices and norms. Our focus is on uplifting and creating space for youth who are keen and dedicated to the intersectional work on Racial Justice. All lived experiences are invited into this community, this may be your starting point or a stepping stone in your journey.

We aim to model the principle of “What you do for us, without us, is not for us.” Youth are the leaders of this space. Like any community, they know their issues, goals and solutions best, and cannot be represented by a select few. All the youth joining the YCoP will have the power to build our collective agenda.

We are a Community of Practice, building on The Inclusion Project’s decentralized and decolonized kinship model, Omo-Ebi. Adopted from the Yoruba tribe in Western Nigeria, Omo-Ebi denotes a familial context for shared experiences and meaning-making in life through the experiences of others.

We are a community rooted-in justice and accountability. We call-in allies and accomplices to redistribute power and hold space for youth leadership.

By modelling radical and innovative practices, we hope to empower youth to reimagine what meaningful youth engagement can look like.

Guiding Principles

  • Decolonized and Indigenous Knowledge Construction
  • Dialogue – Driven Research
  • Radical and Innovative Envisioning
  • Decentralized and Distributed Leadership
  • Valued Grounded Expertise and Shared Lived Experience
  • Localized Community Engagement
  • Stability and Sustainability

Community Goals

We will “share space’’ Sharing space enables new opportunities to present themselves and for change making to develop organically. YCoP will nurture greenhouse conditions for transformative practice, in real acknowledgment of people’s different paces and rhythms of processing, learning and unlearning, and offering densely coiled seeds of knowledge that may unfurl over a lifetime.

Fostering action-oriented practices to address key issue areas through Design Justice and implementation of redesigned policies and practices. We will share money, equipment and labor to grow the grounded education of the community.

Develop through sustainable community practices, land-based learning, ancestral knowledge, Indigenous knowledge & collective grounded expertise.

Stimulate learning by serving as a vehicle for authentic communication, collaboration, allyship, and self-reflection.

Capture and diffuse existing knowledge to help people improve their practice by providing a forum to identify solutions to common problems, and a process to collect and evaluate best practices.

Curate aid specific to each youth and their goals in their respective community.

Facilitate intergenerational dialogue and build the youths inter-sectorial connections and networks with key stakeholders.

Capacity building trainings. We want to be able to empower our peers and the next generation to keep on moving forward through with sustainability, stability and knowledge. We will empower them with the vocabulary to name and tools to recognize instances of oppression, injustice, and gaslighting within the youth-serving sector.

Reclaiming power and space. If we want youth to grow with courage, empower and inspire them with boldness, we need to reclaim power and space. This space is for youth, led by youth.

Addressing performative engagements and activism. Although well-meaning, not all youth engagements end with positive impact. When youth are engaging with the allies, accomplishes, and stakeholders we aim to create accountability that relationships are meaningful and impactful.

Building the Roots Team

The envisioning and leadership of the project stemmed directly from our Building
the Roots
youth team. This is a national team of grassroots and top-down youth
leaders building the roots of this project from idea to execution.

Pamphinette (Pam) Buisa, Victoria

Community Engagement Lead

She grew up on Algonquin Anishinaabe territory, also known as Ottawa and Gatineau to parents originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo…

Njamba John Michael Koffi, Vancouver

Knowledge Entrenchment Lead

Koffi is an author, a poet, a musician and a public speaker. At the University of British Columbia, Koffi has worked as a co-representative of African Studies Minor Program and as president of…

Sree Nair, Calgary

Strategy Lead

Sreelakshmi (Sree) is a 25 years old, born in south India and raised in UAE, currently living in Calgary, AB for the past 10 years. She holds a Master of Public Health degree from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Mount Royal University…

Fatah Awil, Toronto

Development Lead

He is a Program Coordinator for the Urban Alliance on Race Relations. A health systems and policy researcher based in Toronto…

Jessie Lawrence, Newfoundland

Development Lead

They are from the West Coast of Newfoundland. Their work is related to activism and advocacy for the 2SLGBTQ+ community…

Marcus Reid

Youth Empowerment and Solidarity Lead

With Heiltsuk/Nisga’a First Nation roots, Marcus Reid was urban born and raised on unceded territory of the Katzie, Semiahmoo…

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