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To Equity, and Beyond

CTYS has continued to uphold its commitment to be an equity-based agency, focused on deepening anti-oppression and anti-racism work in the realm of service delivery for our youth and families, as well as our organizational culture.

RITES

The earnest work that the RITES (Resiliency, Identity, Transformation, Empowerment, and Self-Determination) program, SFBYWG (Services For Black Youth Working Group), and CARO (Committee of Anti-Racism and Oppression) are a testimony to the agency’s commitments. RITES has diligently worked to solidify various partnerships, inclusive of elders, activists and professionals in the Black/African Canadian community, resulting in excellent opportunities for outings, events, and speakers for the youth served this past year! RITES also introduced an option for youth to receive brief 1:1 support, as well as a Peer Leadership (PL) program to allow youth who have previously participated to return in a new capacity as peer leaders.

Anti-Black Racism Initiatives

Further highlighting the strides made to improve services for Black youth, the SFBYWG notably fronted the creation of the Black Excellence Series – youth-focused events held throughout the year, to highlight the strengths, talents and interests of Black youth in the city.

We are also currently supporting the development of a supervision tool, as well as Team Educationals to promote understanding of the impact of anti-Black racism, structural violence, and oppression and to enhance the direct work of staff and management. Alongside these significant advancements, the CARO persisted in the creation of an internal complaints policy, as well as affinity groups to foster interpersonal support for staff of marginalized and minority backgrounds.

In the coming year, an ambition CARO aims to focus on is the development of an AOPE-centered orientation process for students, staff, and board members, to increase awareness of and standardize the knowledge around AOPE practice and principles.

Looking Forward

As with all efforts and progress, challenges are an inevitable part of sustainable and ongoing work. CTYS acknowledges that our ability to continue on our AOPE journey is only as strong as our ability to continue to hold ourselves accountable – as individuals, teams, management, and as an agency. The reflection of our values is the clearest and most authentic when we can face the revelations that come from holding the mirror up to ourselves. The critical work we do is not just about highlighting the needs of the diverse communities we serve, but first and foremost, about shining the light onto ourselves and building a culture of self-examination.

Zahra Halfal

Youth and Family Counsellor