The R.I.T.E.S. Program for Black and African Canadian Youth
The R.I.T.E.S. Program is a culturally specific, identity development initiative that supports the empowerment of Black and African Canadian children, youth and their families. The program and its various services employ an integrated, full spectrum model of support and care so that participants have access to range of clinical mental health programs, supports and resources.
The R.I.T.E.S. Program and its staff understand that daily exposure to racism, discrimination, homophobia, violence and poverty can lower young people’s self-esteem, impact their mental health and compromise their potential for overall success. The R.I.T.E.S. Program implements an asset-focused, strength-based approach informed by evidence and research on the effects of racism, stress management
and racial identity. It is also informed by various Africentric value systems, traditions and
practices. The focus of R.I.T.E.S. is to support young people in building their identity, practical skills of leadership, conflict transformation, resilience and problem solving in a positive and healthy environment.