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Executive Director's Message
Getting to Zero
Sometimes when we hear things, it takes a while to sink in. For the past 24 hours, I have been processing a conversation with an outstanding group of young people. My thoughts, filtered through the learnings from the latest book I am reading titled "Uncertainty" and other thoughts and conversations I have been having about appreciation vs expectations. One of the comments made by a young man in the group stands out. He said "young people from where I live are not expected to graduate high school" this young man was determined to succeed beyond those perceived limitations. As he continued to speak, I thought to myself that he will be ok. But his words hit me hard. If this is the message we are sending to our young people...that we don’t expect them to finish high school, start successful businesses, contribute positively to society... if we label their outcries, flare-ups, frustrations, struggles and angry outbursts as proof of their impending doom... we are lost. A few, like this young man, will find hope and resilience and strength, and we will celebrate them. But what about the others who hear and feel our disapproval and our lack of high expectations of them?
As the rate of gun violence in the city has reached crisis levels, the stereotypes of young people, young Black men in particular, are surfacing. It’s easiest to imagine that we can solve the problem by arresting large groups of young people who are identified as criminals. The example of the U.S. is there for us to observe and to learn. Crime has not been controlled with increased force, and everyone seems to believe that more guns protect innocent people. Yet, we see the repeated incidents of mass shootings and the triple digit gun murder stats in cities and towns south of our borders. Clearly arming more people is not effective.
According to the Zero Gun Violence Movement, we need to disrupt the trend toward violence at the early interventions points when young people need love, family, community, education, employment entrepreneurship, emotional and psychological encouragement and support. They need us to expect them to succeed. They need to be expected to finish high-school, expected to learn a skill, to start a business to grow food, to cook, to nurture elders and younger people in their families. Young people need those of us who see them as a part of us to step up and say that they are not thugs... not criminals....not lost. We acknowledge that there are young people who are committing crimes, joining gangs and acting out in pain and anger. But we firmly declare that the majority of young people are productive citizens and amazing people that we love and cherish. And also, we declare that we love those who have fallen prey to the lack of hope present in their lives.
As we face the coming days of summer, fall, winter, and spring and around again, we cannot accept a narrative that "others" our young people. LET'S CHANGE THAT to one that embraces them in both their brilliance and their pain. Let's expect them to succeed and help them to explore and build on their strengths. And this is not just a call out to adults, because youth who are 14 can be a mentor to a young person who is their age, younger or older. We all need to step up.
Warden Woods Community Centre
Peace for Scarborough Walk 2018 - Our 4th Anniversary
On May 4, 2018 at Warden Woods Community Centre Peace for Scarborough celebrated its 4th anniversary. We joined the Jane's Walk events that happens across the world each May to promote community appreciation and engagement.
#Peace4Scarborough is a walk to promote community connections, harmony and peace. Many people in our communities have been challenged to find a way to cope with gun violence and other actions that threaten our community's safety and we want a solution that does not require force. We work to promote peaceful resolution of conflicts through our programmes, services and partnerships at Warden Woods Community Centre and we invite community members to walk with us to declare their support for peace in Scarborough and across Toronto.
The rain fell in the morning but the time was on our side and the rain stopped just before our walk. A group of children and adults, including Zero Gun Violence Movement members, sang, held our peace signs and walked around the neighbourhood. Drivers honked their horns as we walked on Warden Avenue, to show their support. When we got back to the Centre, we were entertained by local community members to show their support. Special thanks to Fahim and Ehab. Don’t miss out on the 5th anniversary to show your support by joining the peace walk in May 2019. Peace!
#Peace4Scarborough or #Peace4the6ix.
For information contact Veveen at 416-694-1138 ext.160 firstname.lastname@example.org
BE THE VOICE
OF YOUR COMMUNITY
Join the Community Advisory Group
We are recruiting advocates and activists for the Community Advisory Group
For more information contact Hyacinth at 416 694 1138 ext. 165, email@example.com
or visit us at Warden Woods Community Centre - 74 Firvalley Court Scarborough, ON M1L
Youth Drop-In Basketball
For Youth Ages 13 - 17
on Tuesdays & Thursdays 6pm - 8pm
on Thursdays 8pm - 9:30pm
At Oakridge Jr. Public School
110 Byng Ave.Scarborough, ON
For more information contact David at 416-694-1138 ext.122 or
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at Warden Woods Community Centre.
For information contact Community Relations Administrator at 416-694-1138 ext. 153
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