Youth Changemakers Gather at the Montreal Speaking Rights Community Event

June 7, 2018

On Thursday, May 10th, over 40 youth leaders driving positive social change in their community, from 5 organizations from across Montreal, showcased 6 exciting youth-led community action projects at the 2018 Speaking Rights Community Event. Young leaders from the following organizations celebrated their realizations with other youth, decision-makers and community members: Dawson Boys & Girls Club, Quebec Native Women, Maison d’Haïti, Mouvement contre le viol et l’inceste, Native Montreal, and Say Ça! Montreal.

“I learned that it’s important to give youth a public platform where they can express themselves."

During the event they discussed issues around youth leadership, homophobia, racism, exclusion, and gender equality and engaged in conversations on key thematic areas including the creation of inclusive spaces and opportunities for youth participation, the representation of diverse young voices in decision making processes, and working together to end gender-based violence.

“I am now aware of some of the things children go through at school and in their communities.”

As representatives of their communities, the young leaders and other participants shared ideas on strategies and solutions to tackle these issues. Some of the ideas shared were:

1. Using art as:

  • a way to make spaces more inclusive and open to youth
  • an outlet for youth expression a way to focus their attention on activities that are both constructive and beneficial for the community
  • a means to create occasions for youth and adults to co-create, deliberate and work together.

2. Encouraging politicians, decision-makers and management, to adopt a language and vocabulary that are less stigmatizing, more inclusive and more accessible to youth, particularly culturally diverse youth, and especially when it comes to decisions that affect them.

3. Allowing youth to participate in decision-making by using media outlets they have access to, and by creating spaces for youth voices in governing boards and local councils.

4. Raising awareness among youth and the public on issues related to gender-based violence and creating safe spaces within organizations where youth can meet, talk, and come up with collective actions to address it.

“I loved hearing the youth’s projects & hearing their enthusiasm!”

“I will support and share the projects in my community and will continue to support and raise the voices of youth.”

We thank all who have joined in this celebration this year and are continuing to support Speaking Rights youth-led projects in Montreal and across Canada!

“It’s important to build a community where we can live together while respecting each other’s mental and physical boundaries.”

Speaking Rights: a youth-led movement across Canada!

Speaking Rights is a youth-led movement that engages youth from across the country and supports them in taking action in their community in order to build more inclusive and rights-respecting communities. We invite you to check out all of the youth projects by clicking here!

You can find all the photos from the event here.