THE BLACKCREEK YOUTH INITIATIVE/FCJ REFUGEE CENTRE - Youth in Motion Zine - Challenging Stereotypes


The Black Creek Youth Initiative is newly-developed youth-led group that provides a safe and inclusive space for young people in the Black Creek/Trethewey neighborhood in Toronto, to have their voices heard. The group engages children and youth from diverse backgrounds and identities in meaningful programs and activities that build a variety of skills while building networks and making new friends.

Since its inception in July of 2018, the group has welcomed more than 80 young people from the community, ranging in ages from 5 to 20. Although the group welcomes youth representative of diverse genders and other intersecting identities, members share multiple commonalities, including experiences of being racialized and under-resourced in their community. The community is currently one of the poorest neighborhoods in the province.

The Issue

Several young people in the BlackCreek/Trethewey Way Community felt that they were undervalued, overlooked or criminalized because of their intersecting identities. Thus, we have been working with the young people to develop a safe space to address some of these issues, while developing skill-sets and celebrating their resilience.

The key issues addressed through this project are the negative stereotypes faced by youth born out of racism, sexism, ageism and xenophobia. Many members of the BTYI feel undervalued, criminalized, or overlooked because of their identities. The youth in motion zine challenges these stereotypes through a creative means.


The youth from the FCJ Youth Network engaged youth from the BlackCreek Youth Initiative (BCYI) to create individual and collective zines aimed at challenging stereotypes and debunking myths. These youth, located in one of Toronto's Priority Neighbourhoods, feel that they are negatively impacted by existing stereotypes and misperceptions. Moreover, youth in this area feel that they are illequipped to respond effectively, and challenge these stereotypes. Therefore, the Youth in Motion Zine offers an invaluable opportunity for youth to challenge stereotypes, raise awareness of their abilities and resilience, while developing important skills.