Free2BeYOUth Reflections

The time has come to wrap up Free2BeYOUth with May’s theme of Exploring Beyond Canada’s Cultural Mosaic. This has been the first year that we’ve launched the F2BY youth leadership and inclusion initiative and it has taken off with flying colours! As a F2BY community, our Adult Facilitators and Student Leaders across the province have dedicated their time and efforts to countless projects that have helped make their schools and communities more inclusive. From starting a campaign to demystify stereotypes about individuals with disabilities for January’s theme of Disability, Accessibility and Inclusion, to organizing a religious diversity panel of various faith leaders in the community to discuss inclusion in religion, our F2BY clubs have established themselves as passionate advocates who are dedicated to increasing levels of compassion and respect in our province, all through a human rights lens. At the end of this month, we are hoping to celebrate their successes and accomplishments with a year-end party - one that has been well deserved!

We have seen a complete transformation in many of the youth who have taken part in the F2BY program as they have collaborated to uncover many of the existing barriers to inclusion in our community. We have seen them grow as critical thinkers and responsible actors as they have proceeded to discuss possible solutions to addressing existing barriers to inclusion and following through by changing these conditions with initiatives that have been inspired through F2BY.

It has been an honour to work with these amazing students and teachers and we look forward to continuing these partnerships with the second year of the F2BY program! The John Humphrey Centre would also like to extend our appreciation to Servus Credit Union and the Alberta Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund for helping make this program possible. Your support has helped these young leaders embark on initiatives to help enhance cultures of peace, human rights, and compassion all across our province. And last but not least, we have thoroughly enjoyed working with (IN)spired to create this program and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner!

Please keep your ears and eyes open for Free2BeYOUth’s return next fall! If you would like to be a part of our F2BY community, please contact us at info@jhcentre.org and join us in mitigating existing barriers to inclusion in our community!