YCC Rewind 1x

YE01

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T he Multicultural Youth Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario, sent six delegates from the Regional Multicultural Youth Council (RMYC) and a chaperone to the 2015 Youth Centres Canada Youth X Change Conference in Ottawa. The forum was held at the Travelodge Ottawa Hotel & Conference Centre from March 26 to 29. This was our first time to visit the national capital, and we were fascinated by the historic sites and Parliament buildings. The conference itself was impressive with many young people from different backgrounds mixing freely and getting along. Our team decided to split up so that we could attend different workshops and presentations. We found the sessions interesting and informative. The ones that appealed to us the most were addictions because there are high incidents of alcohol and drug abuse among youths in our region of Northwestern Ontario. Abusing substances is associated with suicides, and there are growing numbers of babies born to young mothers with drug withdrawal symptoms and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The workshops on diversity were very inspiring. We discussed racism as it affects many racialized immigrants such as Moslems, Blacks, Orientals and Indigenous groups. This was very interesting for us because of the poor race relations often leading to violence and assaults against First Nations in Thunder Bay. We also learned about homophobia and bullying, which are common problems in our schools. This information is very relevant to the project our group is working on with the Ministry of Education in partnership with school boards to promote Ontario's Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy, and the Accepting Schools Act. We proudly displayed some of our resource materials at the Bragging Booths, The more popular items we had were the Revolution Girl Style/Girl Power leaflets promoting female empowerment, and our Multicultural Bows of black, red, while and yellow ribbons intertwined to symbolize the beauty of the human race colours in unity. Our members had lots of fun during the free times. Some went swimming, others danced through the night, and a few were brave enough to sing during the Karaoke show. The weather was nice and we enjoyed the strolls around the hotel to look at the magnificent scenery and facilities. We also enjoyed the varieties of foods served including appetizing dishes for vegetarians. To top it all, The Warm Fuzzies lifted the spirits of everyone, and were great mementos to take home. We are very grateful to the Ontario Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth for sponsoring our team, and all the other agencies that provided funding so that many young people could attend. We also want to thank Mr. Les Voakes, YCC Executive Director, and the conference planning team for hosting such a great fun and enjoyable event. We learned a lot and benefitted so much from the experience. We can hardly wait to participate in another YCC conference. In the meantime, we will be fundraising so that we can send many delegates. 33 RMYC GOES TO YOUTH X CHANGE CONFERENCE By: Ashley Belmore, Kaku Kenyi, Ashley McKay, Latisha Pascall, Wendy Wang and Kimberly Watts

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