Black York Region Youth (BYR Youth) was founded in 2020 by four youth named Sydney Baxter, Cameron Davis, Rachel Cheng, and Hannah Mullings-Tatum, plus District 16-OSSTF teacher Vanessa Stoby. This organization was founded with the purpose of combatting anti-Black racism, systemic racism, anti-Indigenous hate, and discrimination in all of its forms within York Region and its surrounding communities. Thanks to this group's incredible team of youth and adult mentors, they have been able to accomplish milestones. From over half a thousand followers on Instagram to speaking on CBC Radio, BYR Youth does it all.
Click here to check out our members.
BYR Youth strives to create positive change within communities across York Region through advocacy, education and our commitment as youth to combat anti-Black racism in all of its forms.
Markham Black Lives Matter protest organized by Sydney Baxter. June 13, 2020.
Monthly or bi-monthly meetings throughout the year with at least one youth chairing the meeting. Meetings will focus-
on planning the group's initiatives, discussing ongoing issues in York Region communities and sharing updates on activism.
Ongoing discussions about anti-Black racism with community members and groups in York Region.
Sharing of resources with different stakeholders in York Region (i.e. youth, educators, community groups etc.);
Networking with public and non-profit organizations to build support and gather resources (i.e. funding, leverage, etc.).
Mobilizing Black and non-Black youth and community groups to join the group's actions.
At this time, any youth who have expressed interest in helping are welcome to join the group. The group will consider new members through:
Interview process (one adult mentor, two Black identifying youth and one ally from BYR youth)
Interview process - youth being interviewed will be expected to be there for the interview no later than 15 minutes after the agreed upon start time
Attendance: Members are to contribute to meetings by attending them and participating in discussions. If a member has been absent for an extended period of time (more than 2 months without reasonable justification), it will result in a conversation with youth and/or adult members. If a member leaves, they will be removed from group chats and email threads.
Absenteeism: If a member knows that they will be absent from a BYR Youth meeting or event, they are to inform one of the adult mentors and/or the BYR Youth Executive. In the event a member is absent for three consecutive meetings without reasonable justification, they will be considered to have stepped down from BYR Youth.
Participation: All members are expected to participate in a minimum of two-three projects per annual year. It is strongly recommended that they take different roles, with varying capacity of involvement in the projects. In event, this can not happen, they are to one of the adult mentors and/or the BYR Youth Executive.
Code of Conduct: All members are to treat one another with respect, empathy and kindness. When participating in events as a member of BYR Youth, it is strongly encouraged that members act responsibly as they are representing the group. As the group is non-partisan, members are expected to express explicitly that all opinions are their own and they don’t reflect those of the whole group.
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