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Workshop on Crime & Violence in Community and Schools
The Broad African Resource Centre (BARC) organized a workshop on Crime and Violence in the Community and Schools on Saturday, November 4th, 2006. The workshop took place at the Northwood Community Centre located at 15 Clubhouse Road,Toronto, Ontario and ran from 4-9pm.

The workshop provided a forum where the youth and other members of the community dialogued on ways to deal with violence in schools and the community using a cultural sensitivity and non-violent approaches. On going workshops would be organized in a couple of months to look at the criminal Justice system, community policing, crime, violence and cultural conflict.
Presenters at the workshop included youth, community and agency leaders and professionals working in the area of conflict mediation. They included:

  • Wangari Muriuki - Director, Jiamini Community Consultants, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Claude Grimmonds - Conflict Management Services, Richmond Hill, Ontario.
  • Eno Egbo-Egbo - Exec. Director, African Women Resource & Information Centre, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Christine Patrick - Community Advocate & Parent, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Jem Hewitt - Youth Facilitator, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Cincere Archinson - Youth Facilitator, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Aaron Joseph - BARC Youth Facilitator, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Esther Simon - Exec. Director, BARC.
  • Francis Ubah - Centre for Mission Mobilization, Toronto.
BARC Crime and Violence workshop
Youth Facilitators (L-R) Jem Hewitt, Cincere Archinson and Aaron Joseph
Welcoming participants to the workshop, the Executive Director of BARC, Esther Simon, reminded participants about the problems of increasing crime and violence in the community that is defying any solution. This according to Esther is the driving force behind BARC organising this workshop to provide a forum to engage youth and other community members to discuss and profer solutions to this problem of crime and violence.
BARC Crime Workshop BARC Crime Workshop BARC Crime Workshop BARC Crime Workshop BARC Crime Workshop BARC Crime Workshop BARC Crime Workshop
Esther also thanked the City of Toronto and the African Canadian Social Development Council for funding the workshop.

Discussion at this workshop session centred on addressing the following issues:
  • such as;What are the causes of crime?
  • Who commits the crime?
  • Why is there violence in the schools and the community?
  • What role should the community play in addressing crime and violence
  • What is the role of the government and community agencies?
The following key points were identified as outcomes from the workshop:
  • There is need need for ongoing meetings in the community between the youth, parents and community stakeholders such as the police services.
  • The estabishment of a committee to look into relationship and issues between children, school boards and parents is necessary.
  • Create and increase parental and teacher involvement with schools and community leaders at different levels.
  • Encourage youth initiatives, committees, that are youth-driven, managed and supported.
  • Establish committee of youth, parents, teachers and other relevant members.
  • Participants and facilitators also welcome the need for Faith groups to be included in the all aspect of programs and activities especially in crime prevention.
  • Youth were also encouraged to get involved in the day to day politics - elections and committee.
  • As a community, we need to show more solidarity and cohesiveness.


BARC plans to organize follow-up workshops in future to develop workable solutions to this issue of crime and violence.
 
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