Since 2014, we have awarded approximately $150,000 in partnership projects promoting access to post-secondary education, supporting community-based research and creating experiential education opportunities for students.
The York University TD (Toronto Dominion) Community Engagement Centre is happy to announce its 2022-2023 Catalyst Grant call out!
For 12 years the York University TD Community Engagement Centre has worked to foster meaningful and impactful relationships between the Black Creek community and York University. One of our successful initiatives is the catalyst grant, which has awarded over $150,000 to meaningful partnerships between Black Creek community residents/organizations and York University Faculty and staff. This year we are happy to announce our next round of grants to be awarded to projects which meet our eligibility and are selected by our Advisory committee.
Catalyst Grant Criteria & Application Details – Call for Proposals 2022-23: Sustainable Communities
2022 Information Session Recording
Download the 2022 Catalyst Grant Information Presentation Slides
The York University TD (Toronto Dominion) Community Engagement Centre is happy to announce its 2021-2022 Catalyst Grant call out!
- Catalyst Grant Presentation Slides
- Catalyst Grant Presentation Recording
- Catalyst Grant Criteria – Call for 2021/2022 Proposals: Building Better Together (CLOSED)
2021-22 Catalyst Projects
Ghanaian youth who live in Black Creek and surrounding areas require special, culturally-tailored services to address their diverse COVID-related health and educational challenges, including the need for computers, on-line support, and mental health counselling, to cope with the pandemic. To address the service gaps, and further mobilize youth within the community, the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario, in partnership with York University’s Professor Joseph Mensah, seeks to use this project to provide culturally responsive youth support and educational services through mentoring, tutoring, and community programming.
Guyanese-Canadians report experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment based on their ethnicity, race, skin colour, religion, language, or accent. There is need for a coupled solution that addresses the need for affordable housing in the Greater Toronto Area for Guyanese- Canadians, and for a community centre that seeks to mitigate the pre-conditions contributing to the impoverishment of Carribean-Canadians. Guyana Community House (GCH) is a registered nonprofit that is developing equity-based affordable housing via a multi-purpose community centre for the second largest Caribbean community in Canada.
GCH will hire and mentor students from the Jane-Finch/Black Creek community to research, interview and document the current housing situation of Guyanese-Canadians in the community. The GCCC will also offer vital social, cultural, and community based programming (i.e. popular education courses, skills training counselling, employment services…).
This program explores how spoken word poetry and creative writing can be used strategically to cope with and alleviate depression and anxiety. Nathan Baya will then teach participants how to use song writing as a creative outlet to channel emotions in constructive ways. Participants will also work with music producer Savilion on the creation of beats that will provide the soundtracks to their new songs. Hip Hop artist and performance coach Dynesti will mentor participants and help them hone and strengthen their performance skills. The program will culminate with participants performing in a live performance showcase at PEACH. This will be a paid opportunity for all workshop participants.
This project aims to equip future leaders and underserved youth and young adults (i.e. BIPOC, women, non-binary, LGBTQ2S+) with skills to teach their respective communities how to process trauma in a positive, holistic, and easily accessible manner. The goal is to create a free Radical Kindness online educational program and curriculum which addresses the gap in trauma and related mental health materials/resources for specific groups of marginalized youth (i.e. BIPOC, women, non-binary, LGBTQ2S+); and then recruit youth trainers to be trained in this curriculum.
The goals of our project are to: 1) understand the nuanced experiences of racialized people in public green spaces in Jane and Finch through a community-based photovoice research project; 2) strengthen community responses to promote mental health through green space use; 3) contribute to anti- racism planning, policy and community conversations that lead to public green spaces that are equitably health-promoting. We are embedding Research Principles by the Jane Finch Community Research Partnership (JFCRP).
2020-2021 Catalyst Projects
We will use interactive participatory research methods such as show and tell, and technology tours.
A Calumet and Stong Colleges Peer Leader will work directly with Emery students and support them during the content development process, acting and production and video editing and promotions.
2018-2019 Catalyst Projects
A program dedicated to ameliorating mental health issues, augmenting the emotional intelligence of their participants, setting the requisite conditions for educational attainment, and exposing/preparing participants for diverse job opportunities in the 21st century. This is accomplished by exposing participants to the history and experiences of African Americans/Canadians who sought freedom during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, by escaping via the underground railroad.
With the collaboration of the Firgrove Learning & Innovation Community Centre (FLICC), this project aims to expose community youth to creative coding practices that would enhance an experiential, extra-curricular STEAM (STEM with ‘Art’) pedagogy, empower these participants with a safe space to express their thoughts and feelings through computational art, as well as provide York University’s students with an avenue to become academic facilitators and mentors to the broader community.
A 6‐month project of recorded conversations or podcasts that provide information on OSAP Debt Repayment and Debt Rehabilitation, hosted on both York University (LA&PS) and Credit Canada websites. The objectives are to affirm and validate the types of extraordinary problems that indebted students and counselors encounter when attempting to navigate the debt rehabilitation process especially, as well as to provide an overview of the information and solutions explained in more detail on the publicly available Fact Sheets.
2017-2018 Catalyst Projects
This series was dedicated to understanding the experiences of families in the Firgrove community facing relocation, the gaps in community supports, residents’ expectations for community infrastructure and recommendations to improve the relocation and resettlement process.
This joint collaboration between Back 2 Basickz and Launch YU is aimed at helping individuals obtain the skills and knowledge that they will need to pursue entrepreneurial roles.
An African Canadian Leadership group at Emery Collegiate who mandate is to explore important issues such as anti-black racism in education, Afrocentric curricula, the eradication of negative stereotypes and Black youth and Black solidarity. It also includes; confidence building and leadership development, intercultural understanding and community service.
PEACH Internet Radio station provides 24 hour streaming of music and community-related segments that support local artists, agencies, and events that impact Jane-Finch cachement.
2016-2017 Catalyst Projects
A one day community conference to address the challenges in accessing research conducted in and about the Jane Finch community. This was a follow-up to a successful workshop held in June 2016. The conference culminated in setting up the foundation for a community based research collection and a community based ethics process, guided by a central community-based steering committee.
This March Break program exposed youth in Jane Finch to the design and development of technology.
One of the barriers to progress in improving Temp Agency workplaces for workers in JF is that there is limited evidence available regarding violations by these Agencies. The awareness of a growing problem is based largely on anecdotal evidence. This research will identify who are violating agencies in JF – violation of workers rights by the agency or assigning workers to places that violate their rights – what violations are happening, how does it compare to other areas of Ontario, what are concerns of the residents, what is being done by the Ministry of Labour and other government agencies to respond, recommendations of what should be done instead. The project will be used to either determine a law/policy reform project that can serve as a solution to precarious working conditions or further educate the community about their rights as temp workers. It will also demonstrate to law students the importance of resident engagement and community lawyering as an aspect to their future careers as lawyers.
This project focused on developing ways to increase the overall participation of young women within youth spaces in the Jane Finch community, first by understanding the issues and concerns young women face in accessing youth spaces and then by collaboratively creating strategies of inclusion and engagement for young women in community programs and drop-in spaces.
The goals of this project were to support parent engagement in the Black Creek Community elementary and secondary schools and to establish an ongoing support network where parents can successfully engage in their children’s education through access to resources, assistance in navigation of the system, and participation in regular activities and discussions with other parents in the community.
2015-2016 Catalyst Projects
The goal was to create an educational outreach program that would engage Black Community youth and encourage learning in the areas of science and Engineering through a series of relevant workshops.
Targeted at youth and York students from the Faculty of AMPD, workshops used various forms of creative art as a method of expression and coping.
The project aimed at providing a body of knowledge assessing body composition, muscle development and cardiovascular health measures of the target group to inform DCC Programming in the area.
The project created workshops tailored to undergraduate International Development Studies and graduate Development Studies at York. It incorporated relevant aspects focusing on the multi-layered socio-economic challenges faced in the Black Creek Community.
The project aimed at organizing a design and planning workshop that would bring residents in the community together to give input to the development of the Metrolinx Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) located on prime property in the Jane Finch area.
To offer the Mediation Clinic Intensive to the Jane Finch Community at an accessible location so as to manage existing conflict and help resolve future conflicts.
2014-2015 Catalyst Projects
This initiative set out to improve infant and mother mental health by piloting a creative universal screening and support program that has been made for and with key Black Creek community partners.
The Innovation Hub enabled the Jane-Finch community youth to experience academic disciplines and applications that would otherwise go unnoticed.
The TSNS Planning Group enabled the community to advocate for equitable distribution of resources and support.
This project sought to address the issues of environmental hazards embedded in the Jane-Finch community through collaborative urban planning at the community level, which is then linked to policy and decision-makers at the municipal level.
To innovate efforts to take ownership of Black Creek Community Farm in racialized communities. To also address racism in our food justice network.