In Growing up in Cities Canada, IICRD brought a focus to the importance of engaging young people in creating child and youth friendly communities and including them in the decision-making process. Through research, holding of events, and development and implementation of creative tools, the GUICC team has positively impacted the social inclusion of young people. In partnership with local organizations in Vancouver, Gatineau, and Halifax, IICRD created a network in which to research topics of interest to young people based on the community they live.
Using the results of participatory action research projects in each of the communities, IICRD developed professional training, videos, a multi-media DVD, informational website, a Creative Tools manual, a how-to guide for professionals who are interested in incorporation the voices of young people into the decision-making process, research and policy papers, and hosted workshops, forums and urban cafés on the importance of engaging young people in Canada. As a result, young people’s interest in participating in their societies have been validated and negative stereotypes around young people have been reshaped and policy makers and government officials are rethinking aggressive measures towards issues affecting the children and youth in their communities. In Halifax, skateboarders have created a connection with the municipality and are designing a safe place to skateboard. In Gatineau, young people are creating a café-bistro through a co-operative process that will be managed and run by the young people. In Vancouver, supports for queer and immigrant children and youth are being created by young people in that community.
View the video here.