side photos1aWe are an action-oriented community program dedicated to promoting inclusion for youth within local communities. Due to the events of the past years, our focus is on reducing both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism among youth as well as preventing marginalized youth from becoming radicalized. Our vision is to foster understanding, patience, open communication and co-existence between youth by engaging with schools with a diverse student population and facilitating regular events and get-togethers, where the participants get to know and understand each other.

World events have polarized communities. We target youth: future leaders whose views are not yet entrenched. There is no side photos4cost to participants. Spearheaded by Ashbury College, we partner with Ottawa High schools to provide leadership and conflict resolution skills. We believe mixing disadvantaged and advantaged youth helps foster mutual understanding of different challenges and lifestyles. Participants from Ottawa will include Muslim and Jewish youth as well as young people from local indigenous nations. We hope that attendees who feel that they do not have emotional or social support will be made to feel safe and welcome. We encourage participants to seek out an active understanding of others’ perspectives and challenges.

We help eliminate pside photos5rejudice by creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for our participants who would not usually have an opportunity to be exposed to each others cultures. Annually, we hold a  9-day Summer Institute, where the Ottawa Students get together with youth from the Jerusalem International YMCA who are enrolled in a similar program. By introducing Canadians to Israelis and Palestinians, we facilitate an understanding of, and appreciation for, diversity.