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About the speakers: 

Sharif Mahdy (CEO), has been with SCC since 2010, oversees its cultural and financial sustainability. He leads long-term strategic planning and operational excellence. Sharif is also the Volunteer Chair of the National Alliance of Children and Youth (NACY): a national charitable organization that brings organizations together in a collaborative network dedicated to enhancing the well-being of children and youth in Canada. Sharif sits on several non-profit Boards including the Catalysts Circle, the Child Development Institute and Mentor Canada

With a passion for producing innovative solutions, Florence Bergeron, Associate Director of Knowledge Mobilization, focuses on bridging the gap between youth perspectives and actionable change, striving to make a tangible difference in communities across Canada. By harnessing the power of collaboration and creativity, she works to ensure that the voices of young people are heard and put into action, contributing to a brighter future. Florence spearheads projects like Hearing Unheard Moments, addressing social polarization and extremist tendencies among youth.

Alex Makeikin, Youth Creator,  is from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  They are a traveler, photographer, comedian, and like to share stories from their adventures.  They like to make people laugh, while making them think about important topics. This is what made them want to be a part of the Hearing Unheard Moments project.

Youth Voices on Hearing Unheard Moments (The Students Commission of Canada)

Description: Our session will demonstrate how using the entry points of comedy, arts, and Forum Theatre combined with effective youth engagement practices creates safer spaces for real dialogue to explore controversial, polarizing topics.  Participants will learn techniques for establishing authentic youth/adult working-with partnerships that lead to youth-led delivery of jointly created KM products and produce our project’s desired outcomes.  The development process fosters critical thinking, curiosity, listening and conflict resolution skills. Listening is redemptive. Communicating ideas and feelings is a shared purpose that positively contributes to society.

Youth Voices on “Hearing Unheard Moments” (HUM) documents a journey of youth supported by the Students Commission of Canada to identify moments of exclusion hurtfully carved into memories and social identities that might or might not lead to radical or extremist behaviours. Youth then mobilize knowledge around preventing such exclusion working with experts. Our session shows the process arising from Dr. Heather Lawford’s research on listening to life stories of former extremists and with techniques from Dr. Rebecca Harries, adapted from Forum Theatre demonstrates how to work with youth to create KM products that allow youth to address challenges with content and formats that speak to their peers. Our youth-adult led session will showcase both the critical steps and techniques of the process that can be integrated by teachers and youth workers into their work as well as examples of the products developed by these youth-adult partnerships that are now available to use in schools and community programs. 

By attending this workshop you will:

  1. Establish authentic youth/adult partnerships: Learn techniques for fostering collaboration and trust to create knowledge mobilization (KM) products.
  2. Create KM products with youth: Understand the process of developing products addressing controversial topics using comedy, arts, and Forum Theatre, alongside effective youth engagement practices.
  3. Promote dialogue on controversial topics: Explore methods for creating safer spaces, fostering critical thinking, curiosity, and conflict resolution skills, enabling youth to address community challenges positively.