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Jaku Konbit is hosting the Black Youth Rising project to promote leadership qualities in Ottawa’s Black youth. Photo courtesy of Jaku Konbit.

Community, Education, Culture

The Black Youth Rising project is being launched this summer by Jaku Konbit, a black led organization that seeks to empower and improve the lives of African, Caribbean and Black people in Ottawa. The Black Youth Rising project is a program that connects Black youth in Ottawa to the multitudes of services that Jaku Konbit provides. The project includes workshops TikTok competitions, mentorship, classes and more.

Anisa Musa, the coordinator for the project, said that one of the main goals of the project is build community and connect youth to services that they might need. Musa said it is for this reason that the project is not just one program but an amalgamation of programs and workshops hosted by Jaku Konbit.

“We’re just trying to highlight the importance of youth as leaders,” Musa said. “We want to try to give them a voice and give a space for them to feel free and connect with other youth.”

Musa said that Jaku Konbit also hopes to host some in person events as lockdowns lift. She said there are cooking events, game nights and other activities that are in the works.

“The goal is basically to get them involved in extracurricular activities so they try to stay away from being on the streets or getting involved in some negative behaviours,” Musa said.

Musa said she is excited to be helping to organize this project because she thinks it is something that is needed.

“I think it is very important because there is not always services directly focused on Black youth,” Musa said. “ I think it’s nice to have some specific programs designed for Black youth so they can feel more safe and comfortable.”

Musa also said she has been considering hosting a workshop for the Black Youth Rising project that highlights her experience as a Black entrepreneur. Musa owns Elevenbeauty Cosmetics and said that as she was building her brand, she craved guidance from members of the Black community. Musa said that if she hosts a workshop on entrepreneurship, she hopes it will fill the need that she noticed while building her own company.

“When I started trying to do my own research and start my own brand, I noticed that there are not many Black people in Ottawa that are informed or know how to do that,” Musa said. “I think for me to do a workshop and inform youth it might spark the idea in their brains that maybe they want to create their own brand.”

Ottawa organization launches Black Youth Rising to empower the city’s youth

Gabby Calugay-Casuga

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Le logo de l'Université d'Ottawa sur la façade de l'édifice des sciences socialesLes tentatives de mise sur pied de l’école des sciences pharmaceutiques à l’Université d’Ottawa ont débuté au début des années 1990, mais ont toutes échoué jusqu’à récemment. PHOTO: Libre de droits/MARC BRUXELLE.

Communauté, Éducation

L’Université d’Ottawa a récemment annoncé qu’elle mettra sur pied la première école de sciences pharmaceutiques francophone. Cette école formera des pharmaciens qui pourront à l’avenir offrir des services en français pour les populations minoritaires francophones.

La mise sur pied du nouveau programme a débuté en décembre 2018 et il s’agit de la quatrième tentative de mise en place d’un tel programme de formation de pharmaciens à l’Université d’Ottawa. Il s’agit d’un programme de doctorat de premier cycle en pharmacie, qui s’étend sur une durée de quatre ans.

La Dre Manon Denis-Leblanc, médecin de famille et vice-doyenne aux affaires francophones à la faculté de médecine de l’Université d’Ottawa nous a confié lors de notre entrevue être très contente de la nouvelle.

Elle nous a expliqué que les quelques raisons de l’échec des trois premières tentatives sont d’ordre économique, car c’est très dispendieux de mettre sur pied un tel programme, et aussi d’ordre politique, car c’est très difficile de faire approuver ce genre de programme au niveau de la province.

La Dre Denis-Leblanc nous a aussi expliqué que le métier de pharmacien a énormément évolué depuis ces dix dernières années, passant d’un rôle beaucoup plus passif à un beaucoup plus actif avec les patients. Ce qui nous permet de comprendre l’importance du rôle de ce métier et donc la nécessité d’offrir une formation capable de servir les populations francophones.

Bien que l’école existe, il n’y aura pas de programme ouvert en automne 2021, car, tout n’est pas encore prêt pour cela. Mais, l’École des sciences pharmaceutiques de la faculté de médecine accueillera ses premiers étudiants en septembre 2023.

Université d’Ottawa : une première école de sciences pharmaceutiques en français

Michèle Tanganika

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A woman stands at a microphone wo. at the door to the Prime Minister's office. Behind her, a man raises a single fist and there is a red banner that says, Chantelle Krupka, a survivor of an attack by Peel police, speaks to a crowd and calls to defund the police. Photo by Gabby Calugay-Casuga.

Community, Justice

Ten families affected by police violence gathered to renew calls to defund, disarm and dismantle police on the steps of the Prime Minister’s office on Saturday.

The action marked Juneteenth, a commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. annually on June 19.

Members of the families of Anthony Aust, Eishia Hudson, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Jermaine Carby, Jamal Francique, Chantel Moore, Andrew Loku, Abdirahman Abdi, Rodney Levi and Chantelle Krupka tearfully recounted the events that harmed or killed their loved ones.

The conference on Saturday highlighted the continued fight against police violence which disproportionately affects Black and Indigenous people.

“Enough is Enough,” said Martha Martin, mother of Chantel Moore who was fatally shot by police. “The system that they have is not working for us. The system that they have in place is one where we are getting killed on wellness checks. How is that even possible?”

Moore’s grandmother, Grace Frank, said she had many questions about Moore’s death that have still gone unanswered.

“I got to view my granddaughter’s body and there was a lot on her body that was not said to us,” Frank said. “We want answers! Why did she have broken bones in her body? Why did she have bruises on her body?”

Syrus Marcus Ware, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, said in a live-streamed interview that while slavery is over, the suffering of Black people is still ongoing.

Through the tragedy and grieving, the families said they shared their stories to remind people of the systemic oppression suffered by Black and Indigenous people at the hands of police.

CBC released a feature called “Deadly Force” which highlighted the disproportionate way Black and Indigenous people are victimized by police violence. According to CBC, Indigenous people make up 16 per cent of the deaths caused by police violence but only 4.21 per cent of the population. Black people make up 8.63 per cent of deaths and only 2.92 per cent of the population.

While the calls to defund, disarm and dismantle policing systems in Canada have been pushed for years, the affected families at the forefront of this battle say they are suffering.

La Tanya Grant, a cousin of Jermain Carby who was murdered by police, said she has not had the chance to grieve her cousin yet.

“It’s a lot. Losing a family member and then having to fight right away an not even being able to grieve,” Grant said. “People can support by coming out to these events and show they stand in solidarity with us. There are so many different ways to support but the government should be taking the heavy part and making sure families are okay.”

Chantelle Krupka, who was shot by Peel police in 2020, said that she has survivor’s guilt for having survived the police attack that she experienced. Krupka said that it is solidarity actions that are therapeutic for her.

“This is very therapeutic for me. To be able to speak out and speak the truth. I am just grateful for the opportunity,” Krupka said.

Krupka also had a chance to address the crowd. She said that the families present at Saturday’s action were proof that state violence against marginalized people has never ended. Krupka said that sometimes people think violence against Black and Indigenous people is in the past, but she urged people to look at all the lives that have met an untimely end.

“When 215 babies were found buried, Justin Trudeau called it a dark chapter in our history. This is not our history it is our present. This is the same dark chapter that we’re living. Look how many mothers here have buried their children,” Krupka said.

Families affected by police violence call for change on Juneteenth

Gabby Calugay-Casuga

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Un gala virtuel aura lieu ce mercredi 23 juin, pour rendre hommage aux finissants et finissantes de la 12e année du conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre Est. L’événement se verra en direct à 19h, sur le site web du CECCE.

Communauté, Éducation

Comme l’an passé, le groupe humoristique franco-ontarien, Improtéine, animera le spectacle avec comme invitées Fouki, un rappeur canadien de Montréal, Sarahmée, une artiste de Québec, ainsi que Le R Premier et l’humoriste, Rosalie Vaillancourt.

“On est content d’offrir une belle brochette d’artistes à nos élèves.” dit Jason Dupuis, le surintendant en éducation au CECCE.

Durant la soirée, il y aura des jeux interactifs avec des prix pour les élèves qui participent.

Dès ce soir, chaque école du conseil organise aussi une soirée virtuelle, à part, pour la remise du diplôme et le partage de discours.

Les écoles sont ensuite responsables pour la planification d’une séance photo, et auront un horaire où les élèves viendront à l’école individuellement avec leur famille. “Donc, c’est une cérémonie individuelle pour célébrer la fin du parcours de nos élèves.” explique Dupuis.

Prochainement, le conseil s’organise pour l’année scolaire qui s’en vient après que le ministère de l’éducation leur ait demandé de faire un lent retour à l’horaire temps plein. La réintégration de programmes d’arts et de sports études est également en marche. “On a bien hâte de reprendre dans un monde quasi-normale l’an prochain, afin de recommencer à établir des contactes.” ajoute Dupuis.

Voici l’entretien de CHUO avec Jason Dupuis, le surintendant en éducation au CECCE:

Hommage aux finissants et finissantes

Jhamesha Milord Ashford

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