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

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.”

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