citizenU was a three-year citywide Action Research Initiative designed to engage Vancouver youth and their families in addressing racism, discrimination and bullying; and in building community cross cultures, faiths and generations. citizenU was funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and delivered by the City of Vancouver.
Youth participated in the nine-month program through community host sites across the city. Over 50 host sites took part in the program over citizenU's 8 overlapping cohorts.
The program began with training workshops that addressed different forms of discrimination and ways to respond. Participants then participated in citywide events that explored these issues in the community. Finally, participants had the opportunity to develop and deliver their own youth-led projects to address discrimination.
Beyond the nine-month program, an alumni program provided volunteer and internship opportunities, and ongoing chances to take part in events, activities and youth-led projects.
The program was independently evaluated for its impact on participants and facilitators. The final report from the evaluator, McCreary Centre Society, found that the program had positive effects on participants, and that they increased their knowledge of discrimination and skills to address it.
The final citizenU Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Bullying Training Manual for Vancouver Youth Facilitators is now available! The manual is a concrete legacy of the citizenU action research project, with content, facilitation tools, activities and materials developed by youth and staff who participated in the project. Under the leadership of PeerNetBC, this final manual reflects a collaborative effort to develop best practices in addressing the root causes of racism, discriination and bullying, and enabling and empowering youth to lead change in their communities.