The City of Vancouver is working with the Vancouver Board of Education, Vancouver Park Board, Vancouver Public Library, other government agencies, community organizations, youth and their families on a citywide Action Research Initiative called citizenU.

citizenU aims to create an even safer, stronger and more inclusive Vancouver by tackling racism, discrimination and bullying head-on on all fronts (discrimination based on ability, age, citizenship, culture, ethnicity, faith, gender, health, language, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstances, and/or social groupings) and by striving to build stronger, more positive relationships among our diverse communities.

The Project is meant to build on, or feed into, other programs such as YouthPolitik, the First Nations/Urban Aboriginal/Immigrant Communities Dialogues, and the many other Anti-Discrimination and Youth Leadership Development programs in Vancouver.

The initiative is funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Action Research?

By being part of this Action Research Initiative, participating youth (and their families), Action Research Host Organizations and other citizenU partners will learn & innovate together while doing.

The experiences and reflections of those involved will inform and influence the development of policies and practices within the City, within partner organizations and within the community - to address racism, bullying and all forms discrimination in Vancouver, and to build community across cultures, subcultures, faiths & generations.

So, citizenU aims to create the fertile ground for this collaobration. In particular, we hope to work together and innovate on 3 fronts:

  1. Collaboratively develop and refine training curricula, resources and tools for young leaders (and their families) to address issues of racism, discrimination and bullying in their schools, organizations and communities. This will involve adapting these curricula, resources and tools to a variety of learning and training environments over the course of the initiative.
  2. Collaboratively develop policies, approaches, strategies and practices to address racism, discrimination and bullying within organizations, programs, services and citywide.
  3. Collaboratively support youth participants as they identify, develop and try out community projects in response and/or to prevent racism, discrimination and bullying in their schools, organizations and communities.  

citizenU is currently looking for two interns for fall/winter 2012/2013. To apply click here and here.

What activities will be part of citizenU?

citizenU Action Research activities start up in Summer 2011. Over its 3 year duration, “citizenU” will engage youth (and their families) in one of 8 cycles of an intensive 9-month anti-racism, anti-discrimination and community building Action Research program within a diverse range of Action Research Host Organizations throughout Vancouver.

Click here to see a Diagram illustrating a citizenU Action Research cycle.

For participants and the public, the Action Research program most noticeably will include activities like:

  • Arts, sport, recreation & cultural activities
  • Fun cross-cultural team building games & activities
  • Intercultural communications & conflict resolution training
  • Intercultural leadership skill-building workshops
  • Story gathering, storytelling & sharing
  • Explorations of racism & discrimination
  • Intercultural, intergenerational & interfaith exchanges
  • Cultural field trips & other public events
  • Mentorship opportunities

These will all lead to participants developing and carrying out youth-driven anti-racism, anti-discrimination and anti-bullying projects in the community.

What does citizenU hope to achieve?

citizenU hopes to result in the following…

  • 2,000 young community leaders trained in anti-racism, anti-discrimination & intercultural relations who will continue to address racism, discrimination and bullying in their communities beyond the project
  • 2,000 family & community members involved as project participants resulting in stronger relationships between Vancouver’s cultural communities
  • Models and good practice of engaging youth from diverse communities in these efforts that will inform policy & practice within the City & within partner organizations
  • Anti-racism, anti-discrimination, anti-bullying & intercultural community-building curricula that will continue to be used by Vancouver schools & community organizations beyond the project
  • An estimated 24 youth-driven projects designed & delivered to address racism, discrimination and bullying in schools, organizations and neighbourhoods. 

And, have the following longer-term effects…

  • Decreased incidences of racism, discrimination and bullying
  • Increased resiliency among participating youth against gang recruitment, violence & addictions
  • Enhanced relationships between the City, community organizations & more marginalized cultural communities
  • Greater & more culturally diverse engagement in municipal government and community organizations
  • Greater collaboration among City departments (CSG, Parks, VPD, Library) between the City and community youth leadership programs, cultural organizations & Vancouver Board of Education programs on Anti-racism, Anti-Discrimination & Intercultural Community Building

For more Overall goals & objectives of the citizenU initiative, please click here.

Wanna Get Involved?

  • IF YOU ARE AN INDIVIDUAL YOUTH wanting to participate in citizenU, please email .
  • IF YOU ARE A YOUTH-LED GROUP wanting to get involved in citizenU, please also contact Romi, our citizenU Coordinator, at or call him at 778.389.0991 or 604.871.6866.
    • WHO is interested in CREATING a NEW YOUTH LEADERSHIP GROUP (or reinvigorating an old one) to participate in citizenU, please click here.
    • WHO is interested in adding citizenU to the activities of your EXISTING YOUTH LEADERSHIP GROUP, please click here.
    • WHO is interested in partnering to HOST an EVENT or ACTIVITY for citizenU participants & their families, please contact Romi, our citizenU Coordinator, at or call him at 778.389.0991 or 604.871.6866.
  • IF YOU ARE NOT SURE which you are or how you want to get involved in citizenU, or if you want to explore other possible ways to get involved, please email or call Peter at 604.871.6187.

Got questions?

If you want to get involved in citizenU or want more information, email .