Our Youth Our Future

Empowerment Squared’s Our Youth Our Future campaign seeks to shine a positive light on the contributions and aspirations of young leaders in Hamilton. The initiative consists of a number of engaging workshops and events for black youth held through February and March 2018 in collaboration with community partners, followed by a dynamic outreach campaign. All events are free and targeted to ages 10-25. This campaign is supported by the Violence Prevention Campaigns Initiative under the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan.

Afrobeats Night

Friday, December 29, 2017
7:00 pm

Afro Canadian Caribbean Association Banquet Hall
754 Barton Street East
Hamilton, ON L8L 3B1

Are you a black youth who is attending or soon to attend college, university, or other post-secondary studies? If so, come out and let us celebrate you with a surprise treat and an evening of celebration!

Join us for a night of contemporary African dance music, food, and dancing, as we shine a light on the accomplishments and aspirations of black youth. We will be showcasing some of our young leaders who were successfully admitted to post-secondary institutions in 2017/2018. The intent of the event is to highlight what black youth are doing to forge a better future in their communities and for themselves.

Registration Closed

African Youth and Governance Conference Canadian Diaspora launch

February 8, 2018
5:00 pm

David Braley Health Sciences Centre
100 Main Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 1H6

Empowerment Squared and the Youth Bridge Foundation are pleased to invite you to the launch of the Canadian diaspora of the African Youth and Governance Conference (AYGC).

The launch will link diaspora African youth and those of African descent in bridging the socio-cultural and economic divide between African youth currently in the diaspora and those on the continent. The goal is to ensure the voices of diaspora youth are represented alongside their peers at the 10th AYGC, to be held in Accra, Ghana from August 5-12, 2018.

Building on the themes and outcomes of previous conferences, the 10th AYGC will provide a platform for participants to interrogate critical continental and global issues of relevance to youth development in Africa under the theme: Harnessing Africa’s Demographic Dividend: Building Dynamic and Mutually Beneficial Links with the African Diaspora.

This event is held in partnership with McMaster University (International Affairs) and Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, and will feature delegates from Africa, Europe and the United States. Join us for this launch to hear from inspiring global leaders and learn how you can attend or support the 10th AYGC.
Registration Closed

Black Poet Residency

February 10, 11, 17, 18
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Art Gallery of Hamilton
123 King Street West
Hamilton, ON L8P 4S8

Empowerment Squared and Hamilton Youth Poets invite you to participate in a dynamic 4-part poetry workshop series where you will explore expressing and establishing your identity. This series will also teach poem creation and editing, and translating spoken word to video. You will write your own poem and have the opportunity to create your own high-quality poetry video.

Participants will work with established artists Ian Keteku and Eklipz, and emerging artists Eddie Lartey, Chukky Ibe, Evelyna Ekoko-Kay, Ry DeRiggs, and Akintoye Asalu.

Registrants must participate in all workshops to complete the series. Lunch is provided.

Saturday, February 10
Introduction to Poetry

Sunday, February 11
In-Depth Workshop

Saturday, February 17
Transforming Poems to Screen

Sunday, February 18
Sign Up

All in for Change

February 25, 2018
11:00 am – 3:00 pm

AGH Design Annex
118 James Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 2K8

Hosted by leading Hamilton artists Israel Crooks and stylo starr, All in for Change will be an interactive session where black youth will use art as a way of harnessing the power of visualization through vision boards and image creation. Each participant will create vision boards using photos, text and paint to envision how they see themselves in society. Several themes of the workshop will be conceptualized around the following premise: “I am black, beautiful and powerful. I am all in for change.”

This exciting workshop is appropriate for youth who have experience in art, as well as those who do not.

stylo starr discovered the power of creating from nothing at an early age, and has been doing so, since. A graduate of common art academia, stylo carries with her a style unlike any of her contemporaries; bold colours, thick lines, and clashing imagery create the stimulating visual tension that is the foundation of her aesthetic. stylo starr is a visual alchemist. Found imagery, collage, paint, photography and digital illustration are her primary tools. Her heart, and her experience as a Black Woman in Canada, her language.

Artist and educator Israel Crooks believes that art is arguably the most powerful vehicle of expression. His work is a blend of realism, with a touch of impressionism, and a hint of the abstract. His vision is to change the world through art, built upon three tenets:

1. Art heals the heart.
2. Art is vital to the health of a Nation.
3. Art can be used as a tool to bring community healing, restoration and development.

He hopes his work reflects the enmeshed duality of life, and stirs a strengthening of people’s hearts, and from there helps them to find their voice.
Sign Up

Black is the New Black

February 24, 2018
10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Hamilton Public Library
55 York Boulevard
Hamilton, ON L8R 3K1

Facilitated by Nu Omega Zeta, Canada’s first black female sorority, this one day conference will feature panels, interactive sessions, and plenary discussion which will explore black identity, stereotypes, lived experiences, and creating a bright future. Lunch and all workshop materials are provided.

Sign Up

Politics and Possibilities: a special trip to Queen’s Park

March 1, 2018
9:00 am – 5:00 pm (time to be confirmed)

Queen’s Park
111 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Empowerment Squared and Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion are excited to present a unique opportunity for youth to spend a day at Queen’s Park to meet political leaders and government officials and learn about how to participate in our political system. This outing includes transportation from Hamilton to Toronto, and all meals and snacks.
Please keep an eye out for confirmation of the meeting place for departing from Hamilton, and the timing and agenda for the day – organizers will contact participants via email.
Sign Up

African History Celebration

March 3, 2018
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Stewart Memorial Church
114 John Street North
Hamilton, ON L8R 1H6

Empowerment Squared, in partnership with Stewart Memorial Church and a number of cultural communities from Hamilton, cordially invite you to a festive and inspiring showcase of African history and culture as expressed through music, dance, poetry, drumming, and storytelling. Keep an eye on this page for updates about participants and special experiences.
Sign Up

Our Youth Our Future Showcase

March 28, 2018
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Lincoln Alexander Centre
160 King Street East
Hamilton, ON L8N 1B2

Where it all comes together: a moving and inspirational evening for all community members that will highlight Hamilton’s amazing youth and the future they are creating. This night will feature special guests, performances, speeches, presentations, socializing and refreshments. Keep an eye on this page for updates about participants and special experiences.
Sign Up

Black Panther: Theatre Takeover

Saturday, March 3, 2018
8:00 am to 12:30 pm

Empowerment Squared
162 King William Street, Suite 103
Hamilton, ON L8R 3N9

The New York Time says: “A jolt of a movie, Black Panther creates wonder with great flair and feeling partly through something Hollywood rarely dreams of anymore: myth.”

Perhaps more importantly, as Time eloquently states: “It hasn’t even hit theaters yet and its cultural footprint is already enormous. It’s a movie about what it means to be black in both America and Africa—and, more broadly, in the world. Rather than dodge complicated themes about race and identity, the film grapples head-on with the issues affecting modern-day black life. It is also incredibly entertaining, filled with timely comedy, sharply choreographed action and gorgeously lit people of all colors.”

Empowerment Squared is excited to be able to offer an amazing opportunity – we have rented out an entire theatre for a special screening open to to youth in Hamilton (ages 13-25). This is a free event – participants must be registered on Brüha in advance and youth under 18 must bring a signed permission form (sent by email after registering). We will be joined by special guests and there will be complimentary drinks and popcorn.

Buses will depart at 8:15 am sharp from Empowerment Squared (162 King William Street, Suite 103, Hamilton). This screening will take place at SilverCity Ancaster Cinemas (771 Golf Links Road, Ancaster). The bus will return to Empowerment Squared at approximately 12:30 pm.

This event was made possible by local superhero Chukky Gerald Ibe, longtime Empowerment Squared supported and President of the McMaster Students Union. Chukky took the initiative to launch a GoFundMe campaign and raised $5000 to make sure youth who would otherwise not have the opportunity would be able to see this important film. Thank you Chukky!