PCTO Supports TDSB Task Force Recommendations

23 Jan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TDSB recommendations to combat Somali-Canadian students’ dropout rates a step in the right direction, says Somali advocacy group

Toronto, Ontario (Wednesday, January 22, 2014)– With the high school dropout rate of Somali-Canadian young people in Toronto hovering at 25%, and nearly 40% for Somali boys; Positive Change, an ad hoc Somali-Canadian advocacy group,  is in strong support of a set of recommendations put forth by the TDSB task force to remedy the problem.

In early 2013, the school board put together the Task Force for the Success of Students of Somali Descent – comprised largely of Somali-Canadian community members – to examine the causes and potential solutions for the high dropout and expulsion rates.

After many public consultations, the task force put forward a set of recommendations to be voted on by trustees in late-February.

“We’re very happy with the recommendations which range from critical education pieces for parents to after school support for students. They are a promising step in the right direction. We know we can turn this ship around – but we’re going to have to work together to help our children succeed,” says Faduma Mohamed, co-founder of Positive Change.

Positive Change works with community stakeholders to combat youth violence in the Somali-Canadian community.

“It makes sense – if children drop out of school, they very often get involved with people they shouldn’t and it’s easy to fall into a life of crime,” says Mohamed. “We want to see our children succeed, and education plays a huge role in the safety and the future of our children.”

A meeting to hear from the community through deputations is being held at the TDSB at 5pm this evening.

“We’ll definitely be there to show our support tonight. It’s imperative that trustees hear from the community,” adds Mohamed. “We’ve heard from so many community members who are delighted by the recommendations and there’s a real appetite for change. The task force has done a wonderful job and we look forward to seeing the recommendations turn into real actions. This is only step one in making the TDSB a thriving place for Somali youth.”

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About Positive Change:

Positive Change is a group of concerned citizens who have united to tackle youth violence in the Somali-Canadian community. We are made up of mothers, relatives, friends and supporters of young men who were recently murdered in Toronto and across Canada. www.positivechangeto.com


For more information, please call:

Sagal Ali
Positive Change
647-898-8499
positivechangeTO@gmail.com
www.positivechangeto.com

Press Release: Grieving mothers take their message of peace to Parliament Hill

18 Nov

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Grieving mothers take their message of peace to Parliament Hill

Ottawa-area residents are invited to a November 18 vigil on Parliament Hill to raise awareness of the spike in gun violence in Somali-Canadian community

Ottawa, Ontario (November 17, 2013) – Two mothers of slain young men are joining Positive Change, a volunteer advocacy group, for a candlelight vigil to remember the more than 50 Somali-Canadian young men who were murdered across Canada in recent years.

The vigil is taking place on the steps of Parliament Hill on Monday, November 18, at 7 p.m.

Habiba Adan, a co-founder of Positive Change, lost her son 26-year-old son Warsame Ali in a double homicide in September 2012 in Toronto; their killer remains at large. Similarly, Faduma Nur’s son Abdulkadir Mohamoud, 22, was beaten and shot in Edmonton in 2006; the case is also unsolved.

The women are just two of the many mothers who received the most devastating call a mother can receive. More than 50 young Somali-Canadians males have been killed in Alberta and Ontario since 2006; the great majority of cases remain unsolved. In 2012, six of 33 Toronto shooting homicides befell Somali-Canadian men, who were killed between June and October.

“No mother should feel the pain and sorrow I do every day.  We are all affected by gun violence, regardless of what part of the country we live in,” says Adan. “I hope the Ottawa community joins us in standing up for our sons from coast to coast.”

Ottawa has nearly 4000 Somali-Canadian residents. Positive Change hopes to address the underlying issues of gun violence, including unemployment, education, policing and mental health.

In addition to the mothers, the audience will also hear from local activists, Members of Parliament, and Rima Berns McGowan, adjunct professor of diaspora studies at the University of Toronto.

After the 45-minute vigil, members of the public are invited to walk over to Ottawa University, Tabaret 083 (Senat room)-E, to view a documentary on the violence and discuss possible solutions. Light refreshments will be served.

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About Positive Change:

Positive Change is a group of concerned citizens who have united to tackle youth violence in the Somali-Canadian community. We are made up of mothers, relatives, friends and supporters of young men who were recently murdered in Toronto and across Canada. www.positivechangeto.com


For more information, please call:

Sagal Ali
Positive Change, Media Relations
647-898-8499
positivechangeTO@gmail.com
www.positivechangeto.com 

 

 

PCTO host a candlelight vigil on Parliament Hill

28 Oct

A Candlelight Vigil

Imagine, on an ordinary day that started like so many others, you’re told your child was killed last night. Unfortunately, more than 50 Somali-Canadian mothers will never forget the day they found out their son died.

And, shamefully, the great majority of the cases remain unsolved.

On November 18, join three of those mothers, Positive Change, and Ottawa-area supporters at a peaceful vigil on Parliament Hill to remember the loved ones we’ve lost, and to raise awareness of an alarming upwards trend in gun violence in the Somali-Canadian community.

Join us as we send a clear message to our national decision makers: together, let’s stop the violence.

After the 30 minute vigil, we will walk to Ottawa University for light refreshments and a screening of It Takes a Village, a documentary on violence in our community.

Bring your family and friends as we take our message to Parliament Hill – together, we can stop the violence. Join us.

Toronto residents invited to PCTO’s first Walk for Change!

29 Sep

We’ve talked the talk, now it’s time to walk the walk.

Join Positive Change and many other supporting groups in a peaceful march for change.

In 2013 alone, nearly 20 people lost their lives to gun violence. Lives cut short and families shattered. Our communities are supposed to be a safe haven for children, yet we are seeing a troubling spike in gun violence amongst teenagers.

The time to stop the violence is now.

On Saturday, October 5, come walk with us to remember the young people our community has lost. Join us as we walk for change.

Meeting location: Intersection of Kipling Avenue and Rexdale Boulevard

Time: 1:30pm

Date: October 5, 2013

route

Our walk will begin at Kipling Ave. & Rexdale Blvd., ending in Rexlington Park.

Coming? Join our Facebook event page!

In the news: Somali-Canadians call again for help solving slayings

16 May

On Tuesday, May 14, Positive Change’s Habiba Adan joined MP Kirsten Duncan and MPP Mike Colle at a Queen’s Park press conference calling for a judicial inquiry into the nearly 50 murders of Somali-Canadians.

Read the full article here.

Positive Change hosts Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Dr. Hawa Abdi in Toronto!

14 Apr

Dr. Hawa AbdiDr. Hawa Abdi is an internationally acclaimed humanitarian who saved thousands of Somalis during the drought that ravished the country in 2011. Her moving memoir, Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman: 90,000 Lives Changed, hit the bookshelves on April 2nd, and she is touring North America this spring with her daughter Deqo and co-author Sarah J. Robbins.

Keeping Hope Alive: One Woman–90,000 Lives Changed, chronicles Dr. Hawa and her daughters’ inspiring work to keep 90,000 of her fellow citizens safe, healthy, and educated for over 20 years in Somalia.

Positive Change is pleased to host her Toronto stop in the North American tour. Don’t miss the chance to take part of a candid conversation about war, determination and keeping the hope alive.

Date: Friday April 19, 2013

Time: 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Location: Panorama Court Community Centre, South Meeting Room

                  21 Panorama Court, Etobicoke, Ontario, M9V 4E3 

For More Information, please email us at PositiveChangeTO@gmail.com. To make a donation to the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, visit www.dhaf.org

Positive change TO is hosting a special community meeting with Toronto Police Division 23 this Thursday.

4 Feb

PCTO flyer-1

Challenging stereotypes about young Somali-Canadians

4 Feb

 

Rima Berns-McGown and Idil Burale were invited to discuss Somali stereotypes on CBC’s Metro Morning, January 24 2013.

Somali stereotypes on Metro Morning

Rima Berns-McGown’s paper: “I Am Canadian”: Challenging Stereotypes about Young Somali Canadians

PCTO press conference with MPP Mike Colle at Queen’s Park

4 Feb

On January 22 2013, Positive Change held a press conference with MPP Mike Colle at Queen’s Park to propose some solutions.

Somali-Canadian moms group gets MPP Mike Colle’s support

Somali-Canadian parents propose solutions to violence

Task force needed to solve 50 murders of Somali-Canadians

Somali-Canadian Conference

27 Nov

On Thursday November 22, 2012 the Ontario Ministry of Youth and Children services organized a Conference to tackle the issues regarding the recent increase in youth violence amongst the Somali youth in Toronto. Dr. Eric Hoskin, former Minster of Youth and Children Services, noted that this conference was a result of a recent meeting held with Positive Change. In his remarks, Dr. Hoskin praised Positive Change quoting “…when a group of dedicated citizens come together, they can make a change…”. Various notable dignitaries attended alongside many local concerned citizens. Some of the dignitaries included Dr. Eric Hoskin, Police Chief William “Bill” Blair, MPP (Etobicoke-Lakeshore) Laurel Broten, MPP (Don-Valley East) Michael Coteau, MPP (York South-Weston) Laura Albanese and singer/poet K’naan.

The eventful day started with speeches from some of the family members directly affected by the recent increase in gun-violence in Toronto. Shortly after the speeches, members of the crowd broke out into several round-table discussions to address and come up with recommendations for the Ministry regarding issues facing the Somali community.  These issues were:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Policing
  • Education
  • Family and Parental Support
  • Immigration
  • Mental Health/Trauma
  • Safe Communities/Neighbourhoods

Members of Positive Change are committed to collaborate with the Ministry to ensure that the recommendations are implemented. We would like to thank all of the members of the community that came out to support this event as well as all the dignitaries in attendance.

Here are some pictures of the event:

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