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TO Wards Peace Project (TWP) is a community-led model that focuses on interrupting and intervening in community violence. This pilot draws on the lived experiences of affected communities to develop and implement effective community engagement approaches, innovative communication tools, and social media strategies geared at violence intervention and interruption. Community residents, leaders, youth, and adults with lived experience of anti-black racism, trauma, and violence, in addition to, ​organizations, elders, and faith-based leaders were consulted and engaged in all phases of the design, development, build, communication, and evaluation of the pilot.

TO Wards Peace takes a public health approach that includes data collection/analysis, determining the risk, identifying protective factors, and utilizing evidence-based strategies and programs to address violence at the individual, family, community, and societal levels.

To Wards Peace Project which is embedded in SafeTO, will combine community, social media, and hospital-based violence interruption. RCHC in partnership with Think 2wice, the City of Toronto, and other partners will oversee the development and implementation of the pilot in Rexdale.

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TO Wards Peace Community Partners

Anchored and driven in the community by local health centers; Black Creek Community Health Centre (BCCHC); and Rexdale Community Health Centre (RCHC), along with local anti-violence grassroots groups including, Think 2wice in Rexdale and Youth Association for Academics, Athletics and Character Education (Y.A.A.A.C.E) in the Jane & Finch neighborhoods, will hire Violence Disruption Workers with relevant lived experience to work on integrated teams consisting of community and City of Toronto resources.

These integrated teams will identify escalating situations of risks and points for violence intervention and interruption. Additionally, the teams will coordinate access to a range of resources and services to further mitigate the potential for violence and increase life-stabilizing protective factors.

Local anti-violence grassroots groups and other relevant agencies and organizations will identify cohorts of youth currently involved in or most vulnerable to violence. The members of the cohort are selected based on multiple risk factors that result in circumstances of elevated risk of harm, victimization, and/or engagement in serious crime or violence before being involved in TO Wards Peace.

Three Methods of Engagement

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TWP Violence Disruptors

Local individuals with relevant lived experience and expertise will build rapport and constructively intervene with youth and their families involved in or at risk of involvement with violence and crime.

Online E-Mediators

Youths with lived experience have been hired to identify problematic content, online risks and conflicts, emerging trends, and expressions of grief, trauma, and loss that have the potential to create retaliatory real-life violence. E- Mediators will also disseminate anti-violence content through the E-Violence Interruption Before Escalation (E-VIBE) social media pilot.

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Hospital Based Violence Intervention Program Case Manager

A case manager with lived experience will utilize a public health and trauma-informed care approach to engage survivors of gun violence at the bedside who are at increased risk for re-injury and violence enactment, navigate post-injury from hospital to community, and connect them to services that support a continuum of care and safety through city-funded partnership with Sunnybrook’s Tory Trauma Centre Breaking the Cycle of Violence with Empathy (BRAVE)

Peace Projects

A $10,000 grant will be awarded to youth (and/or youth groups) for anti-violence initiatives, positive youth development, and capacity building.

Funding is intended for youth groups to facilitate their projects, creative ideas and initiatives that aspires to bring peace, cohesion and unity to disrupt violence and conflict in the community.

Peace Project applications open June 6th, 2022 and closes on June 27th, 2022.

For more information & to apply visit: Home | PeaceProjects (peaceprojectstoronto.wixsite.com)
Or contact: Stephanie Lynch, Youth Peace Ambassador at: stephanie.lynch@rexdalechc.com