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Community Causes — Youth: LEVELing the Playing Field
Vancouver Foundation's Community Causes Learning Series seeks to inform and inspire on a variety of community issues. Through storytelling and site visit tours, we are honoured to showcase Vancouver Foundation's funding partnerships with charities.
On June 12, 2019, a group of donors gathered to learn about Vancouver Foundation’s youth engagement work, and specifically about our new initiative LEVEL.
Sixteen young people are participating in the LEVEL Youth Policy Program, representing BC’s fastest-growing populations — Indigenous Peoples, immigrants, and refugees. For these individuals, race is a factor in whether their voices are heard in decisions that affect their lives. We launched LEVEL to build their capacity to challenge and change the systems that limit their voices. The group meets twice a month, to learn how to shape policies to affect their lives.
At this event, we heard from two participants, who shared what led them to initiate their policy project, and the change they want to see.
About the LEVEL Youth Policy Program
LEVEL is Vancouver Foundation’s newest youth initiative. The LEVEL Youth Policy Program is one of its three pillars. The program is only open to youth from three of BC’s fastest-growing populations — Indigenous Peoples, immigrants, and refugees.
For these youth, race continues to be a factor in whether their voices are heard in decisions that affect their lives. We launched LEVEL to build their capacity to challenge and change the systems that ignore their voices.
Our Youth Presenters
Marion Erickson, who is from the Nak’azdli Whut’en Nation near Prince George, is on a mission to revive the Dakelh midwifery practices of her people and challenge Western perceptions of Indigenous birth practices.
Andisheh Fard, an Iranian immigrant, seeks policy change to recognize the value of a newcomer’s education and work experience. For many immigrants, a university degree earned in their home country holds little value in Canada. This limits opportunities for skilled people who already have years of work experience.
Through LEVEL, Marion and Andisheh have learned about concepts like a “theory of change” and community mapping. A few weeks before the event, they traveled to Victoria to meet Premier John Horgan and members of legislature.
By the end of the program, each participant will have policy that can act on. At the grand finale of the LEVEL Youth Policy Program is a half-day policy presentation event, with city councillors, MPs, and MLAs to come and present.
Support our Youth Focus Area
The LEVEL program is supported by our Youth Focus Area. If you wish to support Vancouver Foundation's Community Granting programs, please donate here to support one of our Focus Areas.
If you would like more information about our Community Causes Learning Series, please contact our Donor Services Team.
Learn more about our youth engagement work: