On Monday, September 25, the Peel HIV/AIDS Network (PHAN) launched the Young Black Women’s Project. This leadership program was created in response to a dire need for culturally relevant programming for black youth in the Peel Region.

A recent report commissioned by the United Way of Peel Region’s Black Community Advisory Council (The Facilitating Change, Access, and Equity Report) has demonstrated the need for this type of programming.

Participants in the program will use various forms of writing, public speaking, painting, and other creative media to explore issues such as trauma, relationships, mental health, and self-image. Their finished work will be published in an anthology that will be widely distributed across the region, serving to shine a light on the voices of young Black women in Peel.

Graduates from the program will gain increased confidence to advocate for personal and community health and well-being, and learn to serve as effective leaders in social and professional networks.

“It’s important for Black women to have spaces where we can be ourselves, where we can learn and grow together,” said Esosa Akpata, Lead Peer Consultant with the Young Black Women’s Project. “It’s also really important for young Black women’s voices to be heard.”

This program was made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Brampton Caledon Community Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast.

This workshop series is open to Black women over the age of 18. Those interested in participating can register here or visit ybwproject.com for additional information about the program.