Making the Annapolis Valley a better place for LGBTQ youth and our allies

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Welcome!  Below you’ll find news and events about the Valley Youth Project, an organization dedicated to connecting LGBTQ youth and our allies across the Annapolis Valley.  If you’re new, you might want to read more about who we are and why we’re here.

Christmas-ReindeerAt our next Drop In on December 17, we’ll be enjoying some seasonal treats, and playing  silly reindeer games – well, maybe not silly, and you don’t have to be a reindeer – but we may see the return of “Apple to Apples”, our favourite guessing game.

Join us for a lead up to the holidays,  Wednesday December 17,  6:30 – 8:30 in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex, 9489 Commercial St., in New Minas.

If you could change anything… what would you do to make it safer, healthier, and happier for GLBTQ+ youth in the Annapolis Valley?  What about in your neighbourhood or school, in the province, in the world?

Tim will be giving a presentation in March to community leaders and interested members of the public.  He’s looking for your ideas about what they can do, change, or prevent to make our world a better place.  What would you say?  Who do you think needs to hear it?

We’ll also be joined by Louise Lyman from Heartwood, a Nova-Scotia-based organization that promotes youth-directed community development. Louise is a program co-ordinator for Leaders of Today and will fill us in on what the province is doing to make their sexual violence strategy respond to the needs of GLBTQ+ youth.

Have your voice heard, and your ideas used to create positive change in NS.  Enjoy some great company, conversation, and snacks at the same time.  See you then!

Want to know more about the proud history of the queer community?  Come to drop in and hear LGBTQ elders talk about coming out and the early days of queer activism.  As always, there will be snacks, comfy seats and a chance to share some of your own experiences (or not!)

The discussion kicks off at 6.30, going until 8.30.  We’re still at the Louis Millet Community Centre in room 128; you will know us by the Pride flag on the door.

And, if you’re new to the VYP and would like to know more, check out the For YOUth tab at the top of the blog page.  We hope to see you soon!

Nov. 5 Drop In: Movie Night

unnamed We’re planning on watching a movie or TV Show at our next Drop In on November 5.  Do you have a suggestion for something you’ve yet to see or would like to watch again and share with others?  Please let us know by leaving a comment or use the Contact Us button. We only have a couple hours of Drop In, so your choice does have to run less than that.

Drop In runs from 6:30 – 8:30 in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex, 9489 Commercial St., New Minas.  We’ll start with a check in with everyone, then watch our show and hopefully have some time to practice begin movie critics.  As always, there will be snacks!

NEW MINAS CONVERSATION RESCHEDULED
Update from The Youth Engagement Team for the Sexual Violence Strategy
—————————————————————————————
The staff of HeartWood and Leaders Of Today are deeply saddened at the loss of an incredible champion for youth in our community, Leighann Wichman, our colleague and our friend.

Leighann was a founding member of The Youth Project and it’s only Executive Director. Her strong quiet guidance, steadfast dedication and the incredible depth of care she gave made her one of the most influential advocates for the LGBTQ community in Nova Scotia and beyond. The impact of Leighann’s personal and professional life will forever ripple out; she has saved lives, changed attitudes and built bridges of support, love and solidarity.

Leighann’s passing is a loss of enormous proportion felt deeply by those whose lives she touched. Our little team is made up of but a few of the very many mourning the loss of such an incredible community hero.

Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out especially to Leighann’s family, closest friends, and The Youth Project.

In respect of this news, we are rescheduling the LGBTQ youth conversation in New Minas from Tuesday, October 21st to Friday, December 12th. We believe it is important to make as much room as we can for the community to support one another during this difficult time.

We appreciate all of your compassion and understanding with regards to this decision. All other conversations across the province will proceed as scheduled and we are available to answer any questions folks may have.

Warmly,
Bri, Tamsyn, Louise and Rena

Oct. 15 Drop In: Games

ping_pong_paddles We’re breaking out the games again at our next Drop In on October 15, 2014. It will be players choice – ping pong, foosball, or board games. If you have a favourite game you want to play, bring it along.

Drop In  runs from 6:30 – 8:30, and you can come and go at any time during then.  We’re in room 128 of the Louis Millet Community Complex at 9489 Commercial St. in New Minas.  Follow the signs to the door with the rainbow flag.

We welcome  all queer youth 25 years and younger, and your friends.   You don’t have to self-identify. There is no membership to sign up to. Just show up.

We have snacks.

If you’re planning ahead, the dates for the next few Drop Ins are November 5, November 19, December 3 and December 17.

Update Oct 16:

Youth 19 and over no longer need to attend with an adult supporter.  Some dates have changed.  See the details at the Heartwood website.

poster

How should our communities be responding to sexual violence?  How should we be preventing it?  The Government of NS is asking young people around the province to bring their ideas to a series of conversations happening over the next two months.

Here in New Minas, they will be hosting a conversation for GLBTQ+ youth on Friday, Dec 12.

Have something to say?  Want to make sure young people’s stories and experiences are represented?  Check out the information below.

Are you an adult ally to GLBTQ+ youth?  You can help spread the word by passing this info along to youth who might want to participate, putting up a poster (below), joining the conversation as the community support worker, or making yourself available as a support person to a youth participant.

Conversations are happening in many communities around the province, and you don’t have to go to the one nearest you.  Each one has a different theme, and people are welcome to attend the one that best suits them.  There are conversations specifically for young people who identify as men or women, Aboriginal youth, youth who are immigrants or refugees, African Nova Scotian youth and youth from racialized communities, as well as regional conversations for youth from the eastern, western, northern, and central regions of the province (see below for map).

Details

  • What: Conversation about NS Sexual Violence Strategy
  • Who: GLBTQ+ youth, 14-25 years old
  • When: Friday, Dec 12, 10 AM – 3 PM
  • Where: New Minas, venue TBA
  • Contact: Briana Miller
  • Email: millerbz@gov.ns.ca
  • Phone: (902) 233-2679

Registration

Registration is free; you only need to RSVP.  Some subsidies are available for travel, and possibly for childcare (details are still being finalized); you can get more information from Briana.

Because of the possibly heavy and sensitive topic, youth 18 and under must attend with an adult that they trust and have a professional relationship with.  The adult will not be in the room during the consultation, but must be available throughout the day. If you would like one of the Youth Project volunteers to be your adult supporter, please let us know and we will try to support as many youth as possible.

Registration forms and details are available on the Heartwood website.

Are You a Community Support Worker?

Organizers are also calling for a community support worker to attend each conversation.  There is a stipend available; experience supporting people who have experienced sexual violence is an asset but not required.  For more information, see the Heartwood website.

 Map of Youth Engagement Conversations

Map-Oct10

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