UNITY Programs seek to:
- Use urban arts and hip-hop to engage youth, including break dance, spoken word, beatbox, and graffiti art
- Build year round mentorship skill based-programs
- Teach youth to express their stress and develop skills for success
- Connect through leaders personal stories to heal and inspire
- Work with youth living in priority / high risk communities
UNITY contributes to maintaining individual and community health through the improvement of self-esteem, social skills, and learning specifically through being a vehicle for primary expression/communication, “in addition to augmenting verbal expression, significantly expanding forums for progress toward… goals and skill-development, and enhancing [youth-centered] approaches.” 3 In helping to develop these positive traits in youth, the arts can have a positive impact by combating a range of social, emotional, and behavioral problems including: bullying, violence, defiance, ADHD, eating disorders, depression, self-harm, anxiety, and addictions 3
Types of UNITY Programs:
UNITY Crew After School Program
An 18-week arts-based leadership and mentorship program that ends with a youth-led performance addressing issues of the community.
A weekly community program that unites all elements of hip-hop that focuses on building skills through peer-to-peer mentorship and artistic performance.
UNITY Leadership Groups
Youth leaders participate in Leadership Groups to develop professional skills in their art forms, lead workshops, organize community events and become UNITY ambassadors.
Weekly community space that teaches specific hip-hop art forms
UNITY Artist Training
A multi-level training program for young emerging artists to develop professional, career-building and organizational skills.
A nation-wide urban/hip-hop arts festival celebrating the artistic talents and stories of youth from UNITY’s program and community.
The Artist Educator Training
This component of the project, facilitated by two professionals of social work and education (Dr. Ellen Sue Mesbur and Lynne Mitchell), provides Artists Educators with two components:
- Basic and advanced group work techniques that will be integrated into their training workshops, andSupervision which allows Artist Educators to deal with ongoing support regarding mental health issues that arise in the programs.
After the initial training and throughout the supervision, feedback and consultation is sought from the Artist Educators to inform the training and practice for the duration of the project. The training is part of the evaluation plan with a view to data collection/synthesis to develop knowledge translation tools.