Who, What is YLC?

We are Young Leaders Circle. We are a group of people desiring a change in the ways in which we can work & organize together. YLC began as a research project with the Youth Social Infrastructure Collaborative in 2016. Since May 2018 YLC has received three-year funding under the Youth Opportunities Fund Youth Innovations Stream and is heading into year two. So far this model has been bringing together conversations with young people and adult allies in both Northern and Southern Ontario. As racialized and Indigenous young people who have worked within bureaucratic governance structures, we saw a more natural way of organizing utilizing our different lived experiences and worldviews. For the past year, we have been experimenting with a model for governance we call Spirit Spaces.

“Creating a practice or method that’s replicable, a way to share leadership of organizing meetings and getting work done. How do you define roles, is it based on things that need to be accomplished, or based on the people that are there and ready to contribute? A balance between the two- Different people filling different roles. Because we need to create an environment to address a key thing, which is to reduce burnout. This kind of framework will help generate spaces for these conversations, so people can feel comfortable letting people know when they’ve taken on too much. For each of us we have different lines of not letting people know when we’ve taken too much on, we need to find a way to be more caring for those feelings and thoughts. So that everyone is on the same page, intercept it before it becomes a problem and they say they have to leave. That can prevent affecting relationships, even though it affects the work.”– Jon Cada

Spirit Spaces

The purpose of Spirit Spaces is to divide the work that needs to be done and supporting each other as a whole. When we feel burnout and people leave, we don’t want the memory of that work leaving with them, we don’t want everything to fall on one person’s shoulders. These Spaces are different areas that go into organizing community work, and they help us carry the work while supporting and communicating with one another. We are constantly learning, unlearning and relearning how to engage with each other and the work considering our different cultures, capacities and communities.

How it All Began

Jon Cada: It was in 2012 when I first started getting involved in these conversations. One of the things that people always asked me about was my understanding of Anishinaabe traditional clan governance. It was an exciting time for me to be able to work with the Union of Ontario Indians, gaining knowledge on the Three Fires Confederacy and learning about the alliances of First Nations had throughout history. In this work there are territorial groups; Iroquois Alliance, Six Nations, NAN, up to the Assembly of First Nations. They talk about clan governance in that work, getting back to a place where they are able to use their clan systems and have communities involved in much more meaningful ways. On First Nations, they are called Chief and Council but they’re no different than a City Council with a Mayor and Reeve. It’s very disjointed, it doesn’t feel intuitive and people don’t agree with that system.

In my work with YSI I was given a lot of room to think about this. If we were to learn more about that history we could figure out how we develop different types of leadership, and mentor people coming into this work for the first time. Clan governance holds the keys to how we can engage with our allies meaningfully and address the barriers that we all deal with in our fields of work. Starting from there, the conversation has slowly evolved to the point where I was able to present this idea of clan governance with YSI in 2015. Since then I have been waiting for the opportunity to have conversations with people, to find out where people’s ideas were at.

In March of 2016, we had our Core Team Retreat at Children’s Peace Theatre in Toronto. A young person from Fort William First Nation, named Harley Legarde asked YSI what role they could play in supporting a youth council formation, or how they could support youth councils from different areas to come together. Being on many of these councils in my youth, I knew that would be a challenge. There were few good examples of youth coming together and working as a council or committee. Plus few of those councils left members feeling valued or validated by their work, and often not leaving a lasting change in the community. But even against these challenges, young people were there to accomplish what they wanted to. Except once a version of their goal was reached, they would disband and the knowledge produced would disappear with them. We didn’t know it at the time, but Harley played a pivotal role in the creation of the Young Leaders Circle. The Young Leaders Circle is a group that we formed a few months later based on the mutual desire to bring together the leadership, knowledge, and journeys of young people.

In May 2016 a few of us went to Thunder Bay to kickstart the nest-building work. We wanted to see how we could share our learning from the work in Toronto and Sault Ste Marie to youth in Thunder Bay. In Thunder Bay, in the living room of the Airbnb, we talked about the youth council conversation and we about how could we fix that. We had to ask ourselves “what are the structures and tools that we rely on to move the work we want to do forward?” This was an opportunity to circle back with these ideas to work with traditional governance.

Traditional clan governance is about communities and working together. In times past families were a part of different clans like the bear clan, eagle clan or the deer clan. Those clans had roles and responsibilities for their families and within the community. For everyone in that community it was an opportunity to be involved, to grow up with this family and develop those roles. For example, the Deer clan were the people in the community who would be engaging with everyone, making sure there’s food for people to eat,  and to welcome newcomers. Loon clan and crane clan were leadership clans that made sure the community was moving forward in strong ways, having good relationships with other communities, and making sure everyone had what they needed to do the work in the communities. Turtle and fish clans were the governance clans who upheld the stories, histories, processes, and protocols for the community; passing these things on to younger generations. Within clan governance there are a lot of different moving parts and responsibilities held by different people in the community.

If you grew up in a clan environment knowing what your role was, no one could take that away from you. You could go anywhere knowing that these are skills you have developed and can offer to other communities. People can also change, they did not have to stay in one role. People in traditional clan governance have the ability to grow to different roles and responsibilities with opportunities to learn further. No one should be able to take the skills and gifts you have away from you, all groups should be able to accommodate your gifts because it’s to the benefit of the group itself. Traditional clan governance operated in a non-hierarchical structure, not one person beared the single burden of responsibility. However, when I think about the ways that a lot of groups operate today there’s a conflict; the work is often held by one or a small group of people who are doing the logistics, or the relationship-building. Those people will be deeply involved in that work, and do an amazing job until they burn out. That person has been doing so much of the work themselves, have had so many people relying on them, and when they inevitably have to step back for rest all of that knowledge and experience will go with them. For groups to be innovative or sustainable, leaders have to learn to share the load and see the value in holding different gifts.

This Spirit Spaces model is an opportunity to learn about governance models and roles, and opportunity to take a look at ourselves and people around us. This model shows people can do the work they feel called to and grow as leaders themselves; sharing work, so that new people coming in don’t see a picture of  ‘hierarchical structures vs. here are the gifts I’d like to offer but am too intimidated to.’  Instead, create mentorship opportunities and knowledge transfer opportunities.

Jermaine Henry: Later in December 2016 when we met in Thunder Bay for our end of the year in-person meeting, I expressed my feelings about doing something different. We wanted people to do this differently; everyone should be leading. Candace (Neveau) said we need a template of how we organize together. Taking from Jon’s work over the last 4 years in Anishinaabe traditional clan governance and combining that with our own leadership experience, we created a non-hierarchical spirit space model. How can we do this in a different way where everyone feels the ability to lead?  We reached out in the YSI to create a working group. We started having conversations about each of the spirit spaces and how we can apply it, then this opportunity came up in real time to practice it.

How can we organize and support each other without a saviour complex? This model has been created by young people, aiming to be ‘natural-hierarchical’ and has many important spaces to contribute to. Offering everyone in the Collaborative a space, whether you’re called to sending long emails, posting on social, cooking or holding a brave space; it has a place. We’re really emphasizing people’s experience in this Collaborative and it should be reflected in our organizational structure; if something is important and you’re called to it, you should be able to. Dialogue has been really key for us in figuring out what we can offer, and freedom is a really important part too. Some of our members weren’t there, but Jon and Candace said to go ahead and push the work forward, even though it was something they needed to step out of at the time.

We worked on creating the Spirit Spaces Model while asking for feedback from a Working Group within YSI. We asked about what made sense, what was confusing, and how we could improve. We had the opportunity to practice coaching a couple of groups on the model, and in November 2017 we decided to apply to the Youth Opportunities Fund Grassroots Innovation Stream with the Sault Ste Marie Friendship Centre as our organizational partner to test and develop the Spirit Spaces Model with youth groups across the province. We received the funding in May 2018 and have experimented with coaching our YSI network provincially to transition to a different leadership model. It’s a constant learning, unlearning and relearning of what it takes for community and leadership.

Shared Work Course from The Outside

YLC – Young Leaders Leading in a New World

Why Shared Work?

An Exercise in Capacity-Building

We are excited to offer young leaders in our network the opportunity to receive training from The Outside in tandem with the on-going development of our Spirit Spaces model, and weekly remote meetings. We will be keeping a blog record of our different reflections during this process, and we will be recording conversations we have while learning to become better engaged change-makers. We were initially using this training to build up to a leadership retreat; young leaders coming together in Thunder Bay to address the roots of barriers in systems change, grass-roots youth movement, and community work. However, due to the global health crisis we are now moving the conversation to the web. Once we complete this training with our group of Young Leaders, we will be hosting a workshop series with youth from Northern Ontario and across the province. 

Working Toward a Common Purpose

Module 1: Observation

Reflections -Storm

The reading provided so far in this course is engaging. I like to think about how we organize and why we do things in the systems we do. There is an added dynamic of context and ethics to group leadership, specifically leadership in systems change – YLC is building a model of shared leadership that sees a reduction of burnout and a more holistic understanding of organization structure and community needs.We need to have the context of our diverse experiences with the morality of voice, visibility, tradition and connection. I reflect from a mixed-Kanien’kehá:ka perspective; I know I am visibly white, I have a graduate degree, and my expertise carries weight in the herriage and archival communities. Recognizing that power-dynamic, my interpretation of myself may not be the interpretation held by others. I work with a group of others who have similar and different experiences. I want to make sure I am addressing these things and keeping accountable in my work.

I found the reading on Transformation very relevant for our work in YLC. Activism and systems change work can often feel like it stagnates, or that it is wishful-thinking that cannot be accomplished. I’m excited to explore tools that keep our group motivated, and help avoid burnout. The further reading, The Art of Chaordic Leadership, makes a powerful distinction between those who amass power but are not community-minded or interested in anything outside power. When we take our cues from the needs expressed by the community and we step into action, is when we make things change.

Reflections – Jermaine

I found the first module called “Observation” resonated a lot with YLC work. We are a diverse group on many levels. We have different experiences, perspectives and vision. It makes it difficult for us to practice a culture-based non-hierarchical leadership model. I’ve found that the more we talk and theorize the less we actually did anything. We can talk ourselves in circles trying to figure out our vision or strategy. But when we come together for the “work” e.g gatherings, shows, workshops- we feel more connected and learn more about shared leadership.

Being Comfortable with Discomfort

Finding the Bravery to do the Work

Storm – YLC Core Team

Thoughts on growing in discomfort,

I often do not feel like a traditional leader and social media is not my favourite place. 

As I began to take on more projects, be approached for speaking opportunities, approached to write peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, social media take-overs, or write for Historical blogs – I began to lead without knowing it. I found my skills were in documenting, researching, making people feel heard and seen. I lead with empathy and support, the ability to pick up the pieces and make something with them.

In community work many people are traditional, enigmatic leaders. People who attract attention, people who put themselves out there, even with fear. I’m still growing comfortable with using a voice that represents more than myself, guiding an idea that reflects a whole network of ideas. Making sure I take my cues from the people I am doing the work for. But I suppose that connects to how we used to connect with other communities, we represented generations and people beyond ourselves.

I work with a group that works in unique ways. This is helpful, and it means it is more accessible. We can adapt to new ways of meeting, organizing and speaking with one another. Whether we are in the virtual space, or meeting in one of our hubs. 

When I’m comfortable I work better, but I want to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Being able to grow in ideal conditions as well as difficult ones, is something I am striving for. 

There is the factor of culture and access. I am an older Millennial who grew-up with limited internet access. I missed the whole age of vines, missed out on snapchat, have no idea how to use tic-tok.


(An Image of Me Trying to Relate)

How do you reach youth you want to connect with? 

I find it hard to reach younger youth and teen organizers. I find it hard to support youth 18-29, who are abandoning their initiatives to support their basic needs. I find it hard to help on passion projects when my focus is on paid work. There is need for more flexibility in grant dollars that accommodate older folks as well. We often find we wish we could support youth organizers, Indigenous artists and educators who are in their early thirties. Finding new solutions to this is a part of the conversations and networks we are building across Northern Ontario And the GTA.

How do you communicate your results with funders and with your communities? How do you communicate the need for flexibility when you have diverse needs?

Are there better solutions to charts and graphs?

Stay tuned for more posts and a special leadership capacity-building series; YLC core leads are going to document their experience in The Outside’s Shared Work course – A 9-module, self-guided program that will develop them as leaders and as a team. As part of this work we will be planning a leaders retreat in Thunder Bay to wrap up our journey. 

Are you a young person 18-29 living in Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, or Thunder Bay who would like to gain leadership skills and find new ways to organize? 

Email us at ylc@youthsi.org, drop us a DM on our instagram or facebook pages, or leave a comment below! We meet weekly and offer paid opportunities for remote work, professional growth and travel.

When Organizing Seems Impossible; A Post About Hope

Love from the Leads at YLC!

Storm here, just some thoughts on Winter and the struggle of feeling productive energy.

During the Winter months, many of us received teachings on the need for rest and renewal that comes with the dark freeze. The ground is covered with a blanket to protect the mother, she is given time to rest so she can create more life in Spring. Many of us have also been in school, we have had Winter breaks, or we take a break from our main gigs to work in busy shops. We are told that the holidays are so restorative, why do so many of us feel so tired when they are over?

I work 40-45 hours a week, sometimes 50 during crunch time on certain projects. This is before I get to my YLC heart-work. I have published 2-5 times a year in academic press for the last 4 years. I speak at a few conferences a year – I’m tired. My job does not give winter holidays like the academic world, I’m often under scrutiny from my academic colleagues for not getting as many side-projects done without the time they are given. I am also Indigenous, I have to travel a few hours to see my family, and when I do see them I have to navigate traumas. 

Winter is Dark, but we can find Hope.

I get SAD in the Winter months; Seasonal Affective Disorder, I mean. I regularly have bouts of time where I lose hope. 

I ask things like:

Why are my people over-represented in those sleeping on the streets?

Why do police still not take the disappearances and deaths of Indigenous women seriously?

Will I ever be killed for standing up to racial violence in public?

How can I inspire other youth from my background? Without sounding colonized, or ignoring my privilege?

In my work, do I serve my community? Do I bring pride to my nation?

How do I contribute to the goals of YLC? Where do I fit?

Many leaders give inspiration through example, they give advice that to them, seems do-able.

What happens when motivation does not easily come to you?

I have to constantly force myself to work, I have to constantly silence the doubts in my mind. Coming from a background where I was told I was never going to be enough, or that I was not capable of good work – it takes a lot of pushing. Sometimes I don’t win. I mess up, don’t do enough, or don’t have the confidence to step-up to the task. That’s a lot of us.

The YSI/YLC Retreat in Toronto at Children’s Peace Theater – April 2019.

The past decade was a time where Indigenous people and People of Colour living on Turtle Island started asking more from their neighbors. They started asking more from their governments and institutions, unfortunately this also means asking more of ourselves. But change is happening and people are doing amazing things in their communities.

Winter may seem dark, the news may seem hopeless, but it helps to keep in mind the amazing things we can do while we work together. We can warm each other’s hearts and shed light on the hope we have in each other. 

What are you most excited to get started this spring? 

Stay-tuned for more posts and a special series where the YLC Core Team will share their experiences in their leadership capacity building.

Lessons in Capacity; Capacity versus Desire

As young leaders, nonprofit professionals, and community organizers we have the overwhelming compulsion to ‘do better.’ However, what we rarely discuss is our need to hold everything; our compulsion to ‘do more.’

What is your capacity?

This is a regular question that the Young Leaders of YLC are asked as they organize, mobilize and develop the Spirit Spaces model. It sounds so simple, but this is a layered interaction. More than just having the time to complete projects, plan or get tasks done, we forget the energy.

Desire to ‘do more’ has a lot to do with wanting to improve our communities, it comes from a place of good intentions. On the flip side, this also comes from a need to be recognized as the one ‘holding it down,’ or the need for control. These less positive sides of our desire to do more are normal feelings that youth leaders and community organizers have, it’s okay to admit it. It is also okay to admit that we feel our identity as a ‘good’ organizer or leader is dependent on our ability to take things on; our desire to be ‘yes people.’

FOMO?

The Fear Of Missing Out is always in a struggle with our ever-shrinking capacities. When we are not always ‘yes people’ we worry that we won’t be given opportunities in the future, or that others will think less of our abilities. The FOMO effect is connected with the same desire as ‘do more.’ Checking-in with our capacities makes us confront this, it also keeps us accountable to our groups. We may be used to doing it all, or making things happen ourselves but we need to be brave enough to ask for help. Checking-in is a tool to re-center our priorities and identify where we can collaborate, or where we should be asking for help.

The Importance of Checking-In

We need to start checking-in with ourselves before we say ‘yes.’ We also need to start communicating honestly about our capacities, there is nothing wrong with boundaries or taking time to repair. What is wrong is when we don’t open-up about how we are dealing.

“When we run from communicating (honestly) with each other, we run the risk of losing our relationships all together”- Jermaine Henry (Check him out!)

Our desire to ‘do more’ is often conflated with the ego, the desire for recognition and reputation. Our motivations sometimes change a project, or change the way we approach community work. It is good to check-in with ourselves when we take things on.

What are my selfish reasons for saying yes to something? How much of my ego and identity is wrapped up in this?

Is my heart in this work? Am I doing this in the right ways?

How do you approach capacity-monitoring in community work? Hope you’ve enjoyed this post! 

YLC is always looking to connect with more Racialized and Indigenous young people in the Greater Toronto Area, Sault Ste. Marie (Algoma Region), and Thunder Bay. 

Contact us @ YLC@youthsi.org

Check out Jermaine Henry’s First Book, IBLV Dreams: A Vision Guide

The YLC Leads in Sault Ste. Marie

YSI to YLC: Growing and Learning

The Young Leaders Circle came into being in 2016 as a think tank and research project. YLC was formed out of questions being asked in a group called YSI. Now the Young Leaders Circle carries the work of YSI forward, we learn, unlearn and relearn from the findings of YSI.

The Young Leaders Circle came into being in 2016 as a think tank and research project. YLC was formed out of questions being asked in a group called YSI. Now the Young Leaders Circle carries the work of YSI forward, we learn, unlearn and relearn from the findings of YSI.

Keeping the Pulse – Holding the Tension

YSI- What is it?

ysicollaborative.org, Youth Social Infrastructure, this is not an easy group to describe or define because it means something different to everyone who interacts with it. YSI supports, mentors and encourages young people 18-35 through an intergenerational network. YSI found its beginnings in Toronto and since spread into Northern(ish) Ontario

“There is a sense of deep trust from everyone that we have invited in the right folks–we all

Trust each other, even though we don’t know each other that well. This speaks to the energy of

YSI–the way YSI has continued to exist just because of people’s belief in the people who are

Part of it, and what YSI means to them.”

Photo department: Setti, Yodit & Orit
Graphic Edit by Storm

In addition Youth and Adults who are engaged in Youth-Lead community change, YSI has many different types of change-makers and visionaries within their circle. Front-line workers, community organizers, established and emerging artists, as well as Funders benefit from the YSI learning community. YSI is a community that accepts people and situations as they are, unpacks it all and then asks: “What can we make? What can we do?” YSI challenges these different groups to listen to one another, to learn from one another’s experiences, to appreciate diverse experiences and perspectives, and to shift the values behind how organizations give grants, evaluate outcomes and understand the nature of change.

“What was revolutionary in one period may not be revolutionary in another.”

Non-hierarchical systems of organizing are uncharted territories for those who have always been involved in a Western-White-Centred model of social justice. YSI’s work is not always a feel-good session for those involved in what we call ‘heart-work.’ Mistakes are made, systemic issues persist through the best intentions but YSI embraces that uncomfortability and pushes us to be brave and put it into positive action #failingforward. With community spaces in Algoma, Toronto and Thunder Bay, YSI brought hundreds of young people and their allies together in new ways. 

YLC member Jermaine Henry was apart of YSI’s Evaluation team to measure impact through surveys and interviews. 

55 Capacity-building Workshops/Events. 47 Events co-hosted with partnering groups.
86 one-on-one mentoring sessions. Over 520 unique individuals engaged since January 2017.

Check out the full Learning Document Link and follow our journey as we continue the legacy of YSI in our own way as YLC! 

Photo Cred: Sarah Mcpherson

YSI to YLC: Growing and Learning

The Young Leaders Circle came into being in 2016 as a think tank and research project. YLC was formed out of questions being asked in a group called YSI. Now the Young Leaders Circle carries the work of YSI forward, we learn, unlearn and relearn from the findings of YSI.

The Young Leaders Circle came into being in 2016 as a think tank and research project. YLC was formed out of questions being asked in a group called YSI. Now the Young Leaders Circle carries the work of YSI forward, we learn, unlearn and relearn from the findings of YSI.

Keeping the Pulse – Holding the Tension

YSI- What is it?

ysicollaborative.org, Youth Social Infrastructure, this is not an easy group to describe or define because it means something different to everyone who interacts with it. YSI supports, mentors and encourages young people 18-35 through an intergenerational network. YSI found its beginnings in Toronto and since spread into Northern(ish) Ontario

“There is a sense of deep trust from everyone that we have invited in the right folks–we all

Trust each other, even though we don’t know each other that well. This speaks to the energy of

YSI–the way YSI has continued to exist just because of people’s belief in the people who are

Part of it, and what YSI means to them.”

Photo department: Setti, Yodit & Orit
Graphic Edit by Storm

In addition Youth and Adults who are engaged in Youth-Lead community change, YSI has many different types of change-makers and visionaries within their circle. Front-line workers, community organizers, established and emerging artists, as well as Funders benefit from the YSI learning community. YSI is a community that accepts people and situations as they are, unpacks it all and then asks: “What can we make? What can we do?” YSI challenges these different groups to listen to one another, to learn from one another’s experiences, to appreciate diverse experiences and perspectives, and to shift the values behind how organizations give grants, evaluate outcomes and understand the nature of change.

“What was revolutionary in one period may not be revolutionary in another.”

Non-hierarchical systems of organizing are uncharted territories for those who have always been involved in a Western-White-Centred model of social justice. YSI’s work is not always a feel-good session for those involved in what we call ‘heart-work.’ Mistakes are made, systemic issues persist through the best intentions but YSI embraces that uncomfortability and pushes us to be brave and put it into positive action #failingforward. With community spaces in Algoma, Toronto and Thunder Bay, YSI brought hundreds of young people and their allies together in new ways. 

YLC member Jermaine Henry was apart of YSI’s Evaluation team to measure impact through surveys and interviews. 

55 Capacity-building Workshops/Events. 47 Events co-hosted with partnering groups.
86 one-on-one mentoring sessions. Over 520 unique individuals engaged since January 2017.

Check out the full Learning Document Link and follow our journey as we continue the legacy of YSI in our own way as YLC! 

Photo Cred: Sarah Mcpherson

Become a Contributor!

We posted a few weeks back about looking for a Project Administrator for our Basics Space, however we are also looking for contributor commitments.

What is a contributor?

A contributor helps by adding voices or preforming tasks within one of our Spirit Spaces. Here is a quick rundown of our spaces and what a contributor can offer:

The purpose of Spirit Spaces is to divide the work that needs to be done and supporting each other as a whole. When we feel burnout and people leave, we don’t want the memory of that work leaving with them, we don’t want everything to fall on one person’s shoulders. These Spaces are different areas that go into organizing community work, and they help us carry the work while supporting and communicating with one another. We are constantly learning, unlearning and relearning how to engage with each other and the work considering our different cultures, capacities and communities.

Benefits: 

honorarium, travelling within Ontario, life experiences, networking, collaboration opportunities, not to mention help impact change in our approach to leadership

Risks: 

Uncertainties about the work, emotional labour, spiritual awakening, working with different worldviews, understanding compromise and integration of other knowledge. (Sometimes you will be uncomfortable and that’s okay) 

How You Can Become a Contributor With Us

Send us an email at ylc@youthsi.org to join in on one of our weekly meetings. We have regular meetings and welcome new voices to check into the space and see what they are comfortable doing within our group.

Contributor commitment is as the contributor sees fit, there is no pressure to be regularly contributing (as much as we would love to have you with us at all our meetings!).

Join Us!

Project Administrator Wanted

The Young Leaders Circle (YLC) is looking for an energetic, community-minded administrator to support the development of our shared leadership governance model. 

You will be part of a local and provincial team, carrying lead responsibilities for the coordination and implementation of an innovative leadership model. As part of this work, you will assist in building a local network of contributors, individuals and organizations to better support the capacity of young leaders who aspire to create positive and constructive change in their communities. 

We are looking for an individual who has a ​passion for working collaboratively ​with ​diverse groups and communities​, and with strong foundations in ​youth­ driven​ and ​culturally ­informed social change work​. The ideal candidate is someone who brings a sense of adventure, tenacity, kindness, spirit and joy to their work. 

Experience with​ organizing events, administrative duties and effective communication​ across different groups are key for this position. 

Critical to YLC’s project work is the ​building of relationships between Indigenous, racialized and non-Indigenous communities​. Priority will be given to candidates who can positively work across cultures in communities, affirming in their practice, the acknowledgment, respect and gratitude to our province’s diverse ancestry and responsibilities for community building stewardship. 

The Basics Administrator holds down the operational side of YLC and can access supports from group members when needed. 

The Basics space asks the question, “what is needed logistically?” The Basics Administrator schedules meetings, creates agenda and leads event-planning, grant-writing and reports. The Basics Administrator aims to connect our practice and our theory. They operate on the understanding that the most powerful way to get people involved is for them to know the story, experience the work and events, and connects with the other hosts to support this to happen. 

Compensation: $26/hr (12 hours a week) plus travel opportunities

Contract Part-time position duration: July 2019- May 2020

Must be 18- 29, We strongly encourage and welcome applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous (Métis, First Nation, Inuit, on/off reserve), People of Colour, members of the LGBTQA2S+ community or those living with a disability. Preference will be given to those applying from the Greater Toronto Area, Thunder Bay or Algoma Regions.

If you can see opportunities even before they exist, are able to harness leadership and engage diverse individuals, and are comfortable working in a fluid and dynamic way; this job is for you. The ideal candidate is someone who is a practical do­er AND a strategic thinker. 

If this sounds like you, submit a CV, resume or portfolio and a brief cover letter or voice note to ylc@youthsi.org with the subject “YLC Basics Administrator” by Friday July 19th, 2019

What we are looking for…..

Gifts: 

● Exceptional interpersonal skills and adept at building trust and confidence. 

● Demonstrated ability to manage a project, juggle competing priorities and prioritize tasks. 

● Ability to work independently and in a team environment. 

● Proven written and verbal skills with strong attention to detail. 

● Demonstrated experience in program development, implementation, budget tracking, evaluation and reporting in a non­profit or social entrepreneurship environment. 

● Demonstrated experience with building collaborative partnerships, participatory decision making, creating positive working relationships with teams. 

● Demonstrated facilitation experience. 

● Experience working with Indigenous communities. 

Assets: 

● Experience engaging remote teams and online facilitation/mobilizing is an asset. 

● Experience in and around issues of marginalization and systemic barriers an asset. 

● Online communication skills, comfort with social media is an asset. 

● Experience with youth work and systems change work are assets. 

Characteristics: 

● Curious about people and passionate about engaging their strengths. 

● Strong values around social change, equity, and bridge­ building. 

● Organized and outcome­ focused; working with clear intentions while heartful. 

● A willingness to work through conflict and differences. 

● Work from a place of strong self­ knowledge and resilience that informs deep listening and empathy, allowing you to walk alongside people’s journeys, but maintaining an ability to move through different aspects of the project work. 

We are Young Leaders Circle

Welcome to Spirit Spaces!

We are Young Leaders Circle. We are a group of people who are passionate about changing the ways in which we can work together. YLC began as a research project with the Youth Social Infrastructure, which just wound down in early 2019. Since then YLC has received three-year funding under the Youth Opportunities Fund Youth Innovations Stream and is heading into year two. So far this model has been bringing together conversations from youth in both Northern and Southern Ontario. As racialized and Indigenous youth who have worked within bureaucratic governance structures, we saw that so much more could be done through the incorporation of our varied lived experiences and worldviews. For the past year, we have been developing and tuning a model for governance we call Spirit Spaces.