Youth DEI-Ed Hub
For her project, Dineli created an education resource aimed to provide educational materials for junior high and high school youth. She has finished her first module of this resource and has plans to expand into more modules. She also created a blog with links to her educational resources, features of inspirational young change makers and a list of additional readings for further education.
Can you give a brief explanation of what your project is, and why did you feel it was important to do this project?
The Youth DEI-Ed Hub (YDEH) is an educational resource for junior high & high school youth to expand their knowledge on diversity, equity & inclusion topics and make impactful community change as young leaders. The resource hub also includes stories of changemakers from Edmonton & across Canada to provide youth with inspiration & empowerment to take action in their communities. Over the last few years, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have become vital topics of discussion. However, I find that simply listening to a keynote speaker on DEI topics without reflecting on how we can truly bring about change in the community is not sufficient to create change. Furthermore, I believe that; both accessibility and affordability are vital aspects of DEI education for youth.
With this in mind, I decided to create the 'Youth DEI-Ed Hub: Lectures,' which is a free online course containing information on various DEI topics & supplemental reflective activities. The Youth DEI-Ed Hub blog includes additional educational resources, the stories of youth changemakers, and information on leadership and community change. I wanted to create a resource specially targeted towards youth because of my firm belief that youth can employ leadership skills and create impactful community change. Furthermore, in a society where youth are often told "you’re too young" or "you’re too inexperienced," I wanted to ensure that my project acts as the source of empowerment that lets youth know that they hold a lot of power when it comes to making a change in the world. This project was the product of many revisions to my original project idea. But, I could not be happy with the end-product. The OSP Diversity Program coordinators were extremely helpful with giving me sound advice & providing support as I built this project.
What did you gain or learn from creating it?
My journey in creating this project was filled with invaluable learning experiences. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that there is no perfect time to start. As a self-described ideator, I found myself coming up with big ideas that I couldn’t bring to fruition on my own. This combined with my need for perfection, slowed me down in the early stages of creating my project. It wasn’t until a conversation with the program coordinators that I realized the beauty of starting even when I’m not fully ready & creating the project in slow steps. What matters is consistency - not perfection. Another takeaway from creating YDEH was that work in DEI takes a village and it’s fine to ask for help when needed.
What are your future plans for the project, and what are your future plans to grow in Diversity and Inclusion advocacy and allyship?
My future plans for the project are: promoting the project in junior high & high schools across Edmonton and making sure that youth from all backgrounds have access to the e-course and blog. I also hope to include the stories of more changemakers on the blog and expand the project to include teaching materials that educators can use to create their classrooms more inclusive. As for personal growth in DEI advocacy and allyship, my time with the OSP Youth Diversity Program has led to a volunteer role in working with newcomer populations in Edmonton. I have also continued my learning journey on DEI topics via reading related books and articles. The OSP Youth Diversity Program has been instrumental in helping me to recognize my own biases, building my confidence in taking community action, gaining increased self-awareness, and creating inclusive spaces.
OSP's Youth Diversity and Awareness program will connect you to learning and volunteer opportunities, like minded peers, community mentors, and provide support for you to bring a Diversity and Awareness initiative to your own community. We are always looking for committed participants to become part of our learning community!