The lives of young people are shaped so heavily by life online. In recent years we have seen an alarming influx of online hate, racism, and violence targeting Indigenous youth. This online hate and violence impact young people so deeply. It can alter how they see themselves, their ability to form connections, and it impacts their mental health. In 2020, the isolation necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 shifted many young people even further online for connection and community. This led to a significant increase in online hate against Indigenous, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+, and marginalized youth.
Addressing online hate, and advocating for digital kindness, was a big part of our work in 2020. Connect with Kindness, a group of Victoria-based youth gathering to talk about online hate wanted to be part of the solution. They created a social media campaign and the Connect with Kindness Toolkit, which draws awareness to and sparks conversations about cruelty online.