VIDEA’s Youth Conference 2022

November 14, 2022

Over ✨ 2,200 youth from Zambia, Uganda and Canada ✨ joined us for two days of super exciting performances and speakers, knowledge sharing and international connections. 🌍

We are SO proud of this conference, the youth who attended it, the speakers and performers who made it so special, and alllll of the wonderful people who worked so hard to plan it!! This conference is NO small feat – the VIDEA team and partners worked across 3 countries to this event possible.

Our teams worked with 22 rural schools from 6 districts in Zambia; 5 schools in Entebbe, Uganda with 400 students from across the country; and Indigenous youth and classrooms across Canada. Everyone was SO excited – youth came ready to learn, ask questions and build community!! This conference brings expert knowledge, lived experience, powerful speakers and performers to classrooms across Zambia and Uganda. This information, including about their sexual, reproductive and mental health from practitioners, might not otherwise be accessible to students.

Huuuuuge shoutout to the AMAZING emcees who took on the challenge of hosting an INTERNATIONAL conference – so brave!! Veronica, Fortunate, Jacob, Agness and Chantelle, you all made us SO proud 💖.

We are very excited to tell you all about it!

Resist & Reclaim Our Power

Each day kicked off with speakers from Zambia and Uganda who talked about sexual and reproductive health rights, mental health and entrepreneurship. Speakers generously shared their knowledge and experience and students had SO many amazing questions!!

🔥 And thennnnnn, it was time to DANCE!! Performances by B’Flow, Zambian hip-hop artist and humanitarian, and DJ Erycom, Uganda-based international DJ, got students pumped!! 🔥

The second half of each day – as youth across so-called Canada joined – was off to an exciting start with keynote performances by TooSick who rapped and grass danced!! AJ Douglas Bear gave a motivational talk about mental health and being comfortable in your own skin, and Chelazon Leroux generously and vulnerably shared their experiences as a Two-Spirit person and performer. 

We had SOOOO many brilliant, thoughtful and powerful speakers and performers who shared knowledge and art about climate justice and Indigeneity including Cindy Paul, India Logan-Riley, Justin Young, Elder Heather Poitras and Mattmac

A VERY special session, Connecting to the Land: Storytelling with Global Elders, brought Elders from Zambia, Uganda and Turtle Island together to share stories and lessons from their lands. We were all very grateful for this wonderful Storytelling. 💛

The fourth and final cohort of virtual Indigenous youth interns, who worked alongside cohort 3 to plan the conference, shared a collection of poems and spoken word called, Weaving Together. They gathered around the virtual mango tree used in their virtual meetings!

The VIDEA team had to get in on the fun too!! Our Inclusion and Engagement team hosted a Creative Wellness session; Delaney, Gender Justice Leader, and their partner Vinyl spoke to the intersections between disability and climate justice; Patashi, Sekwanahcahk (Shelby) and Kwikws (Eliza) from VIDEA’s Climate Justice team gave thoughtful and motivating workshops about eco guilt, decolonizing climate anger, and global wellness. This was an awesome way to close out a very special two days.

As you can see, the conference was AMAZING!! We are so grateful for all of the youth who came with open hearts, ready to learn and participate fully! And to all of the speakers and performers who generously shared their time, energy, talents and knowledge.

We are grateful to Environment and Climate Change Canada and Global Affairs Canada who made this conference possible. Inclusion and wellness support was provided by the Women’s Foundation.