Archive for December, 2014

Check out Monster Academy!!!

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monster academy logo

Are you under 25? Are you interested in talking about mental health?

Monster Academy might be the right fit for you!

Head & Hands has long been committed to combating the silence around mental health, a silence which can lead to isolation, alienation, stigma and criminalization. We think that conversations about mental health can be powerful and transformative, and we are pretty excited to introduce you to Monster Academy, an exciting new(ish) initiative launched in Montreal in June 2014.

Monster Academy is a social justice–oriented workshop series designed to provide accessible, anti-oppressive mental health skills training to youth in Montreal. It is also intended to open a restorative dialogue around the silencing and stigmatization of “being crazy” in the broader Montreal community. Monster Academy is based upon the principles of empowerment, harm reduction, respect for self and others, interdependence, mindfulness, and community serving community.

Here at Head & Hands, we believe in the power of youth as leaders, teachers, and educators. We believe in prioritizing and creating space for voices in our communities. These are shared values with Monster Academy.

Monster Academy offers a FREE 8-workshop course for youth aged 16 to 25. Workshops contain practical components such as self-care and mental health intervention skills, guided discussion on mental health–related topics, and other skills such as group animation. They also offer support to youth interested in developing their own community projects.

Monster Academy is currently accepting participants for the winter 2015 Monster Academy: Mental Health Skills for Montreal Youth program. Application deadline is January 31st! Click here if you are interested in more information or would like to take a look at the application.

Winter Closure

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Winter is here! As usual, all Head & Hands locations and services are shutting down for the next two weeks (December 22, 2014 – January 4, 2015) so that we can rest up and prepare for the year ahead.

All our services will re-open and run on their regular schedules as of January 5, 2015.

Thank you to our volunteers, interns, board of directors, donors, supporters, friends, allies, and staff, as well as to NDG youth and the community for an amazing year!

We wish you all a very happy new year. See you in 2015!

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Give the gift of…. Head & Hands!

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Did you know that this past year, 40% more clients accessed our emergency food pantry than ever before??  Or that overall demand for our programs increased almost 15% this past year??  The need for our medical, legal, and social services is growing, and so as we prepare to close for our winter break, please allow us to re-introduce our cutest fundraising campaign: Give the Gift!

When you donate online through Give the Gift, you’ll receive a package of custom-designed cards, ready to print at home and give to friends and family on behalf of each donation. Give the Gift was made possible thanks to two talented local Head & Hands supporters: web programmer, Danielle Bakhazi, and youth artist, J’VLYN.

No matter the occasion, we’ve got you covered in English and French, with cards for celebrating gratitude, birthdays, anniversaries, congratulatory moments, incredible friendships, a new life, or just because!

Give the Gift cards are perfect for the person who says they don’t need anything, who doesn’t want more stuff, who wishes they had more time to volunteer, who believes in buying local, who believes in homemade gifts, who believes in ethical giving, who you have no idea what to buy, for the person who loves Head & Hands, and for the person that you love.

No matter who is on the receiving end, they can’t deny the wicked awesome goodness that comes from a donation being made in one’s honour to support youth in our community.

Okay, so we’ve explained why it’s amazing. But how does it WORK?!

1. Go to our Give the Gift page by clicking here

2. Decide how much you want to donate via your credit card or PayPal account

3. Receive a PDF file with a ton of beautiful cards

4. Pick the card you like

5. Print the card you like

6. Personalize it and send it!

7. Enjoy being the best gift giver ever.

It’s easy and fabulous.

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Support Sex Workers at Dec 17th Action and Vigil

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ACTION SANTÉ, TRAVESTI(E)S ET TRANSSEXUEL(LE)S DU QUÉBEC (ASTTeQ), RÉZO AND STELLA, L’AMIE DE MAIMIE have invited sex workers, those who work with sex workers, and allies to join in a walk and vigil this December 17th, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers.

Last year, sex workers and allies celebrated a huge victory when the Supreme Court recognized that criminal laws contribute to systemic violence that sex workers experience, and declared those laws unconstitutional (check out this link for more information). This year, however, the federal government introduced a new set of laws (known collectively as C-36) which came into effect on December 6th and will once again cause harm to sex workers – compromising safety, security, and dignity.

C-36 is a big concern for us and the folks we work alongside with on a daily basis. We here at Head & Hands, an organization committed to harm and risk reduction, believe that C-36 will lead to increased surveillance and criminalization of marginalized and racialized communities – trends we are already fighting against! C-36 is a strong reminder as to the importance of our Street Work program, our legal clinic, our work against racial profiling, and our commitment to underscoring the strength and resilience of our communities. These laws also remind us that the fight for safe working conditions, decriminalization, and dignity for sex workers is rooted in demands to end to gendered, racialized, systemic violence. The fight continues.

With the passage of C-36 , we at Head & Hands, along with ACTION SANTÉ, TRAVESTI(E)S ET TRANSSEXUEL(LE)S DU QUÉBEC (ASTTeQ), RÉZO AND STELLA, L’AMIE DE MAIMIE are calling for people to come together  to demand safe working conditions for sex workers.

We encourage you to learn more about the incredible work STELLA is doing, about Bedford v. Canada, and about the devastating laws under C-36.

We are calling upon you to come out in numbers on Dec 17th to support sex workers and call for an end to gendered, racialized, systemic violence. We are looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

 

When: December 17th, 2014, 4:30pm-5:30pm

 

Meeting point @ 4:30pm

Montreal Municipal Court

775 rue Gosford, Montréal

(Champs de Mars metro)

 

Vigil afterwards

Palais de Justice

1 Rue Notre-Dame East, Montréal

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Racial Profiling & Know Your Rights: New Video Resources!

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know Your RightsThese past few months, racial profiling and police violence have been in the international media spotlight. The murder of unarmed teenager Mike Brown, the acquittal of the police officer responsible for his death, and the resulting popular mobilizations in Ferguson have all shed light on this issue.

For youth of colour in Montreal, racial profiling and police harassment have been parts of their daily reality for years. In the last two decades, Montreal police have killed at least 47 civilians – including unarmed teenager Fredy Villanueva in 2008. The police report commissioned in response to Villanueva’s death concluded that Black youth in Montreal are eight times more likely to be stopped by police than White youth of the same age.

If you or someone you know has experienced racial profiling, Head & Hands can support in a few different ways (free of charge for youth 12-25, like all our services):

-Through active listening and non-judgmental conversation, we create safe spaces to be heard, acknowledge the trauma caused by racial profiling, and let youth know they aren’t alone in these experiences

-Through individual support from our Legal Coordinator, we empower young people to follow up on experiences of racial profiling, explaining their options and helping them navigate bureaucracy (for example, in order to file official complaints or contest unjustified tickets)

-Through our workshops and published resources, we educate youth and communities around how to react when they face racial profiling, by providing information about rights and responsibilities as well as strategies for conflict de-escalation

This week, we are very excited to launch our “Know Your Rights” video series – a new resource intended to share key information from our legal program with a broader audience, and spark conversations around this important issue. Each of these video capsules contains strategies for asserting your rights and de-escalating tense interactions, including “Interacting with Police” and “Loitering & Arrest“.

To request support, book a workshop, or get more information about our full range of legal support services, click here or call Ralph at 514-481-0277.