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Look Around You: Youth-Led Entrepreneurship Through The Arts

Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 

Time:  6:30 - 8:30 pm

Location: Abbozzo Gallery, 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 128

Eventbrite link: n/a

Join us in a candid conversation with three multi-disciplinary artists and entrepreneurs who are utilizing the arts as a platform for social and economic empowerment for and by youth. This panel is a call to action for people in the city to look around and recognize youth leaders and change-makers in their communities and to ask themselves –who is doing the work? In response to what? And, how might we work together towards systems change?

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Jasmine Swimmer is the founder of Black Girls NFT, a digital agency for authentic graphics, illustrations and concepts from the next generation of innovative Indigenous Artists and Animators as well as Soft and Butter a brand which infuses traditional Indigenous plant culture into skincare products.

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Sariena Luy is the founder of Flaunt It, an organization using artistic activism & community building strategies to foster, empower, & inspire young women to confidently create social change.

Warda Mohamed Youssouf is the founder of House of Arts, a space for young emerging Black artists (and non-artists) to explore and play; a home base where to expect a warm meal, a hot drink, and a safe place to expand their practice.

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Cynthia Roberts-Pérez, exhibition-maker and designer whose community-engaged practice focuses on creating initiatives that harness the power of culture for social inclusion. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Mayworks Festival for Working People and the Arts and makes exhibitions at the Royal Ontario Museum.

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Cynthia Roberts-Pérez


A Jane’s Walk Toronto event in Partnership with Toronto Arts Foundation/ Neighbourhood Arts Network and Abbozzo Gallery

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Flip The Script: Youth-Led City Building

Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Time:  6:00 - 7:30 pm

Location: The Bentway Studio, 55 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 0R6 (Google Maps)

Eventbrite link: n/a

People often say youth are the future of our cities, but how often do we ask youth about how we should plan and design for the future of our cities? Join us in a conversation with youth change makers and advocates about the urban issues young people face and the opportunities for them to shape the city. Come "flip the script" with us and have the (more seasoned) adults in the room listen to youth as experts!

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Raisa is a fourth-year Urban and Regional Planning student at Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) graduating in June 2023. She has worked with Toronto Community Housing as a Community Animator and the Leadership Lab at TMU as a Student Engagement and Communications Coordinator. As one of the Youth Leads with Youth Empower Youth, a youth-led project, Raisa helps to examine current programming in Regent Park and identify processes, protocols or responses which will support youth in the community. Raisa is also a Research Assistant with the Health, Access and Planning Lab at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at TMU where she works to showcase the barriers older adults across the country face in the built environment. Raisa is passionate about planning for marginalized communities and access in the built environment. 

Raisa Chowdhury


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Hafeez Alavi is a first-year planning student from Scarborough but currently studying at the University of Waterloo. He’s a notable advocate and designer for road improvements in Toronto including safer bike lanes and complete streets. His current focus is the Lawrence Prospect; a campaign to make Lawrence Avenue in Wexford, Scarborough safer for all road users. He’s also inspiring citizens and fellow students to get involved with the city so they can create change too.

Hafeez Alavi


Angelina Wang is a grade 11 student at Marc Garneau CI.  A youth leader, innovator, and aspiring engineer, currently leading a 1UP Toronto chapter as part of the Engineering Club at her school, which aims to empower students like herself to build and lead change within her community. Through her involvement in 1UP and other events hosted by Urban Minds, she continues to explore the fruitful and innovative urban spaces and the stories they paint of our city.

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Angelina Wang


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Ryan Lo is an urban planner, community engagement practitioner, and youth advocate. As Co-Executive Director of Urban Minds, Ryan works to bridge the gap between youth and decision-makers by developing youth engagement strategies with municipalities and community partners. He has extensive experience in facilitating engagement events for placemaking and transportation projects across Canada and the US. His consulting work includes youth engagement initiatives for the City of Markham, the City of Mississauga, Evergreen, and Toronto Metropolitan University. He also mentors high school students in civic leadership through Urban Minds' 1UP Youth City Builders program. 

Ryan Lo


A Jane’s Walk Toronto event in Partnership with The Bentway

Please check out The Bentway Summer 2023 announcement and Opening Weekend details here.

Accessibility Information: The Bentway Studio atrium is a ground-floor, physically accessible space. All gender, and accessible washrooms are available.

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