We honour the ancestors who came before us, their sacrifices, triumphs and incredible contributions to what we now call "North America" and globally. It is with gratitude and humility that we walk this path, with deep understandings of who we are, the power we possess, and our ancestral responsibility to nurture and nourish future generations.
The Youth Alliance for Intersectional Justice (YAIJ) is a Black youth-led collective of Black and racialized neurodiverse youth, adults (with and without intellectual disabilities), and allies. Youth defy intellectual and/or developmental dis/ability (DD/ID) labels by engaging in youth-centred, community-based projects and research focused on education, technology, housing, and entrepreneurship.
To create and support Afro-centred safe spaces in which Black and racialized neurodiverse youth navigate the education, technology and entrepreneurial systems through meaningful, engaging, community-supported, and youth-led projects, programs, and research.
We envision communities where youth and young adults positioned at the intersections of race, ability, gender, sexuality, SES , and other socially constructed categories intersect, are meaningfully and equitably engaged in society.
Our vision is to be a trusted resource, a safe space where youth, young adults and their families, are instrumentally supported to be the primary narrators of their own life stories.
OUR CORE VALUES
YAIJ provides a safe, respectful, supportive environment where youth and their families are appreciated and valued in thoughtful and attentive ways.
Every person has the right to express themselves in ways that are meaningful, relevant, personal, and respectful. How we perceive our identities, how we wish to be addressed is intrinsically tied to language and terms we use when communicating with each other.
All youth hold the power to be the narrators of their own life stories. By exploring subjects and issues that are meaningful and relevant, youth cultivate their curiosities, fully supported to imagine possibilities, and create spaces of belonging.
Access & Opportunity
We exist to facilitate culturally impactful access to education, economic, housing, technological and environmental opportunities, resources and supports. We commit to being a welcoming, barrier-free environment where youth and allies thrive.
We believe in action-oriented advocacy, led by people intimately knowledgeable about life at the intersections. We are committed to fairness, equity, humanity, compassion, reclamation, and holistic justice.
We believe collaborative relationships are the foundation of community work. We are community partners working with youth, families, volunteers, community-based organizations, and government agencies to form supportive networks for Black and racialized neurodiverse youth.
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