Take Back Your World Initiative

Program snapshot

Age group: Adolescence (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Gender: Mixed (male and female)

Population served: Gang-involved (and/or at risk); Neighbourhoods/communities; Visible minority/ethnic group; Youth in contact with law enforcement (and/or at risk)

Topic: Gang and/or related criminal activities; Social/economic disadvantage

Setting: Urban area; Community-based setting

Location: Ontario

Number of completed Canadian outcome evaluation studies: 0

Continuum of intervention: Secondary crime prevention; Tertiary crime prevention

Brief Description

"Take Back Your World" is joint initiative led by Urban Rez Solutions Social Enterprise. The project makes social services more accessible to Black youth providing employment readiness workshops, a 36-week culturally relevant life skills and resiliency program called R.E.A.L. School, and one-on-one case management to reduce the risk factors for youth becoming involved in gun or gang violence, as well as supporting those in conflict with the Criminal Justice System.


The main goals of Take Back Your World are to:

  • Increase youth engagement and success in school, employment, and pro-social activities;
  • Increase opportunities to develop connections to positive peers, adults, and support services; and
  • Increase recognition of the impact of behaviors and conflict resolution skills.


Take Back Your World Initiative focuses on providing programming for Black youth, ages 12-29, at-risk of gun and gang violence, in conflict with the law or who are NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) living in Rexdale, Jane-Finch and East Scarborough areas of Toronto.

Core Components

Take Back Your World Initiative supports locally responsive, targeted prevention programming, as well as professional guidance to help youth explore possible career pathways while building transferable employment skills, life skills and connections to a supportive network. The proactive

initiative uses prevention-focused strategies that addresses the factors that put youth (ages 12 to 29) and their communities at greater risk of being impacted by violence and victimization, which also includes human trafficking. The program components include prevention and awareness, enhancing community partnerships, success in school/employment, resiliency training and providing culturally specific case management.

Urban Rez Solutions Social Enterprise is an agency serving predominantly the Black population and involve people with lived experience in these communities’ supporting youth and providing pro-social change.

Implementation Information

Some of the critical elements for the implementation of this program or initiative include the following:

  • Organizational requirements: The organization should ensure that the program aligns with one or more of the following principles:
    • Best practices recognized as effective for supporting youth at risk of violence and victimization;
    • Culturally appropriate to youth and communities served;
    • Client-centered and youth engaged (i.e., youth are at the center of all aspects of the program and uses strategies to involve and empower youth to address, plan and make decisions about issues that effect them);
    • Strengths-based and trauma-informed (i.e., recognizes, supports and builds on the strengths, skills and protective factors of youth, reflects an understanding of trauma and the impact of traumatic experiences); and
    • Family and community based (i.e., includes and integrates family and/or community support in addressing the needs of the youth and fostering strengths, facilitates and/or leverages community partnerships and/or service coordination to provide effective services to youth).
  • Partnerships: The success of Take Your World Back depends on its partnerships with Youth Association for Academics, Athletics and Character Education (YAAACE), One by One Movement Inc., and Toronto Employment and Social Services.
  • Training and technical assistance: Limited information on this topic.
  • Risk assessment tools: Limited information on this topic.
  • Materials & resources: Limited information on this topic.

International Endorsements

The most recognized classification systems of evidence-based crime prevention programs have classified this program or initiative as follows:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development: Not applicable.
  • Crime Solutions/OJJDP Model Program Guide: Not applicable.
  • SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices: Not applicable.
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy: Not applicable.

Gathering Canadian Knowledge

Canadian Implementation Sites

The Take Back Your World initiative is delivered by Urban Rez Solutions Social Enterprise and is a pilot project funded by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services. The program began implementation in 2021-22 and funding will expire on March 31, 2024.

Main Findings from Canadian Outcome Evaluation Studies

No information available.

Cost Information

No information available.


There is no Canadian reference available at this time.

For more information on this program, contact:

Urban Rez Solutions Social Enterprise

1225 Kennedy Road, Suite 2000

Scarborough, ON M1P 4Y1

Telephone: (647) 287-4741

E-mail: rod@urbanrezsolutions.com

Website: https://urbanrezsocialenterprise.com/

Record Entry Date - 2023-11-30
Record Updated On - 2023-12-11
Date modified: