Youth for Change and Inclusion (Details)

Name of province/ territory:

British Columbia

City/ Region:


Description of Initiative:

The Youth for Change and Inclusion (YCI) program is run by the Victoria Police Department. The first part of this project is an annual four-day conference which brings together 60-90 youth aged 13-17 years, representing a variety of ethnic, racial, religious and cultural backgrounds, to explore the issues surrounding hate and intolerance. This is done with financial support from the Victoria Police Department, Coast Capital Savings and the Victoria School District and the assistance of teachers, police officers and volunteers in a camp setting. The youth are separated into different groups and participate in workshops and discussions, which are designed to give the participants the necessary understanding and tools to combat the racism and intolerance they see around them. Several group-building exercises help break down barriers to communication and teach the youth to accept others. There are speakers from various ethnic groups to give a more personal perspective on the effects of racism and intolerance, which serves to move the issue to the heart. The youth develop action plans to implement upon returning to their schools which include such things as multicultural weeks. Youth representing each of the schools form a regional committee to connect and support each other in their initiatives. This group also organizes a one-day conference at the beginning of the school year called “Motivational Day.”

Initiative Key Objectives:

Our mission is to educate the youth around issues of racism, prejudice and stereotyping and show them the impact of their action and inaction. We motivate the youth to become leaders in responsible citizenship and provide them the desire and tools to undertake activities that will empower them to prevent conflict in their schools and communities.

Section Responsible for Implementation:

Patrol officer

Key Contact:

Paul Brookes

Groups/ Agencies/ Key Partners Involved:

  • community groups
  • other police services
  • private agencies/corporations
  • Victoria School District

Level of Involvement (consultative - information sharing) and/or cooperative - direct involvement):

The level of involvement has been cooperative.

Amount of Time Initiative has been in Place:

This initiative has been in place since 2003.

Reason for Undertaking the Initiative:


Resources Required to Implement this Initiative:

The financial costs are covered and shared between the police department, the school district and Coast Capital Savings. In general (not including wages) Victoria Police Department supplies 60% of the funding, Coast Capital supplies 20% and the School District 61 supplies 20%.

The costs fluctuate quite a bit depending on the number of students who attend and the fees charged. In general, the program costs around $15,000.

Method of Implementation:

The first year the program was implemented started with a pilot project with funding from Canadian Heritage/Coast Capital. The program then migrated to the current funding model.

Key Outcomes of the Initiative:

This project has a broad impact:

  • Youth learn the impact of their words and actions and become part of a non-judgmental peer group. They are offered opportunities to work on community projects like social justice marches, volunteer work, murals and theatre performance with groups such as VIRCS (Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society). They become leaders and make significant impacts within their schools by creating events such as multicultural weeks and by supporting anti-bullying initiatives. The youth are less likely to be involved in crime, and more likely to report crime, as they are no longer fearful of the police.
  • Schools “inherit” a dedicated group of youth who work hard to improve the atmosphere of the school. The students create a place for the displaced to find support and a friendly group to be involved with. The students within the schools support other students and at times events are stopped before they become problems.
  • Teachers connect with youth and other community members they inspire and in turn are inspired by those involved in this project. They become better teachers.
  • Police officers become more aware of the issues surrounding racism and intolerance. They are motivated to get involved with the community and youth and become more well-rounded and informed police officers.
  • Police departments help create awareness and an environment where racism and ignorance cannot grow institutionally.
  • Communities emerge stronger from the many age groups and community leaders who attend.

Availability of a Communication Strategy:


Key Messages used to Publicize the Initiative:

The key message of this initiative is “police working with youth to build leaders.”

Forms of Evaluation by which the Initiative will be Assessed:

  • social return on investment

Evaluation Completed or Community Feedback Received:


Summary of the Outcomes:

The results of the evaluation are expressed in letters received from the youth as well as on reflection sheets filled out after each speaker.

Sample excerpt from feedback:

"I would also enjoy the connection that all us YCIer’s had with all the police force. Half the time I forgot you guys were police being that the stereotypical outlook on police are scary, mean, buff people. But this camp really made me realize that you guys are just like us and you really care about the community and our generation. Every time my mom passes a police car she cringes but I tell her about how nice you guys really are and not to fear! Haha my mom always gives me a strange look when I tell her that."

Summary of the Performance Measure Data Collected:


Economics of Policing Pillars:

Further Details:


Additional Comments or Suggestions:


Record Entry Date:


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