Riverdalians for a Safer Tomorrow

Young people have experienced an epidemic of gun violence recently in Toronto. Select youth are frustrated, angry, scared, overwhemelmed, and experiencing feelings of powerlessness, alongside their parents. When Yonge Street turned into an open combat zone on Boxing Day, it was a turning point for Toronto, a day forever etched in our minds. The reality is no one is immune when it comes to gun violence. The victims are getting younger as are the criminals themselves.

We are proposing a Town Hall Meeting at Riverdale Collegiate on January 26 at 7 P.M. to mark the one month anniversary of Jane Creba’s tragic and senseless death. This forum will aid the healing process of Riverdale Collegiate Institute’s student body, staff and the wider community. The mandate of the meeting will be to examine and eradicate the roots and results of gun violence in Toronto. The wider campaign is to ensure that “Toronto the Safe” becomes our shared reality. Gun violence is a multifaceted problem that requires a variety of solutions.

Everyone is responsible in this campaign, and each and every voice is welcomed, supported and encouraged to contribute in their own capacity and ability. We would like to facilitate The Toronto District School Boards commitment to fairness, equity and shared interest. We need to secure the space, be it auditorium or foyer for this to happen. We need and appreciate your assistance to make sure dreams are never silenced again.

Youth Town Hall Meetings have been proven to be successful because:

  • They give youth an unfiltered voice
  • Directly involves youth and the community in civil life
  • Combats youth cynicism because it promotes the nobler acts of human nature
  • Will provide a basis of support to mobilize groups into action
  • Help us define our goals and stay on track
  • Communities benefit from new ideas and the energy and enthusiasm of youth
  • Meetings improve racial relations with face to face interaction- not rhetoric
  • Improve leadership skills, self- esteem and create a sense of accomplishment to fill the vacuum of helplessness
  • Provide new friends and interests and connect all ages and backgrounds
  • Are healthy for social development, enriched family life and promote neighbourhood vitality.
  • Clearly demonstrates the love and commitment of parents, staff, and community agencies that will survive beyond any media coverage. ( If there is media coverage it will be limited and managed in a respectable, compassionate and sensitive way to all parties involved. )
  • Town hall Meetings can create a strong web of new solutions to combat a litany of short-sighted legislation

  • The election will be over. We can have a candid accounting of what has been done and where we are heading- a report card if you will.
  • Youth and community can ask the politicians questions directly and evaluate their perspectives on the epidemic of gun violence.
  • Make no mistake, Riverdale Collegiate Institute will be remembered as being the centrepiece of many forthcoming presentations launched at gun violence. We are in the spotlight by accident, but we can use this fact to advantage to send a powerful message that will be determined at this meeting but generated by those close to Jane.

    Tragedy has its way of revealing character. People of character will continue to surface and motivate us to take action and do what we formally perceived to be beyond our reach. The seeds we plant will germinate into other things and have far reaching effects. By talking and communicating we create momentum, move forward, and united in our resolve to make a difference. We can ensure a safer civil and just society with a brighter tomorrow.

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