The Empower Program is a youth-led HIV prevention, sexual health, and harm reduction program that uses the arts to train diverse youth (aged 16-29) to develop and deliver community-specific educational workshops in their own communities.
Empower works with a variety of intersecting youth communities including street-involved youth, 2SLGTBQ youth, youth of colour, youth who use drugs, Indigenous youth, and youth labeled with intellectual disabilities. By working with youth from different communities, we seek to create a space whereby youth can learn and share from each others’ realities, while simultaneously strengthening youth participation within the HIV sector.
For more about our program, and approach, download this bulletin here.
As a partnership between Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre and Gendering Adolescent AIDS Prevention (New College, University of Toronto), Empower was in operation from 2010-2016, and complemented other agency programs such as harm reduction supply distribution, HCV programming for people who use drugs, and street and party outreach. Empower is now “on hold.”
For more information on the program, please contact Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre, or Sarah Switzer at switzers [at] yorku.ca