On June 9th, the Youth Justice Transformation Lab was awarded the Development Coaching & Exploration Grant from Youth CI!
Youth CI is an initiative of the McConnell Foundation, Innoweave platform, and the Laidlaw Foundation. Youth CI aims to help organizations learn about, develop, launch and implement collective impact approaches that improve outcomes for youth in their community This support is much appreciated, as it will help us continue to build the collaborative, solidify our goals and begin to pursue work towards a more compassionate and oppression-free youth justice system.
In July, we welcomed two Youth Partners to our team in paid positions to support the development of the Youth Justice Transformation Lab during the summer months. They are providing critical perspective and are assisting the project greatly by:
• Making public legal education resources more youth-friendly.
• Creating a webpage for the Collaborative.
• Identifying organizations across Toronto that support justice-involved youth and offer culturally responsive services and creating a visual representation of it
• Creating promotional social media campaigns highlighting access to justice gaps the Lab will work to address.
We are excited to continue to collaborate with youth in the development of the Youth Justice Transformation Lab!

In August, Peacebuilders welcomed an Articling Student to our team through the Law Foundation of Ontario’s Public Interest Articling Fellowship. They will be working with our partners to conduct necessary research to support the development of the Youth Justice Transformation Lab and its activities over the next 10 months.
The Youth Justice Transformation Lab’s immediate next steps include:
• Further researching and identifying issues Black and racialized youth face within the youth justice system, particularly experiences of anti-Black racism or oppression.
• Building our membership base with youth justice stakeholders as well as developing collaborations with the community and government.
• Continuing to raise awareness about safety and well-being measures at the New Toronto Courthouse
• Refining our Theory of Change by identifying barriers, desired outcomes, and activities that will allow us to meet our goals
• Building greater awareness and capacity.
• Increasing young people’s knowledge and understanding of justice through public legal education.