Published on March 16, 2016
1. Grant Proposal BY Chris Martin Submitted to: Anne MacKinnon Date: April 16th, 2015 To The Community One Foundation,
2. My name is Christopher Martin and I represent the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club (WPBGC). The Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club is the local branch of The Boys and Girls Club of Canada. The organization is currently headed by Mr. Chester Borden and is located in the Whitney Pier neighbourhood of Sydney, Nova Scotia. The WPBGC is an after-school program that specializes in delivering programs that promote the well-being of youth and their families in the Whitney Pier neighbourhood. The typical age range that the organization serves is about age five to fifteen, though they are open to any youth up to the age of 18. The WPBGC provides students with a place to congregate after school, both in the afternoons and the evenings. Literally thousands of kids have passed through this program and have avoided committing crimes, improved in their school work and made life-long friends and allies just by going through the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club. The Ally Club of Cape Breton (ACCB) is a program of a different kind. The ACCB specializes in spreading awareness of blood borne pathogens like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B and C. They also provide services for members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community. The ACCB provides a number of public education services like AIDS 101, anti- homophobia, and anti-transphobia. The LGBT resource centre is a standout service of the ACCB. They provide access to various printed materials about LGBT issues as well as several public services. They provide professional development services to encourage employers to hire LGBT people. They also provide extra-curricular activities for youth as well as age-appropriate school support sessions. The reason I am requesting funding is to bring these two organizations together to increase youth awareness of issues surrounding the LGBT community. The members of the LGBT community are often bullied, ridiculed and generally disrespected by people who should know better. The goal of the Youth Engagement Program is to make sure that children and youth grow up to know better. I want to get Jo-Anne Rolls and/or Madonna Doucette from the AIDS Coalition to spend one hour a week with the kids at the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club to teach them whatever they need to know to make sure that the LGBT people of the future can live in a safer, more accepting world than the LGBT people of the present age. I am requesting $831.96 worth of funding to start this program as soon as possible.
3. Project Overview/Executive Summary As previously stated, I am representing both the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club. I would like to clarify that while I the grant is intended for the WPBGC, I am an employee of the Ally Club and its LGBT Resource Center. Our project is designed to bring both of these groups together as partners for a common cause. The ACCB’s LGBT Resource Center shares the same goals as the Community One Foundation. The center aims to provide support and information to the local LGBT community through reading materials, workshops and informational sessions like teen nights and professional development with local businesses. These activities and events are designed to increase awareness of LGBT issues and foster acceptance of LGBT people in the general community. These are all standard goals and practices within many LGBT organizations across the world. The Community One Foundation normally only provides funding to groups in the greater Toronto area but I believe this is a great chance to expand your influence to other parts of the country and support groups who may have great ideas elsewhere. The problem that we are proposing to address is the problem is ignorance and unawareness of LGBT issues within the community. We believe that this issue starts at a young age with a lack of simple education on the matters of alternate sexual orientations (homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, etc.). Our aim is to make sure that young people are aware of these orientations so they may grow up with understanding and the absence of prejudice. We plan to address this problem by having one or two representatives from the LGBT Resource Center to speak to the youth. They have agreed to spend an hour or two a week at the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club to speak to the students there and organize activities designed to increase awareness. The money we need is essentially just for a start-up for the project. We are hoping this will be an ongoing project but I do not suspect it will need constant or additional funding. We are requesting $831.96. The amount would be used to cover to purchase of a new laptop as well as Microsoft Office Suite for the use of its PowerPoint program.
4. Qualifications As I am representing two separate organizations, I will be giving some brief information on both of them as part of this section. Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club The Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club is located in the Whitney Pier neighbourhood of Sydney, Nova Scotia. The club is the local branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada (BGCCAN). The BGCCAN began in the Eastern United States in the late 1860s, as well as over in Great Britain around the same time. The BGCCAN originally began in Saint John, New Brunswick and started as a movement to provide a safe place for children to play when they might otherwise be disadvantaged (homeless, impoverished, etc.). The original mission statement as set out by the organization was “to give youth a chance to have some recreation and to see beyond the confines of their immediate situation.” The national organization was formed in 1929, became a national non-profit in 1948 and over the course of their 115 year history they have helped over 3 million children and youth to play, learn and develop skills to help them become fully contributing adults. The Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club was formerly known as the Sydney Police Boys and Girls Club, established in 1989. The club officially became known as the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club in 1994 and currently operates under a volunteer Board of Directors. The club delivers programs and services that promote the health and well-being of the youth and their families in the Whitney Pier community and beyond. Whitney Pier has the highest rate of single mother families in all of Nova Scotia as well as the highest rate of unemployment. This means that there are children and youth whose needs simply are not being met and they need a place to go and learn some skills while making new friends and staying out of trouble. Since 2005, the club has run under the direction of Mr. Chester Borden. The following is brief example of some of the programs offered by the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club: Homework and Tutoring Games Rooms o Video games, board games, pool etc. Arts and Crafts Lunch and After School Nutrition o The site does not serve any junk food. They are firm believers in healthy eating as a means of providing energy and concentration Health and Wellness o Physical activity such as floor hockey, baseball, soccer and even weightlifting Teen Programs/Teen Nights o Ages 13-17 o Gym, recreation, youth leadership skills TORCH CLUB
5. o A small youth leadership and empowerment group for ages 8-12 o Develops knowledge and skills to help youth make positive choices in their lives KEYSTONE CLUB o BGCCAN’s national youth leadership program o Continues the development of their leadership and group empowerment skills The Keystone and Torch Clubs will be the main focus of the project. We must encourage youth to be the leaders for the younger ones to make sure that discrimination, prejudice and bullying against members of the LGBT community can be stopped before it starts. Strong leadership skills can ensure that if an older youth observes a younger child doing or saying something inappropriate about an LGBT student, that the youth can step in and put an end to it as well as educate the aggressor or why they’re actions are unacceptable. Ally Club of Cape Breton The Ally Club of Cape Breton is the local chapter of the AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia. They have been providing safety and support services about blood borne pathogens in the area for over twenty years, including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C. They also have an LGBT resource center. The staff of resource center are who will be providing the service to the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club. The LGBT Resource Center provides a number of services: Professional Development o Sensitivity training and workshops for local businesses and groups to help them understand LGBT issues and increase awareness of homo- and transphobia School Support o Age-appropriate presentations on the basic knowledge about sexual orientations, gender identity, hate language, bullying, safe sex, and ally training. This program is specifically what we would be looking to take advantage of. Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) o The center offers support for any member of the Gay Straight Alliance like visits and resource management Extra-curricular activities for youth o Movie nights, social events and community projects. This may be good way to branch out the program into other avenues at another time. Transgender support groups o Weekly meetings, events and support for all non-gender conforming people
6. Statement of Need The rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered people has become the greatest and most important civil rights case of this generation. Our parents had black rights, native rights and women’s rights. Generation Y (generally considered to be the generation born after 1982) has LGBT rights. Blacks, natives and women all have the right to vote, the right to marry, own property, run businesses, healthcare, etc. These rights are extended to all people of different races, ethnicities, ages and religions over the majority of the world. The only major group of people I can think of that do not have these rights on a near-universal level are LGBT people. These people are still prejudiced against, discriminated against and bullied literally to death just because of who they are. This is especially prevalent in Middle Eastern countries where only 57% of nations even allow same-sex activity to be legal. In many places, performing a sexual act on another person of the same sex (especially male on male) is punishable by lengthy prison sentences or even death. The statistics surrounding bullying of LGBT youth are staggering. A survey was conducted in 2011 by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Educational Network (GLSEN): 82% of LGBT youth had problems with bullying in the previous school year 44% felt unsafe due to gender identification or perceived identification 32% did not go to school for at least one day a week because of bullying In 2012, Haztenbeuhler and Keyes reported that those bullying statistics improved when schools added LGBT youth to their bullying policies. GLSEN has also reported that out of the bullied LGBT youth: 44% experienced physical harassment 22% experienced stronger violence 61% of youth never reported the attacks Of those who did report, 31% the school made no effort to respond to the incident GLSEN reported on one youth who was being harassed and sought to defend herself. She reported the incidents to the vice-principal who proceeded to do absolutely nothing about the bullying that had been going on for two years. Eventually, a physical fight broke out between the youth and three other girls. All four students were suspended but the trans-gendered girl was the only one charged with criminal assault, even though the school admitted that she was a victim. LGBT youth also suffer from more frequent cyber bullying by three times the amount of other bullied students: 42% have experienced cyber bullying o 25% more than once 35% receive online threats 58% report that something bad is said to or about them online 33% report sexual harassment o 4x higher than other students 27% do not feel safe online 20% have received harassing text messages
7. LGBT youth are also far more likely to consider and attempt suicide as a solution to their problems. They are two to three times more likely than other bullied youth, in fact. If their families do not support them in their lives, the likelihood increases to eight times. One third of all suicide attempts that actually result in death are due to sexual identity issues. Youth who are LGBT miss school five times more than other students just because they feel unsafe or unwelcome and 28% stop going altogether. All of these statistics clearly demonstrate a gigantic problem in our society. A problem that states that anybody who does anything different from anybody else is not worth anything. If you’re a boy who likes boys instead of girls, you’re seen as weird or stupid or unfit to be a member of “straight society” and need to be dealt with in a devastating fashion. Perfectly innocent people are being tormented for reasons that are incomprehensible to a logical mind. Knowledge and awareness and education need to spread to every corner of the world that has these injustices and we need to start with the youngest people so that they don’t grow up thinking that bullying and torturing people is acceptable behaviour.
8. Goals and Objectives Goals: The goal of this entire project is to prevent the statistics I have provided from getting worse and instead making them better. No person should ever have to live in fear of another for any reason. We believe that the solution starts with the children. The statistics above are all in relation to the LGBT experience of a youth. Problems occur for adults as well of course, but our main concern is for people who have to grow up in a world like ours and who spend their whole lives in a fear of being who they are. We are unable to do anything about the young lives of adults and they need to be helped in a separate way. But we can change and influence the lives of younger people by influencing the way they think about each other and effect their quality of life in the long term. Not surprisingly, 50% of all youth do not realize that using discriminatory language is offensive and they also do not realize the negatives effects on LGBT youth. The program we are designing is being created to address that exact issue. We want to get students in an intimate setting to calmly explain to them exactly what they are doing when they taunt or tease someone for their orientation or identity. Youth need to be taught that there is nothing wrong with how someone identifies him or herself. Youth need to be taught that even though they may not understand or may not even approve of another person’s life that does not mean that they are entitled to an opinion on the subject. Objective: This program has one large primary objective. The objective of the entire program is to get youth and children to be able to tell us that they understand what sexual orientation and gender roles are and why it is not acceptable to bully those who identify themselves differently than they do. We also want the young people to be honest about what they think so that we discover where the issues are and possibly come up with some data for future use to help identify problems that still exist.
9. Methods There are several forms of engagement activities that we will use in order to bring forth the knowledge the youth need in order to understand the rationale behind the project. The rationale is that there is no singular context where it is acceptable to bully somebody. This is a general statement. It is not acceptable to bully because of somebody’s height, weight, appearance or sexual orientation/gender identity. We are focusing on the LGBT bullying more specifically because of the data I presented earlier that shows how much worse the bullying affects LGBT youth than other youth who are bullied for other reasons. We will be employing short lectures and speeches in addition to some activities designed to get the youth engaged and interested in what is being discussed. The speakers will define terms such as LGBT, “gender queer”, “homosexual”, “homophobia”, “gender fluid” and so forth. Following the lecture, the speaker can then employ any of the following activities at their own discretion. These activities were obtained from the University of Southern California: That’s Gay o This a simple mix-and-match game where the students will test their knowledge of certain definitions and match them with the proper term Imagine This o This is a situation that is read aloud to the group. They are asked to imagine a scenario where you have somebody you love dearly but are not allowed to tell anybody. Their friends have decided to hook them up on a date with someone else. What do you do? Non-gender specific dating game o Participants are asked to describe the last date or romantic outing they had without using any gender-specific pronouns such as “him” or “her”. This exercise is designed to display the restrictions placed on closeted people and how difficult it is to talk about a partner when you can’t speak of their gender or sex. What I’ve Always Wanted To Know o Participants are asked to submit questions they have always wanted to know the answers to. This encourages youth to ask for more information and there are no bad or wrong questions. It will show that they want to learn and gain knowledge. These activities are all good ways to get the youth to divulge what they think, what they know and to put themselves in the shoes of others. This means that they will gain a new insight into the minds of LGBT people and see exactly how they’re forced to live their lives in fear and embarrassment. We can also come up with more ideas and more games to keep the momentum going should these ideas prove successful.
10. Staffing/Administration The staff and administration of the project will be primarily comprised of myself, Jo-Anne Rolls, Madonna Doucette and Chester Borden. I will be present at each presentation observing and learning how to present this information myself so that I might take on the duties of education some day. Jo-Anne Rolls is a former nurse specializing in HIV/AIDS aware, provides support to people infected with AIDS/HIV as well as Hepatitis B and C. She also specializes in preventing homophobia. She serves as the event coordinator for the Ally Center of Cape Breton. Her roles would be predominantly as a speaker or educator as part of the program as well as representing the ACCB directly. Madonna Doucette is the coordinator for the LGBT Resource Centre at the ACCB. She will function as the main speaker and educator for this program. Madonna is a bottomless well of knowledge and takes her role in the LGBT community very seriously. She travels all around Cape Breton to schools and businesses doing speaking engagements about LGBT issues. Her workshops are famous for their information and effectiveness and I can attest to this, having taken the workshop myself. Chester Borden is the director of the Whitney Pier Boys and Girls Club and will be serving in more of a supervisory role. He will be keeping the kids in line, providing some supplies and generally helping the speakers with anything extra they need. He knows how the kids work, how they think and how they act. He can be a very valuable tool to make sure the speaker can help the kids in the most effective way.
11. Evaluation The method we are going to use to evaluate the success of this project is a simple survey. At the beginning of the program, I will personally administer a brief survey to the youth with questions that are designed to test what they know and find out what they think. In order to measure progress, we first need to know where we stand at the outset. We need to know what they currently think in order to see what needs changing. We would be asking questions based around their current beliefs and opinions. We would be asking what they think of LGBT people, how/if they would help someone who is LGBT if they were in trouble, how they think LGBT people should be treated, etc. At the conclusion of the project (which will last about a month), we will administer the same survey again to measure how the youths’ opinions have changed. Do they understand more about the issues? Will they be more considerate of how they view and treat LGBT people? We need to know exactly the kind of effect we are having on these young people so that we might be able to measure how rapidly change is taking place and what the future holds for the LGBT community.
12. Budget Toshiba Laptop $599 To use Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Office Suite $100 For the use of its PowerPoint program Chart Paper $25/one roll For the speaker to write notes on Markers $56.96 For the speaker to write with Gas $50 Travel costs from the ACCB to the WPBGC Total $831.96
13. Conclusion To conclude briefly, what we are trying to do here is to broaden the minds of the youth in societies around the world by starting at home. It is simply tragic that kids are taught to this day that being different is unacceptable and those thoughts and actions often start with their parents and other influential adult figures around them. Our job is to go in and undo the damaging thoughts that are placed into the minds of our children. The consequences of what they are being taught are too severe to allow it to continue any longer. We plan to fully expose them to the wider variety of lifestyles and opinions as well as educate them about society at-large. Just a few hundred dollars can go a long way to leading our children down a path of acceptance, tolerance and respect and that is all anybody ever wants and deserves.
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