Dear Unity Family,
Our entire team is excited to continue to build off the momentum from last year with our ten year anniversary. As we begin the next decade we have put a ton of work into evaluation, curriculum development and training. The quality standard that Unity holds is very high.
The work we do is vital for communities using hip hop to build resilience in youth living in underserved communities. For that reason, we take quality control processes very seriously at Unity. We are setting a standard for arts organizations and social service agencies using the arts to have impact in communities.
Working in partnership with other social serving agencies is the way forward for Unity to truly achieve real impact around youth mental health. In the past year Unity has forged and grown partnerships with CAS Ambassador School, Kids Help Phone, Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, Nexus Youth Services, Foodshare and many other agencies that will help leverage our impact. Together, in partnership, Unity can make a shift in supporting youth mental health through hip-hop programming.
Some of the social workers who have worked with us have called our work “mental health through the back door”. This refers to the idea that our programs are embedded with creative and engaging practices supporting positive youth mental health without overtly calling Unity’s work a “hip-hop mental health program”. Unity is providing safer spaces for youth to express themselves through hip-hop art forms to create an environment for youth to powerfully build their individual and internal resilience to better face the day to day challenges that life brings.
Unity is forever evolving and growing. It is this mentality that keeps Unity relevant to all of our stakeholders. Evaluation is close to the heart of Unity as it measures the impact we are having in communities and also serves as a compass on how to further improve our programs and processes. I look forward to another year of growth and learning. The Unity team is a group of super heroes. I’m so proud to see the staff, artists and board of directors continuing to infuse their passions and ideas into the Unity collective vision, strategy and theory of change.
With your continued support we can continue to use hip-hop to improve young people’s lives creating healthier communities.
Together we can take it to the next!