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Present findings from two needs assessments on mental health and Black youth perspectives from youth, parents, and community members. Present on policy and programming changes in order to meet the needs of Black Youth. Explore internal and external strategies around anti-Black racism- including barriers, opportunities and initiatives.


Zohra Rahman is currently Director of Equity, Advocacy and Partnerships at YouthLink. For the past three years she has worked at establishing an ABR strategy across the agency. As a psychotherapist she launched her private practice in 2016. She has been engaging youth for over 15 years and provides various forms of clinical counselling for youth struggling with mental health, including youth with high levels of suicidal ideation. She is trained in EMDR and specializes in trauma-informed care. For over 10 years she worked with Breaking the Cycle, assisting “gang-involved” youth to pursue positive lifestyles, while healing from past experiences of violence, trauma and systemic oppression. Zohra has provided 5 years of trauma therapy in partnership with Guns and Gangs Parole and Probation, supporting victims of gun violence. Zohra has developed and facilitated an extra judicial sanctions program for youth in conflict with the law. Zohra is also a trained facilitator for the Forced Marriage Project and the Triple P parenting model. Community development, youth engagement and leadership are her areas of passion and expertise. Providing consultation for various child welfare, school board and religious institutions, she specializes in system navigation, including the criminal justice system. Zohra holds a BA with honours in Criminology from York University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Windsor.

Rita Asare has been working at the intersections of youth homelessness within the shelter, housing and education sector incorporating community development and equity work for over 16 years. She has had her own personal lived experiences within these systems which have equipped her for some of the social justice work that she has engaged in within the homeless sector, the Black community and grassroots organizations focusing on creating housing, equity based and Anti-Racism programs specifically for black youth in the Jane and Finch, Lawrence Heights and Weston Mount Dennis community.

Currently, she brings with her expertise within the fields of housing, education, program development, youth engagement, capacity building, violence prevention, conflict mediation and equity. In her previous role as the Senior Site Manager of the YOUth Belong program at Eva’s Initiatives, she was entrusted with the opportunity of opening the first Afrocentric Youth Housing in Canada. This housing is the first of its kind and to develop this program she incorporated her expertise within the homeless housing sector and experience developing equity based programs for Black youth and the community.

Natalie Comrie, as a seasoned education & social service professional with a background in counseling and advocacy for at-risk communities, Natalie Comrie has a strong ability to build connects with youth, families, and surrounding stake holders to deliver quality solutions and strategies. Throughout her 20-year career, Natalie has been committed to using her Anti-Black Racism lens to help underserved black youth navigate the barriers that exist in our communities and within our systems. As a Child and Youth Worker, Natalie has worked in many diverse organizations she has guided hundreds of students from across the GTA find their specific pathway to continuing education by providing mentorship and support. From mentoring, program development, liaising with stakeholders you name it, she has done it. Natalie is extremely motivated, organized, and disciplined with over two decades of experience in the industry.

While being at Youthlink, Natalie has been committed to Youthlink’s Anti-Black Racism Strategy. Natalie has created programs with black youth as the focus. In 2019, Natalie created a group for black female youth ages 13 to 18 years called Queenism. This group focused on building the youth’s leadership skills while demonstrating Afrocentic programming.

Krystal Eunique is a teacher with the TDSB and has led our Black Mental Health Matters program, she has conducted needs assessments and engages Black youth in ways that encourage Leadership and Excellence.

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