The Inspire Program offers free, educational, short-term initiatives, performances, events, and workshops that inform young audiences about Hip Hop art forms and their power to positively express stress and anxiety.
Unity’s ENGAGE Programs are high impact, weekly ‘Hip Hop meets mental health’ workshop series where participants learn historical and technical elements of Hip Hop art forms, while building transferable skills, creating relationships, and accessing resources that help improve overall resilience. Unity delivers these programs in partnership with over 30 community organizations across Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Manitoba.
Unity seeks to EMPOWER youth and young Hip Hop artists by providing employment, professional development, volunteer and leadership opportunities to further support their personal, creative, and economic development. Unity’s primary EMPOWER opportunity is our Artist Facilitator roster, a front-line team of Hip Hop artists from Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba that deliver all of our INSPIRE and ENGAGE programs across Canada, with many Artists recruited from Unity’s ENGAGE programs.
Youth were inspired through Unity Weeks and the annual Unity Fest
Of youth learned positive ways to express their stress
Of youth gained an interest in exploring Hip Hop art forms, events and programs
Of youth became more aware of the community, mental health, arts-based and wellness resources available to them
Youth accessed free, weekly Hip Hop meets mental health programming
Of participants on average gained protective factors and employability skills
Of youth on average reported that the programs fostered inclusive spaces
Of youth on average reported improved resilience
Artists annually gained creative, business, mentorship & facilitation skills
Of emerging hip hop artists on Unity’s Roster reported developing peer and industry networks
Of artists reported increased confidence and resilience
Of artists reported that Unity’s training opportunities were applicable to their work both within and beyond Unity
I went on stage, scared and confused, and one of their performers came up to me and said “you know why you are here, because you have a lot to say, so here is the microphone!” All of a sudden, I heard only the crowd. I could breathe air in my lungs, feeling the confidence as I exhaled. It was the greatest experience and a total confidence booster.”
Having a dedicated space that’s really well curated, or built or facilitated can make all the difference in [...] how willing and able you are to practice your art.”
Always a source of joy and tolerance and being in the moment with it, it felt really good to have that kind of community to back me up whenever I wanted to explore things, whenever I wanted to question things, whenever I wanted to show off my art form or learn from my missteps. Having that kind of safety net made me feel very comfortable and it was really one of the best things to happen to me during this phase of my life.”
Want to build resilience in under-served youth and contribute towards building healthier communities?