Ca.pture: a youth-led digital storytelling project on cyberbullying launches

This project is supported by a grant from CIRA’s Community Investment Program. CIRA’s Community Investment Program gives back by supporting initiatives and programs that help build a better online Canada.

Hive Toronto is excited to announce the launch of the Ca.pture project a youth-driven, digital storytelling project that captures and maps cyber bullying experiences of GTA teens through multiple lenses: survivor, bully, witness, and intervenor. Youth from the YWCA Toronto and Youth Empowering Parents (YEP), in collaboration with Mozilla staff and educators, will develop opensource digital skill building activities designed to empower their peers to prevent, navigate, and intervene in electronic bullying.  

Numbers to remember

1 in 10 teens have reported that they have experienced bullying”

1 in 5 teens seriously consider suicide in the last 12 months”

from Kids Help Phone Canada, Teens Talk 2016, p. 4 and p.7  

“73% of women have been exposed to online violence”

“Women aged 18 – 24 are at a heightened risk for cyber-violence and uniquely likely to experience stalking and sexual harassment”  

From YWCA Canada, Project Shift: Creating a Safer Digital Word for Young Women

Why is good digital citizenship so critical?

Cyber bullying has severe costs, can escalate quickly and results in one of the most tragic incidents – teen suicide. The high profile deaths of Canadian teens, including Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons, is catalyzing research, activism, and resource development across Canada to generate more respectful youth interactions online.

Unfortunately, cyber bullying is symptomatic of a larger problem: today’s youth live in cyberspace; it’s as if technology is their first language but traditional educational systems do not have the resources to support this rapidly moving medium. There is broken communication about what is cyber-bullying, how to create safe spaces on the web and what tools you can use to process and communicate. What is required for good digital citizenship is the development of intellectual skills, personal values and critical thinking in adolescence. It’s equally important to have educators understand and learn with the youth what it means to be a young person using the web and interacting online.

How will Ca.pture address these issues?

Building a Youth Council

Working with community partners  YWCA Toronto and YEP — a group of youth representing GTA teens that will form a Youth Council for the Ca.pture project.   

Incubation with Hive Toronto

The Ca.pture Youth Council will participate in four co-design sessions facilitated by Hive Toronto. Using opensource web tools such as Thimble, youth will design and create a workshop series and facilitation resource to share the stories of GTA teens and cyber bullying together.   

Youth to Educator learning

In the final phase of this collaborative project, educators from the community are invited to learn from the youth to gain a new understanding about technology, how to create dialogue about safe use of the web, and how to better serve youth when dealing with the complexities of cyber bullying.

How does Ca.pture impact the community?

We believe the best way to build better digital citizenship is by youth facilitated, peer-to-peer discussion and dialogue. With the Ca.pture project, the youth council will leave equipped with new design skills, tools to create a safe space on the web, knowledge to share with other young people, and the power to inspire social change in cyber-bullying.

Most importantly, good digital citizenship is only achievable by creating and building a community that will lead, learn, and support each other online and offline. With Ca.pture, we hope to continue offering a space in and out of the web for young people and their allies to keep the dialogue open and provide the resources to prevent, navigate, and intervene with cyber-bullying.

Want to learn more?

Stay tuned as we progress with the Ca.pture project. We’ll be posting monthly updates, new developments and interesting discussions about good digital citizenship and cyber-bullying. Follow us on Facebook to stay connected and remember to check back on our blog for upcoming news, we’ll be announcing the 2016 Ca.pture Youth Council soon!