Written by Trudie Gilbert

Jermaine Henry

“Jermaine is a walking safe space. We felt his positive energy since the time that he got to the room. We enjoyed the workshop and thought, ‘What would myself in 10 years tell to myself today?’ … Mine told me, ‘Keep going forward’.”

– Andres, Eva’s resident and workshop participant

Jermaine Henry is a “Social ARTrepreneur” passionate about connecting and inspiring people to self-actualize. Through drama, emceeing, facilitation and spoken word, he aims to co-create meaningful moments rooted in compassion and kindness. His mission is to use his artistry and facilitation skills to curate brave spaces for people to be their full-selves and connect with our humanity.

Jermaine is well-known in the landscape of youth-led and youth-focussed initiatives in Toronto. He’s an active member of Grassroots Youth Collaborative, Youth Social Infrastructure Collaborative, and The New Mentality. He has performed and facilitated arts-based community programs, events, and initiatives for various schools boards, community agencies, and companies including York District School Board, Children’s Mental Health of Ontario, York Centre of Community and Education, Watah Theatrical Institute, and Studio Y-MaRs.

He is also Director of Education at Spoke N’ Heard, a collective of artists, entrepreneurs, and social innovators. It was started out of a desire to provide youth/young adults with a safe space where to share their stories and experiences. Through events, programs, and campaigns, Spoke N’ Heard spreads awareness about mental health stigmatization and addresses issues of equity facing individuals from marginalized and racialized communities.

Recently, Eva’s Place had the pleasure of working with Jermaine as a representative of Spoke N’ Heard. He led participants involved in Independent Living programming through a journaling activity to speak to their future selves. We envisioned who, what, where, and how we want to be in our communities. We wrote letters addressed to ourselves 10 years from now. It was an engaging and inspiring workshop.

Image Credit: www.jermainehenry.ca

About the Author

Trudie is Coordinator of a 12-week experience-based training initiative at Eva's Place, focused on providing youth new opportunities for personal development, team work, and community involvement. Participants set their own learning goals and build confidence, self-esteem, life skills, and work experience.

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