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December 6, 2007
Finding safety on the Internet, behind a camera and on the stage
At a special ceremony today, Mayor David Miller and Deputy Chief Keith Forde announced the winners of the 2007 Mayor’s Community Safety Awards. The awards, which were hosted by Citytv’s Dwight Drummond, recognized five organizations that offer programs that provide innovative contributions to community safety.

“Community safety is about making our safe city safer, and strengthening our neighbourhoods. Community safety is more than the absence of crime or violence - it’s about social equity, ensuring that every young person has real opportunities to succeed,” said Mayor Miller. “The Community Safety Awards give us a chance to recognize and celebrate the great work of communities and neighbours across the city who share in this commitment.”

Bell Canada was the lead sponsor, donating $5,000 in cash awards. “Bell Canada is proud to sponsor the Mayor’s Community Safety Awards,” said Renato Discenza, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Sales for Bell Canada. “We applaud the efforts and commitment of the 2007 winners in helping to make our communities safer.”

The five recipients of the 2007 Mayor’s Community Safety Awards are:

Safe Sisters
The Safe Sisters program is offered by YWCA for girls, ages 10 to 18 years. The program aims to increase opportunities for girls to build on their existing strengths and contribute to their communities. Safe Sisters was developed in response to girls in Scarborough concerned about personal safety in their neighbourhoods. Using a variety of approaches, the program helps girls develop the skills and confidence to feel in control of their environment. Topics covered include Internet safety, healthy relationships, conflict resolution, violence prevention, first aid, and Wen Do (self-defence).

Expanding the Mind to End Violence
The Expanding the Mind to End Violence program offered through Serve! teaches youths about addressing and preventing violence/crime in the community. The project focuses on issues of hate-motivated violence based on racial/ethnic, religious, homophobic and transphobic intolerance, as well as gender inequality.

Leadership Training on Violence Prevention
MUJER’s Leadership Training on Violence Prevention project aims to enhance leadership skills of young Latin American women and to address systemic issues of racism and discrimination. The project involves outreach, recruitment and selection of young Latin American women between the ages of 18 to 28 who are interested in learning about violence against women, becoming educators on violence prevention, linking with other young Latin American women and promoting their community participation.

Regent Park TV
Launched in November 2006, Regent Park TV is a Web/video broadcast about neighbourhood youth, their culture and the issues that matter to them. The program, offered by Regent Park Youth Media Arts Centre, is a forum for local youth, ages 12 to 24, to voice their experiences, share their stories and explore issues that affect them and their community. The videos are produced by youth, with the support of youth staff, and are accessible in a range of formats, including interviews, current events, debates, short dramas, documentaries, news shows, public service announcements and mockamentaries and are available at

The Peace Leaders Project
The Peace Leaders Project, offered by the Children’s Peace Theatre, is a three and a half day residency program for schools that wish to go further into exploring what it means to choose peace and become a Peace Leader. The program offers theatre-based activities, with an on-stage performance of the students’ work. This program gives students the opportunity to share their learning with their peers and become Peace Leaders in their schools and community. The project operates from the belief that the creative practice of theatre is the strongest possible transformational tool to assist children and youth to discover the possibilities for peace.

The annual Mayor’s Community Safety Awards is organized by the Community Safety Secretariat, the City unit responsible for co-ordinating the Community Safety Plan. Award winners receive a $1,000 cash award to be used to promote community safety and a commemorative plaque to recognize their outstanding achievements.

The awards are open to groups, individuals and organizations located in the city that provide support to Toronto residents. To be eligible, initiatives must be developed and implemented within the past two years, and promote and/or reduce violence and victimization, and increase community safety.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:

Manjit Jheeta, Toronto Social Development, Finance and Administration, 416-392-8684,
Jason Lazlo, Media Relations, Bell Canada, 416-581-3311,



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