Congratulations to this year's winners
One Bullet, A Thousand Tears
"One Bullet, A Thousand Tears" is Public Service Announcement (P.S.A.) video created by the youth participants in the Concrete Roses Youth Services summer videography program. The PSA was designed to help increase community safety in Alexandra Park and beyond by creating awareness of the issue of gun violence and the impact it has in communities. The program's participants, who were all between 16 and 18 years old, created the concept.
Rabita – Community Conversation Circles
The Thorncliffe Park Safety Committee and several community stakeholders developed Rabita – Community Conversation Circles. This series of culturally sensitive workshops were created to address topics such as domestic violence, youth crime, and elder abuse. These workshops also promoted community mobilization and crime prevention.
This project, based in the Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood, created a safe space for young people from different neighbourhoods to come together, develop relationships and break down stereotypes and invisible borders. The youth animators worked together to define safety from their own perspective, researched this definition with their peers, and then created youth-led community development projects that address and achieve safety by their own definition.
Show Love is a community safety project based in Regent Park. It was created to help the community heal after the Eaton Center shooting in June 2012 where both victims and the assailant lived. Every Friday night during the summer, residents were invited to "Show Love" for their community by spending two hours weeding gardens and cleaning up neighbourhood and the playgrounds. The love didn't end when the brooms were put away. After the clean-up, residents continued to reclaim their space by getting to know one another better over barbeques, domino tournaments, free Zumba classes and community dialogues. The community members often enjoyed the good times into the wee hours of the night.
Welcome to the Circle
Welcome to the circle is a project that encouraged community safety in the Lawrence Heights by bringing together a diverse community using the art of digital storytelling. It started with a number of consultations with the largely Somali community, an advisory of youth living in the area, and the support of the local safety sub-committee. Through story circles and the creation of 7 digital stories, the Lawrence Heights community came together across differences and celebrated community safety.
Curious about who won last year?
You can always read more about the previous Mayor's Community Safety Awards winners.
About the Mayor's Community Safety Awards
Developed by the Task Force on Community Safety in 2002, the Mayor's Community Safety Awards is an annual event that recognizes five outstanding projects that contribute to community safety in Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford is the third Toronto mayor to participate in the annual event.
The awards celebrate projects that:
- Promote the safety of neighbourhoods and communities, including priority populations such as: Aboriginal peoples; ethno-cultural/ racial minorities; people with disabilities; lesbian/gay/bisexual/two-spirited/ transgender/transsexual persons; newcomers; youth; people with low income; women and children exposed to violence
- Help victims of crime
- Reduce violence within high-risk communities
- Build partnerships with the community, its organizations and/or the corporate/business sector while promoting safety and/or violence prevention
Award winners receive public recognition at a ceremony hosted by the Mayor and a high-ranking Toronto Police official at City Hall, a commemorative certificate and a $1,000 cash award from Bell (the annual event sponsor since 2004) to continue their work to help improve community safety.
To be eligible for a Mayor’s Community Safety Award a project must:
- Promote violence prevention, reduce violence and help victims and/or increase community safety
- Demonstrate innovation and can serve as a model to other groups, individuals and communities
- Encourage and develop partnerships in building safer, stronger communities
- Be initiated by a Toronto-based organization and benefit Toronto communities
- Not have previously received a Mayor’s Community Safety Award
Note: Projects operated by the City of Toronto’s Agencies, Boards, Commissions, and/or Divisions or by other orders of government are not eligible to receive awards.
About the Selection Process
The selection committee includes representatives from the business sector, the Toronto Police Service, the Toronto Youth Cabinet, the Seniors Forum and the City’s Social Development Finance and Administration Division. Members of the selection committee will declare any affiliations and/or conflicts of interest in regards to reviewing nominations. Each application will be reviewed using standard criteria. Organizations may submit more than one eligible project; however, only one project will be selected annually from an organization for an award.