The Parkdale Collegiate Institute:

A collective of teachers, refugee and immigrant youth students and community advocates in one of Canada’s primary settlement neighbourhoods – Parkdale, Toronto.


The story of :

In the spring of 2011, refugee and immigrant youth in Parkdale participated in two half-day workshops on digital storytelling with community experts.

During the workshops, students learned to take some risks and to speak up about how their experiences here have impacted them.

They then worked together to record each other’s stories in their native tongues, add imagery to their audio stories, edit and polish their stories, and translate them into English.

Everyone in the group had to do some reflecting about their experiences that was not easy, but I believe that they felt that there was enough support and safety in the space for them to do so.

The group also decided to create a short documentary entitled “Roma Youth: through the Lens in Parkdale,” addressing the difficulties that Roma youth face in Parkdale and Canadian policies that shape their lives. They then screened the video at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Roma Community Center.

Some of the stories and documentaries are already up on the web site! Check them out at

They are working on finishing and adding the incomplete audio stories to the site and will be encouraging others to tell their stories as well. They hope to partner with ESL teachers and other Toronto schools who are interested in getting involved. They would also like to have the documentaries translated into other languages, for greater accessibility. 

The website is currently under construction at 


Roma Youth: Through the Lens in Parkdale


A Tibetan Story: