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Barrie, Ont. – June 25, 2014 – UFCW Canada youth activists from across Ontario recently brought their energy and enthusiasm to the second session of this year's Youth Internship Program (YIP) in Barrie, Ontario. Now in its fourteenth year, YIP is UFCW Canada's renowned program for developing and empowering young member-activists within their union and their communities.
The young activists – who came from Local Unions 175 & 633, 1000A, 206, and 333 – gathered in Barrie for a week of training to build their youth leadership skills, and to explore the vital role that UFCW Canada and the labour movement play in bringing fairness and equality to working people.
The young members shared their insights and enthusiasm throughout a series of workshops on community-based organizing, media literacy, the history of the labour movement, the impact of globalization, and the power of collective action to achieve fairness and fight against the anti-worker agenda.
The YIP participants also discussed how young people can make a difference in their workplace and challenge misconceptions about young workers. Another exercise involved brainstorming innovative ways to inspire coworkers to get involved with their union.
Later in the week, participants sent solidarity messages for Toronto's World Pride festival and the UFCW International Union's Gold Internship Program, which was recently launched in the United States. The member-activists also helped create YIP’s new Instagram profile.
To wrap up the session, the YIP participants filmed reflections, brainstormed quotes, and wrote summaries on their personal experiences throughout the week.
"The tremendous success of YIP is built on the energy, commitment, and hard work of the UFCW Canada YIP participants," says UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema. "Our thanks go out to the Barrie participants, and to UFCW Canada's Local Unions for empowering and engaging young member-activists through the YIP initiative," Brother Meinema adds.