The soft launch of the much awaited app was part of the Black To The Future event held during Black History Month in 3 different locations across Toronto, with funding support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and community support from the Delta Family Resource Centre.
Influencers, Latoya Jane and Micheal Carlon were key facilitators at the launch, as they shared their lived experiences with bullying, injustice and racism.
TRACIE is the brainchild of True Daley, a community organizer, advocate, educator and media personality . True is also a community worker and co-founder of the landmark D.I.V.A. (Diversity in Visual and Audio Arts) Program, where she provided media literacy and arts programming to BIPOC youth in high-needs communities between 2008-2011.
True’s work as a journalist has been featured in ByBlacks.com and CBC Parents. She has worked with youth in conflict with the law in Rexdale and the Jane and Finch neighborhoods for over a decade. She is also an award-winning creative in film, music, and technology.
Speaking on the inspiration behind the TRACIE app soft launch, here is what the multi-disciplinary advocate and visual storyteller had to say;
“The inspiration behind the soft launch is an opportunity to introduce children, youth, students and community members, to a new advocacy tool and to get some feedback about some of their experiences so that we can design the app in a way that is most effective for the experiences that they’re having and we can match their needs.
We also wanted some feedback on the interface, the features, and the possibility of being able to use this app in a practical sense.
We wanted to gain their confidence that it would be a positive and supportive tool for them. We also wanted to tap into the experiences and get those personal accounts; the breadth of experiences that children and youth are having and that adults are still healing from over generations from being in this education system and navigating it as a Black person.
The soft launch was just our way to let people know that there is help on the way, that the app is being developed and that we are considering their needs, and utilizing this innovative tool to support our community and to start to really have impact in ways that the policies within the school boards have not.
Based on a series of events over decades within the school board and school boards across Canada, we’ve noticed that anything that’s been put in place has not been effective, but it’s all been just talk, and the harm has been continuing from generation to generation.
It was just announced that $100 million in funding from the federal government is going towards supporting Black youth with their mental health.
Aside from typical family issues, I’m sure alot of the challenges are rooted in navigating and being educated in these racist settings. So as grassroots community advocate, I had to find a more practical, sustainable way to support families because I realized that those of us who are doing this work on the front lines can get burnt out really quickly, and that’s just counterproductive for everyone.”
The TRACIE App will be launched in 2024, but the TRACIE team will continue rolling out programmes to educate and sensitize the community periodically, and improving the app .To get involved and know more about the TRACIE app, head on to www.tracieapp.com, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @tracieapp and @truedaley.
More photos from the soft launch