BluePrintForLife is considered one of the worlds leading companies using HipHop as both a community development tool and as a model for alternative education and healing.
BluePrintForLife (www.blueprintforlife.ca) offers dynamic, culturally appropriate programs designed for youth that are founded on HipHop, rooted in traditional culture, and centered on community needs. Their programming has also been successfully adapted to meet the needs of youth in Canadas inner cities, working with youth at risk and newly immigrated families to Canada. In 2014 Blueprint Pathways (a national non profit) was formed and they were awarded $500,000.00 from Justice Canada to expand their work with incarcerated and gang involved youth.
BluePrintForLife offers 8 major programs and a variety of follow-up activities. Built into the programming is the long-term goal of not only promoting the healing of individuals and communities, but also of building long-term sustainability and leaders for tomorrow. Detailed schedules of these weekly programs are available upon request.
These programs presently include:
- Social Work Through HipHop
- Leadership Through HipHop
- Healing Through HipHop
- Respect Through HipHop
(for youth aged 10 -13)
- EmpowermentThrough Theater
- Share our Spirit
– An Arctic exchange program with Unity Charity
- Inter-generational Healing for communities effected by Residential Schools.
- Anger Management and Healing for secure custody facilities.
Specialized programming has also been developed in partnerships with the Kativik Municipal Housing Board to reduce vandalism, and healing programs with Pauktuutit (National Inuit Womens Association) The programming typically consists of intensive 5-day workshops that become the school curriculum for the entire week in remote arctic communities and in Canadas inner cities. HipHop is used as a powerful engagement tool to deal with complex issues such as family violence, sexual abuse, anger management, drugs and alcohol and suicide. Our programs explore the positive elements of HipHop while providing youth with a survival toolkit, which celebrates traditional cultural values and provides important leadership skills.
The approach of BluePrintForLifes programming is appealing to youth and is community focused. We have impacted approximately 5000 youth in over 100 projects carried out in First Nations and Inuit communities, as well as Canadas Inner cities. The demand for the program is immense and the benefit is not only heard in the voices of the youth themselves, but from elders, teachers, law enforcement agencies, government officials, public health and social workers.
Eight documentaries and a book have been produced on the projects and have been shown on national television and at film festivals. Arctic Government officials have described the work of BluePrintForLife as “the most substantial youth engagement programming in 20 years”. Blueprints work has been a featured story in Readers Digest.
The work has also been recognized by the former Governor General of Canada as compelling and important. BluePrintForLife was recently presented an award from Canadas former Governor General (Michaelle Jean) for outstanding achievement and outreach and BluePrintForLife is often talked about in her international speaking engagements. In November of 2010 BluePrintForLife was the first organization from North America to ever be profiled as a top finalist in the worlds most prestigious award for outreach through the arts. The “Freedom to Create” awards receive thousands of applications every year and BluePrintForLife is honored to be recognized internationally. Recently BluePrintForLife was also involved in a European project delivering an outreach program in Bosnia to Roma youth.