A group of high school and university-aged youth are working together to give a voice to their Halifax community.
The North-End Community Action Committee is a youth-led organization that was formed to involve north end residents in the Centre Plan.
“Historically speaking there’s been a lot of separation with our north end community and the city and the province. What we want to do surrounding the Centre Plan is create more of a connection and communication between our community and the government so that the voices of our community members and their concerns get heard,” said Nikaya Paris, a 19-year-old NECAC member.
The Centre Plan is a new Municipal planning strategy that will affect land use and development on the Halifax peninsula and in Dartmouth within the Circumferential Highway.
These youth have a strong connection to their north end roots that dates back to the days of Africville.
“The events that took place in Africville were very tragic and unfortunately that’s something that my family’s still dealing with today and lots of other families as well who were affected by the Africville events,” Paris said.
Many members of NECAC grew up in the public housing neighbourhood of Uniacke Square.
A tight-knit community that they’re proud to call home.
“It was pretty good, I think I had a great time growing up honestly, I think my mom raised me well,” said 20-year-old Donntayia Jones.
The youth want to make sure their special community is highlighted as the municipality moves through their planning stages.
Both Paris and Jones spent much of their childhood on the basketball court at the Community YMCA on Gottingen Street.
“Growing up in the community I played lots of sports. Played basketball for the community Y. I was born and raised here, all my family live here,” Paris said.
NECAC wants to work with residents of their neighbourhood to bring forward concerns they have about development in the north end.
Some of those concerns include creating more affordable housing and improving the state of public housing.
“Public housing does need improvements and when you call the department to report problems they don’t come right away. They should at least follow up on reports the next day or at least try to make improvements, ask what’s wrong, try to fix the problems,” Jones said.
The committee is hosting different events throughout their District 8 neighbourhood to gather residents and discuss the upcoming Centre Plan.
They are hosting a Community Clean Up and BBQ Saturday, June 11 at Murray Warrington Park.
For more information on the event you can visit the North-End Community Action Committee’s Facebook Page.