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"The light at the end of the tunnel" - The Launch of the Road Home

On Wednesday, February 27th, an audience comprised of educators, philanthropists, community leaders and non-profit industry professionals gathered together at the beautiful Aperture Room in Toronto, to celebrate the launch of a new Canadian think tank, “The Road Home”.

The Road Home is led by best-selling author Jamil Jivani, winner of York University’s “One to Watch” alumni award and International Development and Relief Foundation’s youth leadership award. Jiviani’s first book, Why Young Men, was longlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards and will be published in the US later this year.

In partnership with the Pinball Clemons Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, the goal of the Road Home is to capture best practices for empowering and supporting youth across Canada. Jamil’s findings arise from his interviews with various youth, community leaders and business professionals across the nation.

Throughout the night, Jamil’s over-arching theme was understanding solutions to the problems preventing youth from achieving independence and excellence. The audience listened intently to a “Ted Talk” style presentation, which was highlighted by interviews from youth mentor, Amir Javid from British Columbia, and youth ambassadors, Dan and Calvin.

We also heard from community group leaders, Derek Rope from Saskatchewan and James Favel from Winnipeg. Finally, we heard interviews from local community groups from Fletcher’s Creek P.S, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Pinball Clemons Ambassador School Program.

The night concluded with a Q & A moderated by our very own Michael “Pinball” Clemons, which produced a very informative discussion for everyone in attendance.

Following the interviews, the Road Home discussed the next steps required to take this Think Tank to the next level. To accomplish this, Jamil and his team hope to:

  • Improve programming, policy and philanthropy

  • Add quantitative research and analysis

  • Identify evidence-based, tested interventions

  • Scale up promising grassroots initiatives

  • Educate influencers and the public about what we learned

First on the list is to develop the new Road Home Research Analysis Project with a three-element approach.

1. Research

  • Quantitative and Qualitative research projects looking at a range of questions, such as how to best measure and improve student achievement or the values and efficiencies created through organizational partnerships

2. National Network

  • Building our national network into an exchange of best practices, connecting the leading thinkers and practitioners across Canada

3. Program

  • Identifying and supporting high-potential grassroots initiatives with an annual Road Home awards program in five categories: education, justice, faith, health/athletics and employment.

We are honoured to be joining an incredible group of organizations and people to develop this new Canadian Think Tank! This is a huge step towards reaching our goal of becoming the leaders in taking youth from the margins to mainstream. To learn more about the Road Home, please visit

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