DeRico Symonds

Commitment Collaboration Community

Speaking Engagements


June 9th - 2018

Keynote Speaker- Delmore "Buddy" Daye Learning Institute Ancestral Roots Awards Ceremony

I spoke as the Keynote Speaker for the 1st annual awards ceremony. My main points to the crowd were to "Turn The Lights On". Meaning we need to lead from behind and involve young people in any and all decisions to foster a cohesive environment in the Black community amongst youth and the older generation. 

https://dbdli.ca/events/african-nova-scotian-communities-ancestral-roots-awards-recognizing-young-adult-leaders/


March 22nd - 2018

Mount Saint Vincent University Panelist- 1110 Intro to Child & Youth Studies

By initiation of Dr Christine Mclean, I sat on a panel with past MSVU graduates of the Child & Youth Studies Program from various years. I spoke about my experience in the program, "No jobs in the field" and different ways I have worked with youth and communities.


March 21st - 2018

Mount Saint Vincent University Panelist- Feminist Collective Panel Series 'Transcending Toxic Masculinity'

Invited by the MSVU Feminist Collective, I was an invited panelist along with Robert Wright, Dr. Maya Eichler and Dr. Bruce Dienes. I spoke about my experience working in communities across HRM and how Toxic Masculinity has affected populations I have worked with. https://www.facebook.com/events/152658618745086/


March 6th - 2018

St. Georges Youth Net Guest Speaker

During my visit I engaged approximately 15 black females in a conversation about their community and things they are passionate about. The discussion consisted of topics such as "What does it mean to be a black female?" "What kinds of things have you experienced?". We engaged in solution focused conversation about what we could do about things in their community and what issues they wanted to solve. Unanimously, 'Shootings in our community' were issues that they wanted to pursue to change.


December 4th - 2017

Dalhousie University Guest Speaker - Introduction to Community Social Work (SLWK 2010.01)

I was invited in as a guest speaker to speak to the Social Work class on community engagement. The main points I wanted to instill were "Community doesn't engage in what you do, they engage in why your doing it". Also with any community project or initiative that affects the community directly or indirectly; the community must have a "meaningful" seat at the table.


July 1st - 2017

Roundtable Host - Immigration swearing in ceremony for new Canadians

This event was organized by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. Prior to the official swearing in ceremony, community members and partners - from city leaders to neighbours are invited to host ICC roundtables. These opportunities are a unique opportunity to share stories and reflect on what it means to be Canadian.


https://www.icc-icc.ca/site/about/


May 31st - 2017

Pathways to Education - Keynote Speaker

The Pathways to Education program in Spryfield was graduating a cohort of high school students from their program and I was invited as a keynote speaker to address their graduating class.


https://www.pathwaystoeducation.ca/halifax-%E2%80%93-spryfield


January 28th, 2017

Roots and Branches: Sustainable Approaches to Gendered Violence Prevention - Invited Speaker

The Nova Scotia Gendered Violence Prevention Network is excited to host Roots and Branches: Sustainable Approaches to Gendered Violence Prevention, a gathering of local researchers, community-based service providers and policymakers. Over this one-and-a-half-day event, we aim to take stock of the state of the gendered violence prevention community of practice in Nova Scotia and to strategize about how we can support each other as we work for a future without violence, whether structural or interpersonal. For this gathering, the NSGVPN has identified three major cluster areas: Supporting Indigenous Women and Girls, Working with Men and Boys, and Promoting Healthy Relationships with Youth. The day's programming will focus on these areas of gendered violence prevention.

January 21st, 2017

Justice, Arts & Youth Action Event Panelist

The Justice, Art & Youth in Action Initiative is a collaborative project lead by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation(www.fmjf.ca), The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia(artgalleryofnovascotia.ca), and Youth Art Connection (youthartconnection.ca). The project aims to address justice issues, including the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools, the over-representation of African Nova Scotians in the criminal justice system, intimate partner violence, and the violence LGBTQ youth face.


http://youthartconnection.ca/justice/


June 10th, 2016

Lockview High School

Invited back to the school for a second time to provide a presentation to 3 consecutive African Canadian studies class, the presentation was comprised of materials focusing on challenges, contributions and achievements mad by African Canadians today. 

October 20th, 2015

Eastern College

My colleague and I spoke to a class of 1st and 2nd year diploma students on working with children, youth and families and some of the successes, challenges and opportunities when working in the field.

November 13th, 2016

Community Justice Society Conference - Social Justice in Our Communities: What does it take to make a just community’

My colleague and I were presenting under the block 'Restorative Practices in Punitive Systems', our topic we presnted on was youth poverty in HRM and across Canada. The most up to date statistics and information were presented on youth homelessness, youth and family poverty, low-income cut off and other relevant topics pertaining to youth poverty.

January 30th , 2016

Dalhousie Legal Aid Service - Social Justice Soiree

During this event I had spoken about youth, families and communities I have the priviledge of working with across HRM. Some key messages during this session were to take a collective approach to ensure those around you are doing well, to banish the thought of "being realistic" as it confines you to non-creative thinking and get out and volunteer and meet people.

February 22nd, 2016

Dalhousie University - 2nd year social work students

Compiled and presented information on youth work that I have done past and present as well as shared some current and up-coming programs and projects I am working on. Had a heathly dicussionon about racism and discrimination in HRM and discussed issues such as gentrification, displacement and assimilation.

February 27th, 2016

Mount Saint Vincent University Africentric Support Group - Fundraiser fashion show

The africentric support group (ASG) at MSVU exists to better serve the black student population currently studying at MSVU. The fashion show titled "Fabric of our DNA" is one of many fundraisers that aims to raise money to go towards developing a scholarship for black students at MSVU. I had the honor of being the master of ceremonies and the priviledge to represent the ASG and MSVU to come together for a night of fun, design and laughter all for a good cause.

March 23rd , 2016

Lockview Highschool

I was invited by Lockview Highschool teachers to talk about current youth work, community stigmatization and how racism and discrimination affect youth.