South Asian Youth (SAY) Collective

The History

The SAY Collective began as an ad-hoc committee of the South Asian Women’s Community Centre (SAWCC), as a result of young women expressing realities of violence in public spaces and within interpersonal relationships. SAY’s first Day of Action against violence against Women-identified people was held on September 24th, 2011.

To ensure that collective members were on the same page, we continued to organize, we developed a Basis of Unity , which we continue to use in ongoing SAY work.

SAY continues to be rooted in SAWCC, occupied Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) Territory. We are against state, systemic and interpersonal violence (e.g. colonialism against Native peoples, racist immigration laws, poverty and neo-liberal policies, physical/verbal/sexual assault and harassment) as it impacts women-identified, gender non-conforming, LGBTTQ people and marginalised communities.

We organise from an anti-racist feminist perspective withthe goal of inciting radical change within and beyond our vibrant communities. We trust that such change is rooted in listening to each other’s stories, healing as individuals and communities from the violence we face, being creative, re-imagining the world we live in, sharing our skills, empowering ourselves, acting in solidarity with each other, resisting and challenging the status quo, and revolutionizing our minds and the spaces we occupy.

We are inspired by collective strength and visions of transforming society through horizontal (non-hierarchical) and grassroots organizing so that women and oppressed communities are free to self-determine our/their lives, and live in a society based on mutual respect, dignity and justice for all.

Current Programs:

Uncensored Chai

Uncensored Chai is a weekly support space for young South Asian women ages 17-30 years old. This space has become a place where young women come together to share their struggles and life experiences, and connect with each other to provide emotional and moral support and a space for venting. It is also a space where members share their plans for projects, and find others who want to collaborate.

Time: Every Thursday at 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Location: 2110 Mackay
Details: An informal, drop-in, peer-based support group, facilitated by our Youth Programs Coordinator. Chai and snacks always provided. New members always welcome, no registration required.

Current SAY Projects: 

Open Hearts Zine:

The Open Hearts zine is a project by the South Asian Youth Collective aimed at giving space for stories on the subject of mental health of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour) in a Canadian context. 

It consists of creative non-fiction, including but not limited to: prose, personal essays, diary entries and poetry. We understand that the experience of mental health intersects with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, etc. We want to use writing and sharing as a tool for collective healing, as well as use this project as a medium to build connection and amplify voices of BIPOC in our community. 

This zine is a resource for the youth in our programming (high school and post-secondary students primarily), as well as available for distribution for the community at large. 

Visit our centre for your copy! (by donation)

Film screenings:

The SAY Collective offers semi-regular film screenings. We showcase films either from South Asia or that involve the experience of South Asian folks living in North America. The purpose of these film screenings is to have a space to watch these films critically, in a collective social setting, and potentially connect with other folks through the ideas the films provoke for us. 

Events for the community

The collective tries to organize events for the community at large, depending on capacity of its members, centering on themes like history, music, poetry, violence against women, and intergenerational events. 

Unravelling in Rhymes
Coming in January 2019! E-mail to sign up for the mailing list!