Memorandum of Understanding with Midaynta Community Services
Mending a Crack in the Sky (MCIS) initiative comprises a group of mothers, many of them survivors of acute trauma, who organized a dynamic program to provide immediate support to youth and families impacted by gun violence. MCIS is organized under Midaynta Community Services as a leader in transformative community change, activism, and outreach.
At the July 2019 Board meeting, mothers from the MCIS initiative presented to the Board, outlining the challenges that the Somali-Canadian community in the north-west part of the City is facing. Importantly, they also presented opportunities for the Board, Service and MCIS to be able to work together in an effort to build trust and address these challenges.
At the conclusion of the presentation, the Board approved the following motion:
THAT the Board receive the presentation and direct staff and appropriate members of the ARAP and MHAAP to work with the Somali Mothers Movement (Midaynta Community Services) to pursue opportunities for partnership with a view to establishing an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and to bring it for approval at the September Board Meeting.
Following this Board direction, Board Staff began to work with the mothers from the MCIS initiative to better understand and synthesize what the mothers were looking to have addressed through the MOU.
The purpose of this MOU is to establish a formal and equal working relationship between the Board, the TPS, and Midaynta, who are all interested in improving community safety. Given its mandate, Midaynta is specifically focused on improving the safety of young Somali males in particular, in relation to their safety from gun violence that is currently impacting the Somali-Canadian community through collaboration with the Board and the TPS.
MCIS stresses the violence they respond to is concentrated among Canadian-born Somali youth whose communities face disproportionate levels of homicide, gun and gang violence, mental illness, and incarceration. MCIS’ proposed relationship with the Board emphasizes culturally sensitive programing and healing which align with the City of Toronto’s pioneering leadership in addressing anti-Black racism and mental health. The group’s proposed model is unprecedented and innovated to be effective for members of the Somali-Canadian community in Toronto.
At its meeting of January 26, 2023, the Board recevied an update on the MOU, including a presentation by members of MCIS, and extended the terms of the MOU to December 31, 2024.
The Board is thankful for the leadership shown by these mothers, and values the working partnership which we have forged together.