Funded by the Government of Canada. The Students Commission of Canada

Through comedy, arts, and Forum Theatre, the Hearing Unheard Moments (HUM) program creates safer spaces for real dialogue on controversial, polarizing topics. HUM helps youth identify and address moments of exclusion that may lead to radicalization.

Why? Dr. Heather Lawford and the Students Commission of Canada conducted research on life stories of former extremists and youth social activists. We learned about the transformative moments that being unheard and excluded played in life choices for extremists versus the impact that feeling heard and supported had for youth activists. HUM responds by fostering listening, understanding, and compassion as antidotes to the polarizing forces impacting today's youth.

Co-creating change: young producers

HUM highlights the importance of co-creating. By talking, listening and producing together, we progressively created safer spaces for deeper listening. Curiosity and motivation to communicate versus defensiveness and self-protection emerged.

At the start, we gathered a diverse group of youth representing various identities and experiences in an initial workshop. Over a year, across Canada in various ways, these young producers working with caring adults co-created HUM’s media products. Their purpose was to help others meet the challenges they face. Their work exemplifies how youth from different political spectrums can collaborate to create meaningful change. HUM is designed to be replicated in local community organizations and schools. You are invited to use these tools and resources in your work.


An “edu-tainment” magic show goes on the road

One of the young producers, Magician Lachlan performs a series of card tricks that engage youth audiences, while connecting themes of deception and media literacy as the producers begin to share their work.


Exposing new forms of deception

A series of PSA-style videos written by Alex, and co-produced with SCC staff, highlight issues like astroturfing, bots, and deepfakes.


Using animals and colors to represent race and language, this longer complex video has an accompanying question guide.


Exploring government policies through a family lens

A series of skit videos co-created by students of Alexander Galt Regional High School satirize family decision-making to critique divisive government policies, using humour to highlight absurdities.


The following resources will assist you in incorporating HUM processes and products in your work with youth. You are also welcome to inquire about assistance or SCC implementation of the program. Email