Our Mission

The use of art, culture and politics as a method of liberation and critical healing in the lives of black youth. To reach, teach, treat and heal.

Our team

heARTbase is a group of practitioners engaged in non-traditional, anti-colonial approaches to critical healing [radical self-care] in the lives of Black youth. We use a holistic, humanistic approach that incorporates the arts. This is a way of [re]connecting with an engaged heart and creating a safe space for healing to happen.

Hip-hop has evolved into a global cultural force. This musical genre, like other kinds of Black Popular Culture, Music, and Arts, has long been associated with a celebration of Black culture and creative defiance to the establishment in a variety of artistic forms. Our work focuses on critical healing through the use of Black popular music and culture, which engages the hearts of listeners and artists who have experienced a wide range of personal and societal traumas.

We have collaborated with leading Hip Hop Ed scholars such as Dr. Ian P. Levy, Timothy Jones, Dr. Angel Jones, and Shad Music to enhance our work with Black youth in a meaningful way.

Ken A. Williams
Practitioner

Ken Williams has spent over a decade working with young people and adults at various stages of development in preventative interventions. He is a lifelong learner who appreciates studying and listening to people’s life stories and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work at York University. He also enjoys the visual and performing arts, music, technology, and travel. Ken is interested in learning more about how Black youth in or out of the justice system have experienced systemic harm and the relationship between healing and justice in this context. He is curious about the intersections of justice, well-being, and art and non-traditional approaches to promoting critical healing in the lives of Black youth.

Freda Bizimana
Practitioner

Freda is a master’s student in Social Work at the University of Toronto. She has vast experience providing intervention support and other counselling services to young people involved in the criminal justice system. By night, Freda is a singer, songwriter, and spoken word artist who enjoys connecting with others via her talents. For her, music is an important aspect of actual rehabilitation.

Precious Myers
Practitioner

Precious earned her bachelor’s degree in Social Work from York University and her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto. Precious works as a youth worker with young people who are suffering homelessness. She is the co-founder of Project Next of Kin, a non-profit organization that helps families affected by violence. She is also a member of the Macaulay Child Development Centre’s Board of Directors. She grew up in a musical household, which has had a significant influence on her life. Her life has also been influenced by hip-hop music.