“I Couldn’t Ignore All The Pain And Death…”
On April 9th, Professor Anthony Hutchinson from Tyndale’s Human Services program presented the premier screening of the documentary ‘This is Not a Game’ on the topic of helping at-risk youth within Toronto. The event included a time of questions and answers with a panel including representatives from Tyndale University College, York University, Ryerson University and the Neighbourhood Basketball Association.
Dr. Hutchinson described that ‘'my objectives were to raise awareness for Tyndale's Human Services program that is establishing the university as a leader in addressing community issues, and empowering individuals to act, and to support local organizations in a practical way.'’
Beginning with Jam Johnson, the creator of the Neighbourhood Basketball Association, a large amount of experience was brought to the table. Jam explains, ‘'I gave up a career in basketball to help these people full time. I couldn’t ignore all the pain and death that these black communities have to endure, I had to help.'’
Throughout the movie, the conflict between government funding and the community's needs became evident. It showed how those who should be benefitting from 'at-risk youth' programs are not and how government financial support often does not actually reach the people and ends up being insufficient.
Mr. Johnson exclaims, "This is not a game, these are people's lives!"
At one point in the documentary it clearly stated, "You have to be invited, being a use to the very real problems. You must partner with those who live in the neighbourhood." This was evidenced when it was shown that despite the lack of support, programs helping the black community are making a difference.
Josh Houeto, a Tyndale student who attended the event said that he "found it to be very informative about the oppression that many black people still face, and the ways that we can counter it. This dude [Jam Johnson] is one passionate guy and we have to support him."