About Rites of Passage

Woodgreen Logo

WoodGreen Community Services’ Rites of Passage process (ROP) was established in 2007 by sipho kwaku, (Director of Employment Services), with the assistance of Paul Osbourne, (Current ROP Manager). As a founding member of the United Way of Toronto Agency, WoodGreen employs 650 staff and 1,000 volunteers, across 36 locations, to provide support for 37,000 individuals in Toronto each year.

The Rites journey recognizes the milestones of human development, from cradle to the grave. Faced with emotional, physiological, mental and spiritual demands, the transition from adolescence to responsible adulthood is one of the most tumultuous experiences we – as humans – will undergo.

Given the specific challenges faced by youth of African descent in Toronto, WoodGreen’s ROP process offers resources, guidance and support, as they move from one life stage to the next.

Our approach provides an African-oriented cultural landing pad, encouraging critical reflexive thinking that fosters an examined life, with meaning and purpose. By acknowledging the fluidity of culture, we also draw inspiration from the Akan-informed and other African-based cultural forms, as alternative frameworks to nurture a greater sense of resilience, self-awareness and self-determination.

Four Questions

WoodGreen’s Rites of Passage process is informed by four key questions that each participant are required to grapple with.

Who am I?

What values, history, traditions and cultural precepts do I recognize, respect, and continue?

How did I come to be who I am?

What were/are the forces, events, people which have come together to frame who I am?

Am I really who I think I am?

To what extent do I understand, internalize, employ, and reflect the cultural authenticity of my origins?

What is my life Purpose?

Discover Your Purpose!

Rites Team


By public transit (TTC) there are a few options to get to the York U Keele Campus. Click here for common route options.

We are also providing shuttle bus service from target East, West, and Central communities. This map will be available on the site in May.

Register early to have your area consider as priority location.

It is entirely up to you. You can either present us with a printed ticket, an electronic ticket, or simply with your ID.

Yes, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner will be served.

Please be sure to include information about your allergies and/or intolerances when you complete your online registration, so that we can be sure to notify catering about meal needs.

We will not be able to honor your requests if they are not included in your registration.

Contact Indaba@rites.ca with any questions and we’ll get back to you.

Rites of Passage Partner Organizations


Contact us