Check Your Head

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Summary of organization/program

Check Your Head is a youth-driven organization that provides education for young people on the issues such as democracy, corporate power, globalization, climate change and many more issues that matter most to youth and our communities locally and globally. Our work is motivated by the understanding that a healthy, democratic and sustainable future depends on a generation of informed, empowered and active young people.

Contact information


#605 – 207 West Hastings St. Vancouver, BC  V6B 1H7, Canada



Geographic region

  • Vancouver
  • Lower Mainland


  • High School Students
  • University Students

History/Background Information

Established: 1998

Umbrella Organization: None

  • In the fall of 1998, two of our founders were working for different organizations, which were both focusing on an international trade agreement called MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment.) The two intrepid organizers went to many a meeting were there would be only two people under the age of 30 – them! So they started talking, called some friends and they all got together and began to scheme.
  • Eventually 12 young people, high school students, university students and others, started to organize a conference for young people on the MAI. In the fall of 1998 the MAI talks collapsed, the French government flexed a little muscle. So, the conference, called Check Your Head, then became a youth conference on Globalization. The conference was held in March of 1999 at UBC. Youth came from the lower mainland, Washington State, Alberta, the interior of BC and from Vancouver Island – we all had great time – whammy – an organization was born!
  • CHY opened an office in September 1999 and became a registered society in January of 2000. Since then a lot has happened. Now they offer a number of different workshops, provide resources, organize special events and have several projects on the go.

Dominant Media Forms

video production

literary production

web production


  • Take localized sustainability efforts within the Vancouver School Board and connect them to  maximize their collective impact.
  • Gather people together and create opportunities for coordinated and concrete action towards increased sustainability.
  • Contribute to interconnected, effective climate-change and environmental programming.
  • Increase the sustainability of participant schools and reduce waste and energy output, thus contributing to a healthier environment.
  • Build a sense of community within schools, between schools and between various stakeholder groups
  • To put youth power and learning at the centre of the process.
  • Approach ‘sustainability’, ‘environmentalism’, and ‘action on climate change’ with a focus on the connections between environmental, economic and social justice.

Statement of Principles

not provided 


  • CYH educates young people on global issues by looking at the connection between global events  and local realities. Check Your Head provides education, resources, training and support for youth who then facilitate workshops, organize events and coordinate projects promoting education and action around issues of globalization and social justice.
  • Through our workshops, projects and special events, we are becoming a portal of possibility – young people working for positive progressive change and working for more say in what happens in our communities. CYH workshops provide education on various globalization issues and our projects and special events allow for more in depth discussion of various ideas and an examination of concrete action that can be taken to help build a better world.

Samples of work

Some Workshops Currently Offered:

Media Awareness
Media doesn’t always tell us what to think, but it often tells us what to think about. This workshop examines the implications of concentrated media ownership and how that may affect public perception and attitudes. It challenges youth to question media bias, to think critically about what’s included and not included in our mediated world and to look at alternative options for gathering information.

De-constructing/Re-constructing Media 
Through collage and role-play techniques, participants explore how advertising, corporate ownership and other aspects of our media-saturated world impact their view of themselves and others. Through this process, participants will learn to recognize the ways they can reclaim this representation and tell their own stories.

Sweatshops: Dressing for a Difference
Participants explore existing campaigns to eliminate sweatshops, while identifying their own capacity to have an impact on this issue. During each workshop, students generate an action plan that they can implement in their school, increasing awareness of and making a difference in the fight against sweatshop exploitation in garment and product manufacturing.

Globalization 101 
This workshop introduces participants to what economic globalization is and how it affects youth. Through role-plays, skits, brainstorms and discussions participants have fun while learning about economics, trade, sweatshops and democracy and how these are all related under the umbrella of globalization.
Genetic Engineering and Food Security 
This workshop focuses on the patenting of life forms and the potential implications of genetic engineering on humans and the environment. It also addresses the globalization of the food industry and the concerns of local control of food resources.
Commercialization of Education (under revision) 
This workshop examines issues of access to education and increased corporate sponsorship of public education and how this influences the commodification of our social values. Students will be able to discuss exclusive deals between corporations and high schools, why they’re being signed and what the concerns are around them.

Funding Sources