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Inspirit grants help two Edmonton charities inspire youth leaders

Media Coverage

Originally published in The Edmonton Examiner, December 3, 2014


Two local non-profits are getting help to inspire youth to embrace diversity and take a leadership role in driving intolerance from our communities thanks to a grant from the Inspirit Foundation.

“We believe that young people can drive the social changes needed to ensure everyone feels included and our differences are valued, rather than feared,” said Andrea Nemtin, president and CEO of the Inspirit Foundation, in a press release.

The Inspirit Foundation, a national grant-making foundation supporting efforts to create a more pluralist society, has pledged a total of $250,000 through the Inspirit Foundation Pluralism Grant to 15 non-profit organizations across Canada.

Two of those grants went to organizations in Edmonton, the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights and the United Nations Association in Canada, to support programming geared towards getting youth involved in encouraging diversity within their communities.

The John Humphrey Centre plans to use the funds to support their Building Peace from Tolerance to Appreciation program where youth are invited to faith centres across the city to explore different religions and encourage understanding and respect.

This is in response to a perceived increase in hate-based crimes over the past few years — they cite swastikas in graffiti emblazoned across garage doors, growing incidents of Islamophobia and the case of Chevi Rabbit allegedly being beaten for being homosexual.

“It’s a chance for diverse youth to connect over the common goal of interfaith peace and to really learn more about different faiths in Edmonton,” said Tatiana Wugalter, programs co-ordinator of the John Humphrey Centre. She added, “we all deserve to be treated respectfully, with compassion, with dignity.”

Meanwhile the United Nations Association in Canada will dedicate funds from the Inspirit grant towards their innovative crowdmapping project, engaging youth through social media to explore Edmonton’s diverse communities and find connection through storytelling, photography and videos.

“UNAC’s crowdmapping project will build upon our innovative diversity education programs that engage with communities to enhance social cohesion and build a sense of belonging in Canada,” said Sarah Kambites, director of education and international programs of UNA-Canada.

By encouraging youth to take a leadership role and become actively involved in creating the change they wish to see, the Inspirit Foundation as well as the John Humphrey Centre and the United Nations Association in Canada hope for a more inclusive future.