We promote inclusion and pluralism through media and arts, support for young change leaders, and impact investing—specifically addressing discrimination based on ethnicity, race, or religion.
Our current strategic plan identifies two priorities: fostering reconciliation and addressing Islamophobia. These priorities, as well as a commitment to equity, fall within our overall mission of building a more inclusive and pluralist Canada.
We believe in the centrality of storytelling and the power of narrative to foster understanding, elicit empathy, imagine a just future, and catalyze change. This requires shifting entrenched systems and creating opportunities for new and underrepresented stories to have impact and lead to social change.
To do this, we work within the media and arts sectors and collaborate with a variety of stakeholders pushing for social change. This includes content producers, journalists, arts and cultural organizations, community partners, and researchers.
We define Islamophobia as a form of oppression that translates into individual, ideological, and systemic practices. Islamophobia is fear, hatred, and hostility toward Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, and/or discrimination in social, political, and civic life.
At Inspirit, we aim to address Islamophobia within the context of our mission and capacity, and remain committed to supporting Muslim communities in Canada.
Shortly after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Calls to Action, Inspirit Foundation, along with peers in the philanthropic sector began to ask what role philanthropic organizations could play in fostering reconciliation. Those conversations became the catalyst for the Philanthropic Community’s Declaration of Action and the seven steps Canadian foundations and philanthropists can take to support reconciliation.
At Inspirit, we understand reconciliation to be an ongoing process that is grounded in principles of reciprocity and equity. We recognize that reconciliation is a contested term that requires listening, learning, and adapting our practices to address ongoing legacies of colonization that adversely impact Indigenous communities.
We support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Through our work we will fund initiatives inspired by those calls to action that address the media, arts, culture, and business (through impact investing) sectors in Canada. As we continue the journey, we remain committed to building relationships and trust with Indigenous communities to support Indigenous voices, leadership, and right to self-determination.
Within the arts and media sectors, our grants and programming help develop young change leaders, and also support individuals and organizations pushing for systemic change.
1. Change Leaders
We work with Change Leaders, who are 18-34 years old, face barriers due to ethnic, racial, or religious discrimination, and who are using media and arts strategies to advance equity and pluralism in their work. We engage Change Leaders through project funding and support for ongoing leadership development.
In 2019-2020 we will focus programming on existing Change Leader grantees within the Inspirit network. We will prioritize those who are Muslim and/or Indigenous, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
Contact us if you have questions about Change Leaders.
2. Change Systems
We fund systems-focused projects that use arts and media strategies to engage Canadians on pressing social issues that intersect with racial, ethnic, or religious discrimination. Our work also addresses systemic barriers within the arts and media sectors, and seeks to foster conditions for equity and pluralism to thrive.
We look for arts and media-focused initiatives and projects that:
Contact us if you have an idea for a project that may align with Inspirit’s priorities.
Learn about our previous projects and grantees: