Reflecting and Moving Forward Together
The past year saw significant organizational changes for Inspirit Foundation. In August of 2018, the Board of Directors hired new CEO Sadia Zaman. Sadia brings with her a wealth of insights and experience in not-for-profits, public broadcasting/journalism as well as the arts. You can read more about Sadia here. The fall marked the transition from board Chair Peter Lyman to new Chair Barbara Hall. Both Peter and Barbara are highly respected leaders in Canada. Peter has a strong background in the arts and communications and Barbara Hall is an accomplished lawyer and former politician. Read more about our board here.
Twenty-eighteen was also the third year of Inspirit’s five-year strategic plan. In the past three years, we’ve granted to hundreds of change leaders who are advancing inclusion, moved more than 80% of our assets into mission-aligned investments, and, as a foundation that originated from Canada’s first multi-faith broadcaster, we have committed over a million dollars to projects that use film, podcasts, visual arts and other forms of media to foster inclusion and pluralism.
This past year we also asked ourselves how we could help organizations working on our priority areas of Islamophobia and reconciliation address their operational needs. As a result, we are testing core grants—multi-year, unrestricted grants of up to $150,000 to support Indigenous-led or Muslim-led organizations engaging in high impact models and approaches. We will announce the recipients of these grants in early 2019.
As staff, we have worked hard to build a robust network of change leaders, foundations, non-profits, and community experts. We look forward to working with you as we continue to evolve as an organization. Here’s to a peaceful holiday season.
The Inspirit Foundation Team
Grantee InFocus: Dene Nahjo
A 2018 ChangeUp Grantee
Dene Nahjo is an organization dedicated to advancing social and environmental justice for northern peoples while promoting Indigenous leadership. They focus on cultural preservation, revitalization, and connection to the land. You can learn more about Dene Nahjo here.
Inspirit’s Latest Blogs
Navigating Law School as a Mi’kmaw Woman
A personal essay by Marissa Prosper
Marissa Prosper is a young Mi’kmaw woman and law student at Dalhousie University. Read her blog post about navigating the tensions between Indigenous and western ways of knowing and her ambitions to advocate for Indigenous communities.
Achieving a 100% Impact Portfolio
A look at our progress by Jory Cohen, Director of Social Finance and Impact Investing
Jory is Inspirit Foundation’s Director of Social Finance and Investment. In this blog, he outlines how far we’ve come and the work that lies ahead to achieve a 100% impact portfolio,.
Inspirit Grantees in the News
- The Winnipeg Free Press profiled Sawa Theatre, a small theatre company supporting newcomers and challenging stereotypes about asylum seekers. Read the story here.
- The Yellowhead Institute is a First Nation-led research think tank centring Indigenous communities and working through an Indigenous lens. Learn more about them in this profile by Maclean’s.
- MuslimLink.ca, an online hub focused on Muslims in Canada, spoke to Idil Kalif of Femmes Noires Musulmanes au Québec about organizing among Black Muslim women in Montreal. Check it out.
- Tendisai Cromwell was a change leader supported by Inspirit in 2016. As the new Executive Director of Regent Park Film Festival, she spoke to NOW Magazine about organizing Toronto’s longest-running free film-festival.
- In October, CBC Arts covered Silk Road Institute’s first production, Domestic Crusaders, and how this Muslim theatre company can help combat rising Islamophobia.