Time for Change

Time for Change

This past quarter, we’ve been dedicating time to reconnecting with 2017 grantees and partners to learn about how we can build on our shared successes while recalibrating in places we can improve. We’re planning in response to our stakeholders’ feedback, while working hard on coordinating programming we’ve been told is working. This dynamic is a well-practiced one at Inspirit: reflecting and asking questions, while diving deep into the work that needs to get done. It’s a balancing act. And in the last six years, this organization has been doing it well.

So as we closed out another promising year, I knew it was time for a change. It was time to create space for new leadership. As I announced last month, I’ll be moving on from Inspirit Foundation in June. You can read more about that announcement here. I am working closely with a search committee, which comprises of our board members, and a national search firm to find a talented leader who can support this organization in the coming years. The application for Inspirit Foundation’s Executive Director will be live early next week.

In the meantime, we’ll be doing what we do best at Inspirit: supporting brilliant change leaders, through programs such as ChangeUp and opportunities like the Media that Matters scholarship; investing in important social enterprises and other impactful initiatives, such as the Immigrant Access Fund; and deepening our support of arts and media for change, with funds like Doc Impact.

Andrea Nemtin
President and CEO

Grantee In Focus: Medicine Wheel Warriors (USAY)

We are very proud of all our incredible grantees passionately and powerfully creating more inclusion across Canada. In this issue, we’re pleased to introduce you to Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth. KAS is one of the latest recipients of the ChangeUp Grant.

This year,Urban Society for Aboriginal Youth in Calgary(USAY) will be launching a new program called Medicine Wheel Warriors: Creating Indigenous Superhero Action Figures.

This project will support Indigenous participants aged 18-25 to research heroes in their community, reimagine themselves as superheroes, and then use multimedia to make an action figure based on their own image, identity, and superhero traits.

Apply: ChangeUp + Media That Matters Close This Week

This year, ChangeUp will be granting to more projects than ever before. This granting stream supports people aged 18-34 leading solutions-focused projects that address issues of discrimination and prejudice in their communities. Learn more and apply here by Friday.

We’re partnering with Media that Matters for the third year to support four emerging media makers to develop their skills and networks to deepen their impact. This co-creative experience takes place at the beautiful Hollyhock Leadership Institute on Cortes Island B.C. Apply here by Thursday.

Welcome Sanaa!

Introducing the newest member of our team, Sanaa Ali-Mohammed. As Inspirit’s Program Officer, Sanaa will administer various granting programs in support of change leaders. Sanaa has previously worked as a political staffer at Toronto city hall, and supporting newcomers and refugees in resettlement processes. Learn more about Sanaa here.

We’re Seeking a New Board Member

We are seeking an individual to join our board. Board members bring skills, experiences, and understanding of different local contexts that shape our organization’s leadership. We are looking for someone with a passion for building a more inclusive society and bold ideas about what it takes to get there. Please note we are seeking someone between 18-34 years of age. Share this application widely. The deadline is May 1, 2018 11:59PM EDT.

 Additional Highlights

Here are a couple of highlights we’re proud of from this last quarter:
  • We’re thrilled to share three new investment commitments: VERGE Breakthrough Fund, Raven Indigenous Impact Fund, and Immigrant Access Fund.
  • On January 29th, we marked the first anniversary of the Quebec City Mosque attack by learning from change leaders what this moment meant to them, how they see Islamophobia manifest in their community, and what leading change looks like. Hear their stories here.
  • Inspirit is excited to be supporting Good Pitch in Vancouver this year. Learn more.

 News & Resources

  • Our President and CEO, Andrea Nemtin, spoke to our friends at CoPower about how impact investing is a critical opportunity to building a more inclusive future.
  • Earlier this year, Inspirit Foundation collaborated with United Way Thunder Bay on their Community Report on Racism and Discrimination.
  • In February, we were proud to support the Journey to Black Liberation Symposium at the Harbourfront Centre. Learn about what Black Liberation means to artists, academics, activists, and others here.
  • Check out Whose Land, a new mobile app helping users easily identify Indigenous Nations, territories and communities. This app was created by Canadian Roots Exchange, TakingITGlobal, and Bold Realities.
  • ICYMI: Earlier this year, we announced our inaugural Doc Impact Fund Grantees. Chris Lee, our Manager of Grants and Media Impact, talks about them here.
  • Download Rivers of Hope, a new free toolkit created by and for Muslim women survivors of Islamophobic violence.
  • In Toronto this Wednesday? Jory Cohen will be speaking about scaling impact investing in Canada at a Toronto+Acumen event. Get your tickets here.
  • A few weeks ago, our Manager of Stakeholder Engagement and Communications Rudayna Bahubeshi was invited to speak to Maclean’s alongside other women to discuss gender pay equity.
  • The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples’ in Canada hosted a webinar with philanthropic peers on the role of accountability in active reconciliation.


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