In case you missed it, we released the results of our Demographic Survey last week! The purpose of the survey was to have data to know who is well-represented at CSI and who is not, so we could begin to address the potential barriers for individuals and communities who are currently underrepresented at CSI.
We are hosting a public Open Table conversation tomorrow to create space to unpack what the report tells us and talk and learn about inclusion, diversity, equity and access at CSI. This open table will be hosted by CSI Toronto Executive Director Adil Dhalla and Artist, Antioppression, Liberation + Meaningful Inclusion Consultant Rania El Mugammar.
We would also like to take some time today to highlight twenty of our members who work every day to advocate for diversity. We are honoured that such meaningful work is taking place in our spaces (physical and virtual).
- Rainbow Railroad
Rainbow Railroad helps LGBTQ people escape persecution+violence around the world. At any given time, Rainbow Railroad is working on 30-50 open cases, confirming their details, putting them in touch with local resources and helping them identify safe routes for escape. As the situation worsens in many parts of the world, these numbers continue to grow.
- Facing History and Ourselves
As communities across Canada become increasingly diverse, educators are asking for tools to promote empathy, respect, and create a safe classroom environment that encourages conversations about difficult issues. Our invaluable partnerships with school board administrators and educators enable us to provide educators with the tools, strategies, and resources for students to explore themes of prejudice, judgment and justice, and civic responsibility.
- Anima Leadership
Anima Leadership is an award winning company of consultants, trainers and coaches offering consulting and training services for individuals, teams and organizations in support of transformative change. Our belief is that when people are in environments where they matter and belong, the extraordinary becomes possible.
- Inspirit Foundation
Inspirit envisions a more inclusive and pluralist Canada where our differences are valued and engaged, and everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive both socially and economically. They work to promote inclusion and pluralism through media and arts, support for young change leaders and impact investing—specifically addressing discrimination based on ethnicity, race and religion.
- Downie Wenjack Fund
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) is part of Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment, and that of both the Downie and Wenjack families, to call Canadians to learning and action in solidarity with Indigenous peoples of this land. The goal of the fund is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story, and to support the reconciliation process through awareness, education, and action.
StopGap Foundation was registered as a Canadian charity in October 2013 but its roots date back to the fall of 2011. What began as a small one-off project in Toronto has turned into a global movement (they have populated the world with more than 1,000 ramps!) StopGap Foundation aims to create a world where every person can access every space. A world free of barriers would help give everyone the opportunity to live a life full of independence, spontaneity, and ultimate fulfillment.
AccessNow uses crowdsourcing to pin-point the accessibility status of locations on an interactive map. Users can search for specific places or browse to see what is nearby with the accessibility features they need. If info isn’t already on our map, the user can can add it themselves and contribute to their worldwide community.
LoveArabic is a Toronto-based social enterprise with a mission to make the Arabic language accessible to everyone in Toronto and to all Canadians. They are the organizers of Toronto’s only Arabic language exchange meetup. They also offer Arabic classes for beginners, a calendar of Arabic events and an online market.
- Awake Labs
Awake Labs is building an AI-powered app accompanied by a wearable to collect real-time data to empower care for neurological disorders, starting with autism. Reveal Stories, the application, allows users to track behavior by voice, text, or file to facilitate collaboration within the care team. Reveal Band, the wearable, tracks physiological indicators of anxiety to give real-time insights and predict states of high-anxiety. Their platform is being designed to collect data from any available wearable on the market to make their technology more accessible.
Dateability is the premier dating website and app for people of all abilities; it will be fully accessible for every sensory disability, safe with the help of the latest blockchain and other security technologies and users will be able, if the choose, to find members by disability. We will also organize in person events and members will be able to customize their experience. Dateability is not just a dating website and app, but also a movement, we are intending to inspire as many websites as we can to become accessible for all abilities. Dateability will help you find the right partner, date or friend.
- Level Up Gaming
Level Up Gaming is a Toronto-based organization that provides individuals on the autism spectrum and with other disabilities the opportunity to develop and explore their real-world social skills through goal-directed group gaming experiences. Founders Christian, Daniel, and Kelsey tailor each gaming session to help our Players work on their collaboration, resiliency, critical thinking, and self-reflection skills through tabletop gaming!
- Accessibility Ontario
Accessibility Ontario is a training and development organization that helps nonprofits and businesses in Ontario to understand and comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005). They have helped thousands of organizations successfully meet, and exceed, their AODA requirements. A trusted and respected provider of training and consultation on the AODA, Accessibility Ontario brings solutions to your organization’s needs at each phase of AODA compliance. Whether it is risk mitigation, complex multi-year strategies, barrier identification, accessibility audits, or ongoing training requirements, they are committed to meeting the accessibility needs of all organizations.
- Young Women’s Leadership Network
Young Women’s Leadership Network is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering young women’s civic and political leadership. They take an anti-oppressive, trans-inclusive feminist approach toward identifying the issues and bridging the gaps in support networks and services for young women leaders. Their work takes a multifaceted approach to promoting inclusive and equitable leadership. They both focus on building young women’s leadership capacity; and work with local organizations and democratic institutions to redefine leadership so that it represents the diverse experiences and identities of our network.
- DanceAbility Movement
DanceAbility was designed from the ground up by two Occupational Therapists and certified Dance Instructors. Mallory and Jade have organized and taught the program since 2010 at their home studio, Dance Elite in Milton. Their classes are lead by qualified dance instructors in consultation with occupational therapists with passion and experience in enabling individual’s with special needs to reach their potential. They offer 1:1 support for every child, with volunteers who are trained and supported by, and individualized goals and adapting classes to the appropriate level of challenge for each student
Five/Fourteen is the only foster agency dedicated solely to providing services and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, two-spirit, and otherwise gender-independent children and youth in foster care.There are thousands of LGBTQ youth in care in Ontario. Yet, until we opened our doors in 2016, there still wasn’t a single designated safe placement for youth on the rainbow spectrum. Now with Five/Fourteen, an team of staff and foster parents is dedicated entirely to their care.
- Civic Muslims
The idea for CivicMuslims was conceived in 2011 out of two beliefs: a flourishing Canada needs all its citizens to be civically engaged, and Canadian Muslims have an important contribution to make. The challenge? How do you build an organization that excites people about civic engagement? They set out to find the formula to inspire people to look beyond themselves. Their mission is to promote volunteerism and civic engagement.
- Pride At Work
Pride at Work Canada was founded in 2008 by a group of dedicated volunteers with a vision to improve the climate of inclusiveness for LGBTQ2+ people in Canadian workplaces. The initial aim of the organization was to put the case for LGBTQ2+ inclusion on the mainstream business agenda by winning the support of employers that recognize the need to support LGBTQ2+ employees as part of their individual diversity and inclusion strategies. They now work with over 80 National and Regional Partners, employers that act as the organization’s members and support our mission, vision and values.
- AbbeyField Society
The Abbeyfield concept is very simple. Typically, twelve to fifteen residents of retirement age live in their own private bed-sitting rooms furnished with their own things. The residents share lunch and dinner, plus a self-serve breakfast from a well-stocked breakfast bar. Snacks and drinks are also available throughout the day. A House Coordinator attends to the daily running of the house, the shopping and the preparation and serving of meals. Privacy and independence are preserved yet the gentle supportive domestic atmosphere provides companionship and freedom from worries and chores. AbbeyField believes that seniors often seek companionship and practical support in their daily living while remaining integrated in the larger community, that seniors have an important role to play in the lives of their families, friends and communities,Thirdly, that individuals can secure a happy life within the companionship of other seniors.
- Level Justice
Inequitable access to justice and its devastating impacts are not well understood by the Canadian public, and creating access to justice for all is a complex endeavour. It requires more than just the keys to a courtroom. Transforming the justice sector requires the collective effort of an empowered and empathetic society. Level Justice believes that if our communities are empowered to understand, shape, and use the law, then they can become active participants in breaking down barriers to justice. They also believe that if legal professionals have empathy and cultural humility, we can disrupt prejudice and create a justice system that serves the people who need it the most.
- CCNC Toronto Chapter
The Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter (CCNCTO) is an organization of Chinese Canadians in the City of Toronto that promotes equity, social justice, inclusive civic participation, and respect for diversity. They design and carry out programs in the interest of Chinese Canadians residing in the greater Toronto area, especially marginalized groups. They also respond to and serving grassroots concerns, maintaining close liaison with other Chinese Canadian and organizations in the GTA. They also organize all-candidates-meetings and open forums on public policy, encouraging Chinese Canadians to take part in public decision making.
To find out more about how CSI is promoting diversity, please read our diversity, inclusion, and anti-discrimination policy.