People seeking social justice create change in Canada by learning practical and effective organizing skills.
The Institute advances education by developing and delivering courses to the public that teach participants the tools, principles, ethics and values of participatory democracy in order to acquire knowledge and skills to be involved, and leaders, in democratic processes.
Four core values inform our work:
1. Social Justice
Founded in 2016 by Olivia Chow, the Institute for Change Leaders (ICL) teaches the skills that organizers need to win social change. We believe students learn best when they practice what they learn, and are constantly engaged in small-group learning. We deliver our full curriculum in regular sessions online and at Toronto Metropolitan University, and we work with organizations to deliver tailored training in their workplaces.
Our mission is to ensure organizers are continually developing the skills they need to transform the resources they have into the change they want. The Institute does this by teaching organizing strategies and providing a platform for the growth of a network of organizers.
Our curriculum comes from Marshall Ganz, a Harvard professor who codified the relationship-building organizational framework we teach after years of organizing with the Civil Rights and United Farm Workers movements. He was a key trainer and organizing strategist behind President Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. The Institute offers the first accredited Marshall Ganz-based community-organizing course in Canada.
ICL is proud to be a member of the Leading Change Network, a global community of organizers, educators, and researchers founded by Marshall Ganz. ICL is a Canadian registered charity that can issue official donation receipts (no. 763310679 RR 0001).
Learn more about our impact here.
Our Facilitation Team
Our facilitation team is made up of experienced community organizers based in Toronto, Canada. Our facilitators lead the breakout sessions in our training program.
The facilitators have experience in a range of movements in a range of progressive causes from organizing Muslim youth, labour organizing, and environmental justice organizing. Our team aspires to reflect the communities we work with.
The facilitators are responsible for taking the content of the lecture and reading material and assisting you as you implement these practices into the projects you are working on. Even once the training sessions are over, your facilitators will stimulate a close bond with your group and follow up with everyone to ensure you meet your measurable goals and timelines outside of the program.
The Institute for Change Leaders is an initiative out of Toronto Metropolitan University's Faculty of Community Services. It is a distinctly urban university supporting projects that emphasize community development and progressive change.
Toronto is in the Dish With One Spoon Territory, and we acknowledge with gratitude that we are treaty people on this land.
The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe that bound them to share the territory and protect the land.
Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.