🌼 Spring into Action! 🌼

Celebrating Earth Day!

Although Earth Day is a great reminder to take some time to think about the environment, we must implement earth-friendly practices every day. Be mindful of how you can be kind to our planet and work towards a better future. ICL is proud to work with many organizations dedicated to bettering our world. Take a look!

  • Environmental Defense 
    • In 2018, ICL led a training for the Environmental Defense– a national not-for-profit dedicated to education and research, including topics such as toxic chemicals, urban sprawl, oil sands, global warming, water quality, and endangered species communications team. Together, we broke down a complex environmental message and turned it into a compelling public narrative that connects with everyday people to motivate them to climate action.
  • Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
    • CAPE collaborates with other organizations, nationally and internationally, to work effectively and build power together. We support physicians to be advocates for healthier environments and ecosystems. ICL has done two wonderful sessions with CAPE thus far and we look forward to more in the fall.
  • Ecology Ottawa 
    • Everything Ecology Ottawa does is based on the understanding that one positive conversation can cause a ripple that extends through friends, family, and neighbours, moving others toward progressive change. In 2018, ICL supported this mission by training new and experienced community organizers to build their capacity for outreach by learning how to have deep and inspiring conversations through canvassing.
  • Healthy Transportation Coalition
    • Healthy Transport Coalition works toward more livable communities through community organizing and research highlighting the need for effective policy and infrastructure. In 2019, ICL trained its activists on the fundamentals of community organizing. Their goal: secure $12 million in the Ottawa City Budget for affordable housing near rapid transit that would allow more people to rely less on driving to get around the city. We worked with them to hone their story and develop a strong action plan. By February 2019 their work had paid off–– the city proposed $30-million to build 250 new units, many of which would be built near transit.
  • Neighbours United
    • Stories are the building blocks to our understanding of the world and each other– making them essential to drive change. In May of 2022, ICL worked with staff and board members from Neighbours United, formerly Eco Society, to develop their personal stories into compelling public narratives that express their passion for justice while motivating others into action. These tools have supported Neighbours United in helping over 100,000 people in 13 communities say yes to 100% renewable energy, proving that small towns can have big stories.



An Important Update from ICL Founder Olivia Chow

Our Executive Director, Olivia Chow, has taken a leave of absence from ICL, setting out with her vision for the city she knows and cherishes by campaigning to become Toronto's next Mayor.

We thank many of you for reaching out and ask you to direct anything campaign-related to [email protected], as we are strictly focused on priorities related to ICL. You can also visit her campaign's website https://www.oliviachow.ca/ for more information.

Olivia's leave of absence was effective as of April 11, 2023; any changes will be communicated to you in due time.

An Amazing Win for Our Friends at the Association of Ontario Midwives!

On March 31, 2023, members of the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM) successfully ratified a new one-year funding agreement with the Government of Ontario.

This is especially significant for its promise to facilitate safe care for Indigenous families without having to travel long distances.

Having to travel long distances to give birth is one of the many systematic problems thousands of Indigenous people face.

Ellen Blais – winner of the 2022 Layton Indigenous Leadership Award – and many other Indigenous Midwives have been working for decades to ease conditions for Indigenous mothers.

Watch this video to learn more about Ellen’s work and Indigenous Midwifery.

This agreement is a huge success for the many midwives and advocates who rallied and worked towards it. Congratulations to everyone, and we look forward to seeing the change this creates in the future.

Social Housing and Human Rights: Organizing for Change

This month we embarked on our affordable housing training in Winnipeg! Taught by long-time ICL Instructor Duncan Pike, these trainings went wonderfully! The training was held at a conference lead by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. With a specific focus on housing, our participants came to understand the strategic role of storytelling in the collective movement for the right to housing, how to lead change through telling a personal narrative, and how to build a concrete action plan through understanding power and developing tailored strategies and tactics. Thank you to everyone who joined us!

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The Institute for Change Leaders is a Canadian registered charity that can issue official donation receipts (no. 763310679 RR 0001). ICL is brought to you by the Faculty of Community Services at Toronto Metropolitan University.

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