The Institute depends on the support of individuals and organizations who see the importance of building capacity for inclusive social change. Key supporters include:



Dave G. Samuel

Dave is a partner at Birch Hill Equity. Dave is Chairman of Distinction Group and also serves on the Board of Directors of Creation Technologies, Sigma Systems and Softchoice.  He has also served on the Board of Aquaterra, EISI and was Chairman of Shred-it International. Prior to joining Birch Hill, Dave had over 15 years of experience in private equity, operations, consulting and investment banking. Dave’s experience includes serving as President, Rogers Cable (High-Speed Internet Access) and working at McKinsey & Company and Morgan Stanley. Dave received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University. Dave believes in the Ganz-model of organizing, and building strong communities that can advocate for their needs.


Nancy Ruth

Nancy Ruth is an activist, philanthropist, and former Canadian Senator. Throughout her political career and her time in the Senate, she has been a fierce advocate for women's constitutional rights. She continues this dedication to equality by supporting and founding several women's rights organizations, including the Canadian Women's Foundation and Nancy's Very Own Foundation. 


Margaret McCain

Margaret McCain is a philanthropist and the first-ever woman to serve as the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick. She is also an advocate for early childhood education, and, along with her husband, founded the Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation, which promotes early childhood education opportunities for all of Canada’s children. 


Doug Ward

Douglas Ward’s lifelong commitment to broadcasting has created new opportunities for cultural expression in Canada and has informed and enlightened people around the world. He was on the team that launched CBC Radio’s “As It Happens” and co-authored the transformative Meggs-Ward Report, which led to the creation of two commercial-free networks and improved local journalism. As director of CBC’s Northern Service, he trained Aboriginal journalists and broadcasters and established the first completely Inuktitut production centre. Now chair of Farm Radio International, he is sharing his experience to help empower small-scale farmers to improve food security in the developing world.

amanuel melles

amanuel melles is Canadian community organizer, a scientist and the current Executive Director of the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities. He worked as the Manager for Community Action Unit at Family Service Toronto, Resource Development/Project Administrative Coordinator for the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, Director of Community Health Promotion Programs at New Heights Community Health Centre and as Principal of Aman Consulting. He is a social entrepreneur with more than 26 years of senior management roles in various sub-sectors of the nonprofit sector.


David Walsh

David Walsh is a real estate investor who contributes to the building of communities. David’s interest and commitment to community and neighbourhood is a broad one: from retaining the Gooderham “Flat-Iron” building in which his office is located, to advocating for the residents of “tent city”, a temporary shelter that currently houses a few dozen of Toronto’s homeless on a portion of vacant waterfront lands, David Walsh is a force with which to be reckoned. Quiet and determined, David’s values are put in play every day as he tackles another obstacle preventing someone access to the basic entitlements of life: food and shelter. A business graduate from University of Western Ontario (BA) and York (MBA) David has had a long-time interest in social justice, social housing, and community economic development.


James Lockyer

James Lockyer is a founding director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC), an organization that advocates for the wrongly convicted. He has been involved in exposing several wrongful convictions in Canada, including three homicide cases in which post-conviction DNA testing resulted in exonerations. One of these cases, that of Guy Paul Morin, led to a public inquiry in Ontario in 1997. The report made numerous recommendations for avoiding wrongful conviction in the future, and exposing those of the past.


David Klein

David Klein is one of Canada’s top class action lawyers. David’s practice is national in scope. He was plaintiffs’ counsel in the first class actions certified in British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland & Labrador, and has been appointed by Ontario judges to represent the interests of British Columbians in several Ontario cases. Recognized by Lexpert Survey as one of the most frequently recommended lawyers in class action litigation, by Best Lawyers in Canada as leading counsel in class action litigation, and by Benchmark Canada as a local litigation star, David has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for thousands of victims in a wide range of landmark lawsuits. In 2017, Klein and his client Janet Merlo won a landmark lawsuit against the RCMP for gender and sexual orientation based harassment and discrimination against women.

John Andras




Ontario's Professional Employees' Union

AMAPCEO is the Association of Management, Administrative and Professional Crown Employees of Ontario, representing 13,100 professional and supervisory public servants. As an Association of accomplished professionals, AMAPCEO's aim as an organization is to defend their members’ rights, protect Ontario’s public services and advocate for better working conditions for all. AMAPCEO is aligned with the Institute for Change Leaders' mission to build stronger democratic and civic engagement in communities across Ontario. 



The Brookfield Institute

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) is dedicated to making Canada the best country in the world to be an innovator or an entrepreneur.  While the institute focuses on all aspects of innovation and entrepreneurship, it endeavours to provide special attention to youth-focused problems, educational partnerships, programs and initiatives. The Brookfield Institute supports the Institute for Change Leaders as a form of social innovation that is critical to Canada's future.

Lewis Cohen Family Foundation


Richard and Colleen Peddie Foundation

Created In 2012, the Richard and Colleen Peddie Foundation at Toronto Foundation helps to support deserving charities making a difference in the lives of youth in Toronto’s underserved communities. Richard Peddie is an active city builder, Founding Advisor for Progress Toronto and voice For A Better Toronto. Throughout Richard's groundbreaking career he’s used vision and values to realize great success on and off the playing field.


The United Steel Workers - Canada

The USW is the largest private sector union in North America with more than 225,000 members in Canada and more than 800,000 members continent-wide. The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing men and women working in every sector of the economy. USW members work in nearly every industry and in every job imaginable, in all regions of the country. The USW stands for unity and strength for workers. USW is a key supporter of the Institute for Change Leaders because USW believes in the next generation of community organizers.




Unifor is Canada’s largest private sector union, with more than 310,000 members across the country, working in every major sector of the Canadian economy. Unifor brings a modern approach to unionism: adopting new tools, involving and engaging our members, and always looking for new ways to develop the role and approach of our union to meet the demands of the 21st century. Unifor believes every person of working age in Canada has a right to a good job and the benefits of economic progress - and that is why Unifor supports the work the Institute for Change Leaders is undertaking.



The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union, with over 665,000 members across the country. CUPE represents workers in health care, emergency services, education, early learning and child care, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation, airlines and more. CUPE has more than 70 offices across the country, in every province.


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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.

Toronto Metropolitan University