Upcoming Courses and Events

Run for It! Forging the next generation of elected Asian Canadian leaders
Feb 22, 2022 at 7:00pm 9:00pm EST
Online course

Are you Prepared to Run Hard and Fast? Coming in 2022!

Run for It! is a non-partisan training and coaching program dedicated to supporting Asian Canadian participation and representation across Canada at all levels of elected public office including federal, provincial, municipal and school board trustees.

With condensed sessions designed with a practical and best practice approach, candidates running for elected office as well as key leaders involved in campaigns will be enabled to hit the ground running. Each session module provides essential tools and critical development to build confidence in all aspects of driving and positioning an election campaign for winning results.

Who should apply for the Run for It! Program? Asian Canadians who are running for elected office, campaign leaders and allies (campaign workers) who are supporting their candidates to win.

There are some subsidized spaces available. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Event Session Dates and Descriptions

1. Public Narrative: Storytelling: February 22, 2022 at 7:00-9:00pm EST

Develop personal narratives: (Why am I running? What is my core value that drives me? What do I want to accomplish? Who are my electorates and what are their stories and needs?).This will lead candidates towards self awareness and understanding - Through this process participants will develop a deeper understanding of the role they want to play in politics - running for office, or running campaigns to elect candidates they believe in.

Purpose: Make space for potential candidates to do self-inquiry, explore the personal, emotional, systemic realities of running for office as a BIPOC candidate. How to build and sustain a personal profile and build community capital and coalition. How to bring family and friends together. Furthermore, translating support to actual votes.

2. Campaign Planning and Communication: February 24, 2022 at 7:00-9:00pm EST

How to recruit volunteers, deep canvass, deal with racial incidence, get ready for public meetings, candidate meetings, developing internal and external communication skills, and dealing with the media. 

Purpose: How to form a concrete plan of action.

3. Technical Campaigning: February 26, 2022 at 12:00-2:00pm EST

Teach potential campaign candidates how to build a campaign along with the necessary big picture and practical skills (digital campaigning, campaign team with diverse skills, fundraising, voter contact strategies, strategy and tactics, advance vote, and election day vote).

Purpose: Participants will learn tactical skills such as how to run an effective and legal campaign as well as how to build a political message. 

4. Network of Peers and MentorsFebruary 26, 2022 at 3:00-5:00pm EST

Focusing on diplomatic etiquette, how to network, and how to ensure self care and the creation of a support circle.

Purpose: Participants will be connected to a network of past and present politicians, campaign workers, and other change-makers with the intention of building an accountability/support network for potential candidates. 

Sponsoring Agencies

ACCT Foundation, Teresa Woo-Paw

ALPHA Education, Gen-Ling Chang

NAAAP Toronto,  Ben Hum

The Justin Poy Agency, Justin Poy

Filipinos Rising, Cesar Cala and Marichu Antonio

Institute for Change Leaders, Olivia Chow

 ALPHA Education

NAAAP Toronto      iQIYI North America Appoints the Justin Poy Agency as Exclusive Media Sales  Partner for the Canadian Market, The Canadian Business Journal

   Institute for Change Leaders

Building Skills for Change - Spring 2022
Apr 5, 2022 at 6:30pm May 24, 2022 at 8:30pm EDT
Online, Toronto, ON

"This was the best training I have completed in many years. The instructors were knowledgeable and the feedback from them has helped me in addressing the challenges in my advocacy campaigns. I highly recommend this training to anyone who is thinking of changing our world for the better."

- 2021 spring program graduate

Do you have a desire to step up and fight for a better, fairer, more just world? This course is for you.

The Building Skills for Change workshop series is designed to help anyone learn how to make a difference in their community through the basics of strategizing, organizing, telling your own story, and taking effective action.

During this eight week, sixteen-session online course you will learn how to:

  • Tell your story to motivate others to take action.
  • Design a strategy that gets the change you want
  • Structure your team to avoid burnout and facilitate growth
  • Recruit and keep volunteers
  • Choose a strategy and tactics that move decision-makers

After completing the course you will receive a certificate in Organizing for Social Change from the Institute for Change Leaders.

The curriculum is based on the teachings of Harvard University Professor Marshall Ganz, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement and an adviser to President Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign.

You will learn through lectures and small group activities that will allow you to practice the skills we teach.

You will work with an experienced organizer, who will facilitate your group and help you plan your organizing project. You will finish the course ready to tell your story, with a developed organizing statement, and tools to plan your organizing project's strategy and tactics.

Dates and times

This course takes place over 8 weeks, each Tuesday from 6:00-8:00 pm EST, beginning April 5th, 2022 and ending May 24th. Coaching circles will be held on Thursdays from 6:00-7:00 pm EST. 

The Tuesday sessions include lectures and facilitator-led breakout groups with the opportunity to practice that week's material. The Thursday sessions function as 'office hours' for participants to ask questions, practice their skills, and receive coaching.


The regular price ticket is $499.00. We offer a discounted rate if you are registering as a group. Participants can be from different organizations. Please email [email protected] for details.

ICL will be offering a limited number of scholarships to individuals and groups working or volunteering with a non-profit, charity, labour union or social movement. Please complete this form to apply.

Teaching Team

Rizwan Tufail is a member of ICL's Board of Directors and a former fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School, where he studied with Marshall Ganz. Rizwan is the Managing Partner of Innovonomics Inc – a strategy consulting firm that works on strategies, policies, and skills required to accelerate the move towards a global innovation economy.

Duncan photoDuncan Pike is a union activist, campaigner, and social movement trainer with a passion for supporting people who are organizing for a more just, fair, and equitable society. As a facilitator and Communications Lead with the Institute for Change Leaders in Toronto, Duncan has trained hundreds of new activists and union members on organizing and campaign strategy and tactics, public narrative, and campaign messaging.

Do you have a desire to step up and fight for a better, fairer, more just world? Our trainings are for you.

The Institute for Change Leaders (ICL) teaches the skills that organizers, activists and campaigners need to win social change. Our core 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.

"This was the best training I have completed in many years. The instructors were knowledgeable and the feedback from them has helped me in addressing the challenges in my advocacy campaigns. I highly recommend this training to anyone who is thinking of changing our world for the better."

- 2021 spring program graduate

Our flagship training on the fundamentals of community organizing teaches how to build power and win change. Usually held once per week over eight separate two-hour sessions, the Building Skills for Change program is based on the mastery of five key leadership practices: telling stories, building relationships, structuring teams, strategizing, and acting:

1. How to articulate a story of why we are called to lead, a story of the community we hope to mobilize, and a story of why we must act now.

2. How to build intentional relationships as the foundation of purposeful collective actions.

3. How to create structure that distributes power and responsibility and prioritizes leadership development.

4. How to strategize turning your resources into the power to achieve clear goals.

5. How to translate strategy into measurable, motivational, and effective action.

We offer a number of different training options, in-person or online, from multi-day courses on the fundamentals of community organizing to single evening sessions on specialized skills like social media and public speaking.

Take a look at our course offerings below. Don't see what you're looking for? Drop us a line at [email protected] and we'll work with you to develop a custom program that meets your needs.

Empowering Change: ICL's 2021 Annual Report

Learn about the incredible impact that ICL has made this year in our 2021 Annual Report.

Celebrating 5 Years of Empowering Change

On November 16th ICL celebrated our 5th Anniversary with an evening of hope, action and inspiration, a simultaneous live event in Toronto and online on Zoom.

Meet this month's Featured Facilitator, Dawn Maracle!

This month we're honoured to present Dawn Maracle as Featured Facilitator! Learn all about Dawn's activism within Indigenous communities, her powerful story, and her history with ICL today!

Take action

Get Trained
Contact Us

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 X University.

Ryerson University