Q. Do I need to have a formal leadership position in my organization or community?
A: No, participants are not required to have a formal leadership position in their work or volunteer roles, but should be able to demonstrate their interest in further developing their leadership skills.
Q. Do I need to have experience in the not-for-profit or public sector?
A. No, experience in the not-for-profit and public sectors or experience in a role with an explicit social mandate is not a requirement.
Q: Do I need to have a particular level of education or other qualifications?
A: No. All applicants are welcome regardless of educational background.
Q: Do I need to live in the GTA?
A: While your project should focus on an issue in the GTA, you are not required to live locally. You and your teammates should, however, have a meaningful connection to the community and issue you are working on.
Q: What counts as the GTA?
A: The GTA includes the City of Toronto and Halton, Peel, York, and Durham regions.
Q: Can I apply with more than one project?
A: Please apply with one project in mind. However, we expect and understand that your project will evolve over the course of your program experience.
Q: Can I apply by myself?
A: All teams must have three members. We see collaboration and working with partners as a key part of a successful project and a key learning. Consider forming a team with people from your organization/community and beyond, including from other sectors.
Q. Do I need to work in the same organization as my team members?
A: No, team members do not need to be part of the same organization, but must be working on the same social justice challenge. Collaboration across organizations and sectors is encouraged.
Q: Can I have more than three people on my team?
A: The program can accommodate only three members per team. However, teams are encouraged to share ideas and learnings from the LSJC with others in their organization or community.
Q: Do I need to have someone from each sector on my team?
A: No. We encourage but do not require teams to have cross-sector representation. The only requirement is that you and your team members are working on the same social justice challenge. You may all be from one organization/sector/community or from different organizations/sectors/communities.
Q: Why do I have to apply in a team of three? Why not another number?
A: In our experience working with teams, three is ideal because it fosters collaboration and creates accountability and shared responsibility. While teams are limited to three people, you are encouraged to share your learnings and insights with others who are contributing or working with you on your proposed solutions.
Q: What makes a “good team?”
A: Here are some qualities that contribute to successful teams:
- Time and capacity to attend live online sessions and commit to project work
- Teammates with a variety of skill sets and backgrounds
- Experience and commitment to driving social justice change
- Significant relationships and experience with the community/organization you plan to work with
- Curiosity and openness to learning
- Personal and professional development goals for the LSJC as individuals and as a team
- Project management skills and experience in advancing team-based projects
- Experience working on the issues that are central to your project
- Support/ a mandate within professional or community roles to participate in the LSJC and work on team project
Q: Is there a fee to participate?
A: No. There are no fees for the Leading Social Justice Collective. Your participation is supported by United Way of Greater Toronto and the School of Cities at the University of Toronto.
Q: What is the $1,400 needs-based stipend for?
A: The Leading Social Justice Collective offers stipends of up to $1,400 per person to reduce barriers to participation for individuals. Applications will be available after acceptance to the program. Some barriers to participation might include but are not limited to: childcare or caretaking support, tech support, and/or income loss due to program participation.
Q: What is the $2,000 team project funding for?
A: Each team will have the opportunity to apply for $2,000 in funding to support project-related expenses. Grant applications will open after the program begins; eligibility depends on active program participation and demonstrated project progress
This funding is intended as seed money to help you participate and get started on your social justice challenge project. We understand that most projects will require further funding to reach their full potential. This program’s seminar sessions will help facilitate connections and some skill-building related to project funding.
Q: What is the time commitment involved?
A: The Leading Social Justice Collective runs from April 20, 2023 to July 20, 2023 and includes an estimated 30 total hours of live seminars. If a participant is unable to attend a session for personal or religious reasons, recordings and materials will be available on request.
Participants can expect to spend an average of 5-7 hours per week on LSJC activities.
- 2 hours/week team project working time
- 1 hour of weekly personal and professional development time
- 1 hour monthly online coaching sessions
- 2.5-hour biweekly live online classes
- 1.5hour monthly project workshop sessions (online or in-person)
- 3 hour in-person program kickoff
- Full day in-person intensive session in June
Participants must be able to meet regularly with their team members to complete related course and project work.
Successful candidates will receive a comprehensive program schedule prior to the first session.
Q: What are the program dates?
A: Course dates (subject to change):
- Kickoff Session (6pm-9pm) | April 20
- Saturday Full-day Intensive (9am-4pm) | June 10
- Graduation (6pm-9pm) | July 20
Live VIRTUAL Engagements
- Biweekly Thursdays (6pm-8:30pm) | May 4, 18; June 1, 15, 29; July 13
- Workshops Thursdays (6pm - 7:30pm) | May 11; July 6
- Acceptance materials | April 10
- Short team video | May 8
- Ecosystem map | June 19
- Final project information | July 6
- Final project presentation | July 13
Q: What projects are eligible? What qualifies as a social justice challenge?
A: We welcome any social justice challenge that impacts your community or organization. This can include a wide range of projects but should be focused on dismantling inequity and/or advancing equity and inclusion within your community or organization.
We encourage you to pick an issue that you are particularly passionate about and/or a project that you are already working on. This could be a problem that makes you angry or frustrated or an opportunity that gives you hope and inspiration. We understand that your project will likely evolve over the course of this program.. Your approach and solution to the challenge do not need to be fully formed when you apply, but you should have an idea of where you’d like to start.
Social justice challenges:
- Exist across sectors and communities
- Are found in public, private and community organizations as well as a variety of formal and informal community settings
- May include connections between social, economic and environmental issues and often require an anti-racist or decolonizing approach
- Should address social, economic and/or environmental inequities in the GTA. Examples include but are not limited to:
- housing and homelessness; inclusive employment; climate justice; gender-based violence; reconciliation; systemic racism; food justice; inclusive infrastructure and city-building
- Could be a new project or a challenge you are already working on that could benefit from new tools and/or skill sets to create the change you wish to see
- May focus on a specific starting point for this transformation. In the long term it should work towards systems-level transformation of your community, organization, or sector
Q: Do I need to be able to attend the sessions in-person?
A: The bi-weekly classes, team coaching sessions and project workshops will all take place online and team members are all expected to attend. The Kickoff, Saturday full-day Intensive, and Graduation will take place in person. During the program and for alumni there will be optional workshops and networking events, some of which may be offered in person at the UofT St. George campus.
Q: What do I need to do to receive a certificate?
A: In order to receive an official UofT and UWGT Certificate of completion and to be eligible for the team project funding, you are expected to:
- Attend all live, biweekly sessions. You will not be eligible for the certificate if you miss more than 2 sessions
- Work on your project throughout the course of the program
- Complete all of the assignments as referenced in the course guide
- Attend and present at program graduation
Q: What are the timelines for project completion?
A: The seminars will run from April to July 2023. Teamswill present their project progress at graduation, but we understand that projects will be longer-term in nature.
Q: What does the selection process look like?
A: Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee composed of representatives from the School of Cities, the United Way Greater Toronto and the community. Successful applicants will be contacted in late March 2023.
Q. What happens with my proposed solutions in the application and during the Fellowship?
A. Your ideas and solutions will remain your own; this is not a competition. This fellowship is an educational opportunity for you to further develop your leadership skills focused on social justice. It is also designed to help you and your team to advance a solution of your choosing.
Q: Is this the same program as the Leading Social Justice Fellowship that ran in 2021 and 2022?
A: Yes! Same program, slightly different name
Q. I have feedback for you. How can I get in touch?
A. We welcome your feedback, questions, and concerns. Please feel free to reach out Daniel Cowen or Sophie Duncan at LSJF@innovaconsultinginc.ca
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