The GTHA is one of the most ethno-culturally diverse regions in the world, with more than 200 distinct ethnicities, more than 140 languages and dialects, and more than half of our residents born outside Canada. However, our leadership does not yet fully reflect the distinct fabric of our region. We know that diverse leadership leads to broader networks, stronger social cohesion, and better business decisions, making investing in our region’s leadership pipeline a win for everyone.
CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program is an award-winning program for diverse rising leaders in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who are interested in impacting change in their communities (learn more about the history of the program). With a focus on inclusive leadership and driving impact, this free year-long program provides participants from all sectors and GTHA communities with opportunities for personal leadership development while growing a strong network of civic-minded peers across sectors.
Past participants have noted that the program has helped further their leadership journey and accelerate their careers, while also helping them contribute to their community in a meaningful way. Upon program completion, fellows join a diverse network comprised of hundreds of DiverseCity alumni, mentors, and city-builders.
- From 2009-2016, the DiverseCity Fellows program has had an overall participant satisfaction rate of 90%
- Since 2006, CivicAction has helped rising leaders successfully incubate 19 civic-focused projects of varying scale through its DiverseCity Fellows program and Emerging Leaders Network.
- In the most recent group of DiverseCity Fellows, 100% of Fellows agreed that the program expanded their network overall.
The CivicAction DiverseCity Fellows program convenes diverse rising leaders who are passionate about shaping their community and provides them with the toolkit and network to make it happen.
Each year, the program selects approximately 25 rising leaders who represent all sectors and communities within the GTHA and provides them with an opportunity to shape their communities by:
- Building their leadership capacity with access to free self-assessment tools, 10+ skill building modules led by sector leaders (click here for a sample course outline), and a personalized leadership development plan;
- Expanding their personal and professional network throughout the region;
- Making an impact by collaborating on a team project that tackles a pressing social, environmental, or economic issue in the GTHA;
- Strengthening their understanding of current civic challenges through engagement with the region’s top influencers and visionaries; and
- Receiving structured mentorship support from a prominent senior-level leader.
The DiverseCity Fellows Program inspires deep recognition of one’s skills and talents. I have learnt the importance of building connections and networks catalyzing social change and have skilled-up my abilities to bring others along. The program compels diverse leaders to actualize change, taking on critical leadership roles, disrupting monotonous systems and shining a light on ways to advance inclusive agendas.”
Stefany Hanson, Manager of Youth Development, City of Toronto; 2017 CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow
Application and Recruitment Process
Who should apply?
- Talented and engaged individuals with a track record of strong leadership and/or community engagement and who have a minimum of 5 years professional and/or volunteer experience
- Creative problem-solvers who are ambitious, results-oriented, collaborative, empathetic and inclusive
- Rising leaders in all industries/sectors with a desire to make our region a better place to live and work
- Diverse individuals of all ethno-cultural backgrounds, religions, genders, and abilities from communities across the GTHA
The 2018 DiverseCity Fellows Program application period has now closed – thank you to all those who applied. Check back on this page for updates regarding recruitment for our 2019 cohort.
The 2018 DiverseCity Fellows program runs from January 2018 to December 2018. The program is part-time and includes over 100 hours of programming, with sessions taking place on weekdays, evenings, and weekends. Fellows are required to attend all sessions throughout the year, in addition to working on a team project and maintaining a mentoring relationship.
Given the intensive nature of the program, as well as the scheduling of some events during work hours, candidates should obtain the support of their employers to participate in the program (if applicable). Candidates who are currently experiencing a personal or career transition are encouraged to consider their capacity to meet all the program requirements and expectations.
See more program components below.