The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is a one-of-a-kind diverse global hub. With people representing over 200 distinct ethnicities calling the region home, we have the potential to lead the way in building effective, modern, and diverse communities that work.
But we still have significant and growing challenges in our communities that need to be addressed. These challenges need leaders with vision, who aren’t afraid to think outside the box and reach across the aisle to find solutions that work.
We need leaders who lead beyond. We need DiverseCity Fellows. DiverseCity Fellows program is an award-winning program for diverse rising leaders in the GTHA who are interested in creating change in their communities. With a focus on building the leadership capacity of our region, this free year-long program provides participants with opportunities for personal leadership development, while growing a strong network of civic-minded peers.
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. The DiverseCity Fellows program now boasts 10 years of supporting diverse rising leaders, and participants will join a diverse network of over 235 Fellows alumni, mentors, and city-builders.
- “DiverseCity Fellows was a program that supported me during my "season of stretch" - one of the most transformative chapters of my career when I really needed to focus on my purpose. Thanks to the program, I feel clearer about what I have to offer as a diverse leader in the city” - former DiverseCity Fellow.
- 93% of DiverseCity Fellows from the last 5 years would recommend the program to a friend.
- “My mentor has been really supportive of me and is committed to the mentoring relationship. It has been such a privilege to have access and develop a relationship with a senior leader impacting change in the city, and is helping to shape my vision for my own trajectory” - former DiverseCity Fellow
- 98% of DiverseCity Fellows from the last 5 years agree that this program expanded their network.
- “After participating in the DiverseCity Fellows program, I now feel part of the city-building process in the GTHA. It has given me the experience and tools necessary to connect with and influence leaders in areas that I feel passionate about." - former DiverseCity Fellow
- From 2009-2015, the DiverseCity Fellows program has had an overall participant satisfaction rate of 86.6%
- “(Fellows) gave me a nuanced perspective of what systemic oppression looks like, and how it affects our lives. It's put a lot of my lived experience into perspective and given me the courage to speak up in situations where previously I may have stayed quiet” - former DiverseCity Fellow
- 100% of 2017 Fellows agreed the DiverseCity Fellows program increased their awareness and understanding of their leadership style and competencies.
- “The Fellows program has provided me with a better understanding of different leadership styles, the importance of collaboration and the value of multiple and diverse perspectives. I’m now better able to evaluate situations, share ideas, and take action” - former DiverseCity Fellow.
The CivicAction DiverseCity Fellows program convenes rising leaders from a diversity of worldviews, industries, identities and experiences who are passionate about shaping their community and provides them with the toolkit and network to make it happen. With a focus on building the leadership capacity of our region, this free year-long program provides 25 of our region’s top rising leaders with:
- Regular curated skill development workshops focused on civic collaboration and building individual and group leadership skills (View the sample course outline);
- Access to one-on-one professional coaching support, in-depth self-assessments, and a personalized leadership development plan
- A facilitated mentoring relationship with a prominent senior-level civic leader;
- Opportunity to dive deep into a city-building issue by designing an experiential learning day for their peers; and
- An expanded personal and professional network.
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 from all sectors 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 CivicAction Leadership Foundation hosted DiverseCity Fellows Information Sessions for interested applicants in September of 2018. The sessions provide an opportunity to learn more about the DiverseCity Fellowship program components and experiences of past DiverseCity Fellows. Watch the recording of the Sept. 6 information session or the Sept. 11 information session.
Applications for the 2019 DiverseCity Fellows program are now closed. Thank you to all those who applied.
Applications for the 2020 DiverseCity Fellows program will open in Fall 2019. The call for applications will be announced here, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and in the Emerging Leaders Network Newsletter.
“The program has provided me with so much access to new networks and new knowledge, elevating my optimism for our region’s equitable future. Overall I am a more connected, self-aware, and empowered leader because of the program.”
Adil Dhalla, Executive Director, Centre for Social Innovation; 2018 DiverseCity Fellow
The 2019 DiverseCity Fellows program runs from January to December 2019. 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.