Thank you for your interest in CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program. Applications for the 2023 DiverseCity Fellows cohort will open in the new year. Send us an email to stay updated.
CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program is an award-winning leadership experience for diverse rising leaders (referred to as ‘Fellows’) in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who are looking to amplify their leadership skills, grow their network, explore social issues, and discover how to make a positive change in their communities.
Over the course of the program year, Fellows use self-assessment tools, personalized leadership development plans, and participate in skills-building sessions to build important leadership competencies, explore community engagement, and grow their network.
Upon program completion, Fellows join a diverse network comprised of hundreds of DiverseCity alumni, mentors, and community-builders.
CivicAction is committed to boosting civic engagement and building better, more inclusive cities. In alignment with this, the DiverseCity Fellows program objectives are:
- To provide a high-impact and inclusive learning experience for high-potential rising leaders wanting to build key leadership competencies, strengthen cross-sectoral connections, and drive tangible change.
- To accelerate the leadership trajectories of rising leaders and provide pathways to civic-leadership opportunities, with an emphasis on equity-deserving communities.
- To build a diverse pipeline of civically engaged leaders and contribute to increased representation and lived experience at senior leadership tables throughout the GTHA.
While the core program principles remain the same, this year’s DiverseCity Fellows program will see some changes. Here is what’s new:
- When safe to do so, we anticipate programming will take place in a hybrid format consisting of both virtual and in-person gatherings. (Not comfortable attending an in-person program? No problem! The option of virtual attendance will always be available.)
- Based on participant feedback, we have removed the year-long project component and replaced it with a second Fellows retreat towards the end of the program year. Focused on ideation and action, this second retreat will provide an opportunity to actively work on solutions to pressing social issues impacting our communities and region.
- Optional programming throughout the program-year will be introduced to provide Fellows with added opportunities to explore social issues, engage with peers, and receive personal and professional support.
What Do Fellows Get?
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 30 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 drive their own learning about city-building issues and community impact
- An expanded personal and professional network.
The program is part-time and includes a total of over 100 hours of both mandatory and optional programming, with sessions taking place virtually and in-person (depending on government regulations) on weekdays, evenings, and weekends.
Given the intensive nature of this year-long commitment, we encourage candidates to obtain their employer’s support prior to applying for 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 or access a sample course curriculum here.
Fellows participate in facilitated monthly sessions that explore both personal and professional leadership competencies and topics including team dynamics, self-awareness and emotional intelligence, empathy in communications, conflict management, and relationship-building across sectors. These sessions provide the tools, skills, and language for Fellows to develop as inclusive leaders and change-makers within their communities.
The program includes a multi-day online retreat at the beginning of the year where Fellows participate in team-building activities and learn more about their peers. New this year is a second Fellows retreat towards the end of the program that provides Fellows an opportunity to actively work on solutions to pressing social issues impacting the GTHA.
To determine their leadership strengths and opportunities, Fellows participate in several self-assessments to identify leadership opportunities and gaps. Fellows are then matched with one-on-one certified professional development coaches who help Fellows develop leadership goals and milestones through an Individual Development Plan.
Fellows develop a strong network of civic-minded peers across multiple sectors and backgrounds within their cohort, as well as with some of the top leaders in the region. Through CivicAction’s existing partnerships, Fellows are also invited to participate in exclusive events where they can further expand their networks.
To support each Fellow’s leadership development, Fellows are matched with a respected senior-level leader in a one-year mentoring relationship. Fellows and mentors meet on an average of four to six times over the course of the year. See examples of leaders who have signed on as mentors.
Still have questions?
Check out our detailed Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.