CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program is an award-winning leadership experience for diverse rising leaders in the greater Toronto region who are looking to supercharge their leadership skills and network, explore urban 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 skills-building modules to encourage inquiry-based learning, explore community engagement, and build important leadership competencies.
Upon program completion, Fellows join a diverse network comprised of hundreds of DiverseCity alumni, mentors, and city-builders.
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 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 drive their own learning about city-building issues and community impact
- An expanded personal and professional network.
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 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 also includes an overnight retreat at the beginning of the year where Fellows participate in team-building activities and start preparing their Individual Development Plans.
To determine their leadership strengths and opportunities, Fellows participate in a number of self-assessments including the “Leadership 360” – a tool where individuals receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them. 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 are required to work with individuals from multiple sectors and backgrounds on a project that tackles a pressing social, environmental, or economic issue in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Teams will take a deep-dive into their issue through designing an experiential learning day with their peers.
Fellows develop a strong network of civic-minded peers across multiple sectors and backgrounds within their cohort. Through their team projects and leadership sessions, Fellows have the opportunity to build new relationships with top leaders in the region. Through CivicAction’s existing partnerships, Fellows are invited to participate in exclusive events where they can further expand their networks, such as Canadian Club of Toronto luncheons and Canadian Urban Institute events.
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.