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Celebrating Pride with LGBTQ2S+ Innovators at CSI

As the CSI community celebrates Pride, we’re spotlighting some of our current and past members doing important work for the LGBTQ2S+ community. These members are challenging biases in the workplace, uplifting stories from community members, providing educational resources, and much more. 

CSI is proud to be a home for so many organizations that are led by, working for, and advocating for the LGBTQ2S+ community, and it’s important that this work be elevated all year, not just in June. We look forward to continuing these relationships, building more with new members, and advancing our own knowledge and advocacy. Read on to learn more about these organizations, their projects and initiatives, and for informative and important resources.

Pride at Work Canada logoCSI Spadina Member, Pride at Work Canada, empowers employers to build workplaces that celebrate all employees, regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation through dialogue, education, and thought leadership. Interested in a podcast that explores the professional and personal stories of unique voices on what it means to belong and the journey to finding our authentic self? Check out Pride at Work Canada’s Uncovering Belonging podcast! Lead by leaders in the inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility space, Erin Davis (she/her) and Jade Pichette (they/them) work to create a psychologically safe space for all their guests to share their own journey to finding a sense of belonging and help listeners along the way to also be who they are.

Partners in Pride, an initiative of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, logoThe Stephen Lewis Foundation, a founding CSI Member, was created with the express purpose of supporting community-based organizations working on the frontlines of the AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. Partners in Pride, an initiative of the Foundation, works with leaders and organizations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo who are “working to uproot inequity and provide lifesaving services for transwomen and other LGBTIQ individuals.”

Queer of Colourheadshot of Eileen Liu is a storytelling platform where queer people of colour control the narrative. It is a space for them to tell their own stories on their own terms, and for the audience to listen and appreciate what is being shared. Using interviews and photographs, Queer of Colour amplifies the stories of real life people, their histories, careers, passions, and experiences as a queer person of colour in the city of Toronto and beyond. Queer of Colour was founded by Eileen Liu, who we’re happy to call a CSI DECA! We previously spoke with Eileen about how Queer of Colour is fighting injustice through storytelling.

Five/Fourteen logoFive/Fourteen is the only foster agency dedicated solely to providing services and support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer, two-spirit, and otherwise gender-independent children and youth in foster care. Lucas Medina and Chad A. Craig, the founders of Five/Fourteen, were also participants in CSI’s Agents of Change: City Builders program. They have a list of partner agencies across Ontario and resources available here.

Elevate Equity logoCSI Annex Member, Elevate Equity, is Toronto’s first Trans-led organization promoting employment equity for Black, Indigenous Trans and Non-binary communities of colour. “Elevate Equity aims to become an innovation hub. An environment where young leaders and visionaries come together to nurture personal and professional aspirations with community and kin.”

The PlatformThe Platform logo, a CSI Spadina Member, is on a mission to build leadership capacity among young Black, Indigenous, and racialized women and gender-diverse youth to advance gender equity and justice. The Platform’s work takes an intersectional and holistic approach to understand, challenge, and transform complex systems of power and institutions that govern our day-to-day lives. Keep an eye out for the opening of their Healing Together program later this year.

Keep Reading
Jini served on CSI's board, and the first board of the Ontario Nonprofit Network (also co-founded by CSI's CEO Tonya Surman). Tonya would often describe Jini as her first call when she was starting something new, and a catalyst for much of the change she has made in her career.
Four people sit in chairs in a coworking space, in the Climate Ventures room of the Centre for Social Innovation Annex. Two people are in conversation, one is working on a laptop, and the other is observing the conversation.
CSI provides a home and community to Canada’s social innovators who are working to put people and planet first, and all those entrepreneurs and trailblazers have to start somewhere. We’re thrilled to highlight some of our members who are working with youth to help grow our future leaders in honour of World Youth Skills Day.
Garden patio mural at CSI Annex by Jordan Aelik. Featuring flowers, squirrels, and racoons.
We were lucky enough to have Jordan Aelik from Canada Comics Open Library (CCOL), one of our Annex members, spray paint a new mural for us.
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