10 years. 100 people.
“In this milestone year for our Vital People grant program, we are very pleased with the diversity of leadership we were able to support,” said Rahul K. Bhardwaj, Toronto Foundation, President & CEO. “The issues faced by our communities can be quite complex and are often interconnected. There are rarely any simple solutions. We need leaders who understand the lived experiences of the communities they work in, who take initiative, and make innovative contributions that support our city’s well-being and vitality.”
Visit each profile on the 13 recipients listed below:
- d’bi.young anitafrika, Artistic Director and Founder, The Watah School
- Sonny Berenson, Program Coordinator, Supporting Our Youth at Sherbourne Health Centre
- Matthew Boulos, Executive Director and Founder, Teen Legal Helpline
- John Brodhead, Executive Director, Evergreen CityWorks
- Evan Muller-Cheng, Manager of Community Initiatives, Agincourt Community Services Association
- Vijaya Chikermane, Executive Director, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention
- Camesha Cox, Innovator, Managing Director and Founder, The Reading Partnership
- Miranda Kamal, Executive Director and Program Manager, Mentoring Junior Kids Organization (MJKO)
- Calvin Kangara, Resident Engagement Specialist, East Scarborough Storefront
- Chris Penrose, Executive Director, Success Beyond Limits Education Program
- Alicia Rose, National Program Development Director, Business for the Arts
- Helen Tewolde, Project Manager, Council of Educators of Toronto
- Stephen Vanderherberg, Senior Manager, Community and Volunteer Engagement, WoodGreen Community Services
Rose received the grant in 2014 to participate in three professional development opportunities, including workshops on leadership and facilitation, along with a fellowship work exchange at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporic Arts in New York. She created a video to document her learning experiences.
Over the past 10 years, the Foundation has recognized “vital” leaders such as Jane Farrow, Che Kothari, Dave Meslin, and Lekan Olawoye.
Vital People grants are made from the Toronto Foundation’s own community endowment called the Vital Toronto Fund. Grants are also supported by Fundholders and donors at the Foundation. This year additional contributions were received from the Erica Shuttleworth Fund, the Griggs Family Foundation, the Patricia J. Fleming Fund, and the Angela Longo Leadership Fund at the Toronto Foundation.
About the Vital People grant program