commitment to equity
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Toronto Foundation acknowledges that multiple factors including colonialism, white privilege and structural racism result in the oppression of individuals and communities. We also acknowledge that discrimination and barriers for individuals and communities can also arise from other factors such as Indigeneity, heritage, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability/ability, sexual orientation or identity, education, faith and immigrant status. Toronto Foundation commits to taking actions to address bias, discrimination and racism in all our work, policies, programs and structures, with the goal of creating an inclusive organization.
As a leader in the nonprofit sector, Toronto Foundation has a unique role to play by being an advocate and partner in responding to barriers to equitable participation in all spheres of life.
Between 2018 and 2019 Toronto Foundation adopted this vision and purpose:
- Vision: A city of informed, engaged philanthropists, accelerating meaningful change for all.
- Purpose: We aim to create a more fair and just society where everyone can thrive by mobilizing those with resources and the will to partner with others.
These embody the new philanthropy, which focuses on co-creating a society that fights exclusion and marginalization, creates a sense of wellbeing and belonging, and promotes trust. Guided by this vision and purpose, Toronto Foundation undertook a holistic review in 2021 to address anti-racism/oppression and to uncover and address bias in program delivery, policies, human resource practices and governance structures. That review resulted in the creation of our DEI policy.
For years we’ve hosted a donor education program to disrupt traditional philanthropic practices including flowing more money to smaller, local and equity-focused organizations; used an action-oriented and equity-focused research agenda; and worked to responsibly invest more of our assets every year. Online we share the evolution of our granting on our collective impact page, post our year-over-year efforts to responsibly invest more of our assets and make accessible all past research publications. On the publications page you’ll find that through our Toronto's Vital Signs Research we regularly track levels of hate in the city, including anti-Semitism in our look at safety, anti-Black racism and other forms of discrimination.
Along the way we’ve learned new approaches to listening to one another, sharing and embracing ideas from all levels of the organization, and that it’s important to celebrate milestones. We have a long way to go in transforming our organization and contributing to true systemic change, but we’re also proud of the initial steps we’ve taken so far.
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