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SHIFT is proud to support teams working towards social transformation with different approaches to diverse issues. 

Advocacy and Action Fund

Total: $40K | Amount per project: $20K

SHIFT’s Advocacy and Action Fund is designed to groups that actively lead underfunded political efforts through direct action, activism, mobilization or advocacy.  

Comité d'Action Parc-Extension

Social cause

Over the past years, evictions in the Parc-Extension neighbourhood have considerably increased, intensifying the precariousness of a vulnerable population largely consisting of low-income immigrants and racialized people. 

In addition to the escalating housing crisis, tenants who had found a home in Parc-Extension are facing pressures in the form of repossessions, "reno-victions" and housing discrimination due to an intensification of gentrification in the neighbourhood and the arrival of Campus MIL (Université de Montréal). 

CAPE’s approach 

Using a two-fold approach, CAPE will: 

  • Create space for collective tenant organizing and support collective strategies to respond to evictions. The group will support tenants with letter-writing campaigns, rallies, and with demonstrations to counter disproportionate power dynamics in fighting evictions. 
  • Working closely with the Parc-Ex Anti-Eviction Mapping Project and in Collaboration with Concordia’s Office of Community Engagement, this collaborative will conduct research and data mapping to document the effects of gentrification in Parc-Extension. 

Members of the collaborative

Comité d’Action de Parc-Extension, Parc-Ex Anti Eviction Mapping Project, Concordia’s Office of Community Engagement.


Social cause

Comm-Un is a collective that aims to combat the profound injustice facing Indigenous, Inuit, and other unhoused communities in Montreal’s Milton Park neighbourhood. With the purpose of guiding individuals from survival to leadership, the group seeks to highlight the complex social and environmental factors underlying the crisis, which stems from issues such as trauma, substance use and a fragmented support system. 

Comm-Un’s  approach

Using a holistic, bottom-up approach, Comm-Un will:

  • Harness the power of grassroot mobilization by giving unhoused people access to essential support and a platform to advocate for themselves. The group will convene weekly gatherings, creating safe spaces for storytelling and deep conversations to cultivate authentic relationships and challenge social stigmas towards homelessness. 
  • Dispel misconception by sharing authentic stories and fostering empathy through an education and advocacy strategy aimed at informing public discourse and policy decisions. Actions will include organizing events, writing reports and working in collaboration with policymakers to advocate for an effective response to homelessness in Milton Park. 

Members of the collaborative

Collectif Comm-Un, Syndicat de Locataires Autonomes de Montréal (SLAM-MATU), Indigenous Support Worker Project (ISWP), Comité des Citoyen(ne)s Milton Parc (CCMP) and Concordia's Art Hive. 

Deep Investment Fund (2022-2024)

Total: $200k | Amount per project: $ 50k

The Deep Investment Fund is a partnership-based program between SHIFT and select previously funded projects. This program reflects SHIFT's commitment to social change by providing increased financial and in-kind support to projects with demonstrated potential to drive systemic change. 

Community Healing Days 

The approach (what and who)

While hands-based healing modalities have a long history of offering holistic support to physical and mental wellness, they remain mainly accessible to those who have the privilege to benefit from private insurance and considerable wealth.

Community Healing Days (CHD) will build upon previous work to run specialist clinics addressing transpeople healthcare, perinatal health, and reproductive and menstrual health. The team will use these clinics to create proof of concept with the goal of changing Quebec’s health care system.  

Vision of systemic impact

Building upon previous work this project seeks to change the Quebec’s healthcare system through direct referral pathways and onsite CHD clinics integrated within the medical model.

In collaboration with various partner across Montreal and working with SHIFT, CHD will:

  • Continue development of connections with CLSC staff and initiate conversations to bring the CHD model into CLSCs to test integration.  
  • Use the SHIFT space to host community consultations practitioner trainings and meetings, and workshops regarding CHD’s findings and project learning 
  • Connect with other community-based health projects and researchers to expand their network 
  • Build engagement with key individuals from Concordia with expertise (ex: Concordia School of Health, Department of Applied Human Sciences) 

Funding stream: Deep Investment Fund

Funding amount: $50,000

Community Healing Days Logo of watercolour red flowers
Photo of group under a tree in front of Tka:nios sign


The approach (what and who)

“Once we are in charge of our food ways, the rest fall into place: socially, economically and politically”, says Brooke Rice, team member. 

Tkà:nios, which means “it grows” in Kanien'keháka, brings together a group of women, including Elders and young people, to work towards Indigenizing and rematriating the lands and gardens in the Kahnawake community. Through hands-on activities focused on low-impact, sustainable, and seasonal living practices, the project creates ground for the community to foster a more harmonious relationship with its natural environment.

Vision of systemic impact

With this project, the team will work towards restoring the connection between culture and territory by offering life skills, self-sufficiency and responsibility to others through food on Kahnawake. 

Working with SHIFT, the collective of local community members, grassroot initiatives, Knowledge keepers and members of different nations will:

  • Build a community hub where community members will be involved in the running and management at all levels 
  • Create space for healing, learning, and skill-trading
  • Implement infrastructure to increase the scale of local production, preservation and consumption of goods

Funding stream: Deep Investment Fund 

Funding amount: $50,000


The approach (what and who)

The term “Harambec” is a portmanteau coined by Shirley Small, which situates the African principle of self-help “Harambee” in the lives of Black women and their families in Quebec. 

Harambec is the next progression of work from the SHIFT-funded project “Parcours des Femmes Noires dans le milieu féministe Québécois”, through which Marlihan Lopez and Jade Almeida documented the mechanisms of exclusion and oppression of Black women within organizations and the Quebec Feminist movement. 

Now, joined by Pauline Lomami and working with Concordia's Simone de Beauvoir Institute and Black Perspectives Office, the Feminist Media Studio, and the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, the team is expanding the scope of the project by launching a Black feminist collective to continue fighting against systemic erasure and violence experienced by Black women and gender-expansive folks in Quebec institutions.

Vision of systemic impact

With the objective of uplifting and centering the radical work of Black women and gender-expansive individuals in the arts, academia, and community organizing to revive Black feminist advocacy, this project will: 

  • Share incidents of misogynoir at Concordia that have been documented and work towards creating solutions (project-related events, developing relevant research initiatives).  
  • Work to create accredited courses at Concordia based on Black women and gender expansive folk contributions to the Arts and Social Sciences.  
  • Collaborate with Concordia’s Black Perspectives Office around programming for Black students and the community at large. 
  • Offer diverse programming to further personal and professional development (intergenerational talks, mentoring, workshops, talks, exhibition, and performances).

Funding stream: Deep Investment Fund 

Funding amount: $50,000

Photo of three Black women holding microphones giving a presentation
Visual of a cartoon house with a face

Community Care Practitioner Program - Black Healing Centre

The approach (what and who) 

Based on Dr. Lisa Ndejuru's research and insights from their mental health support programs, the Black Healing Centre (BHC) has identified gaps in mental health support for Black communities in Montreal. These gaps are particularly associated with a shortage of Black practitioners and the challenge of reconciling traditional mental health practices with community care rooted in Black history and culture. 

To address this, BHC is launching the Community Care Practitioner Program, intended as a formal training in decolonial, anti-racist, and afro positive approaches to racial trauma and community health. The program will help expand the pool of Black practitioners serving Montreal's Black communities and provide a peer support space for practitioners navigating the lines between colonized and cultural mental health practice.

Vision of systemic impact

Through collaboration with community-based and institutional bodies such as Black Mental Health Connections, Concordia's Black Perspective Office and Wellness Centre, and Education Technology students, the BHC aims to formalize the informal knowledge that is currently shared through its collective. Together they will work towards: 

  • Designing of a curriculum and working with Concordia’s Continuing Education department for accreditation;   
  • Training six healers in decolonial, anti-racist, and afro positive approaches to racial trauma and community health, per year; 
  • Offering an internship program to give students the opportunity to practice their new skills

Funding stream: Deep Investment Fund 

Funding amount: $50,000

Gateway Program (2023)

Total: $25k | Amount per project: $5k

The Gateway Program provides an entry point into the SHIFT ecosystem for community-based projects led by Concordians or Montrealers committed to combating systemic inequity, injustice and unsustainability. 

Chinatown Reimagined 

The Chinatown Reimagined Forum 2023 is a three-day event hosted by the Jia Foundation that will take place in Montreal from September 28 to 30, 2023. 

The conference has the overarching objective of envisioning a new future for Chinatowns across North America. The organizing team will work on mobilizing and bringing together community stakeholders, urban planners, social housing professionals, policymakers, government officials, and change makers from across North America to share innovation, best practices, and current knowledge.  

SHIFT LOVES: Harnessing knowledge across sectors and localities, while bringing people together to envision new possibilities for cities 

Funding stream: Gateway

Funding amount: $5,000


Visual of red flowers on a white background
Visual of an orange house with an orange and yellow sun in the middle

The Welcome Haven 

Refugee claimants face significant difficulties upon arrival, such as barriers to housing, employment, education, healthcare and social services as well as bureaucratic challenges related to the asylum claim process.

Welcome Haven tackles these challenges with a community-based approach to promote well-being and integration of claimants in Montreal. 

Working with a multidisciplinary team of social workers, art therapists, community workers, and researchers, Welcome Haven provides comprehensive support and emergency assistance to address the the social and health challenges faced by claimants. The team seeks to reduce barriers and improve access to resources while advocating for systemic changes in collaboration with community organizations, the public sector, and policy makers. 

SHIFT LOVES: Community-led, participatory action research that promotes lived experience as the most valuable asset in the fight for asylum seekers’ rights 

Funding stream: Gateway

Funding amount: $5,000

Press Start Employment Initiative

After Press Start conducted community-facilitated consultations in Pointe Saint-Charles and discovered that the area suffered from racial profiling and a lack of employment prospects. Press Start create employment, leadership opportunities, and a safe space for marginalized youth, including racialized, LGBTQI+, differently abled and financially insecure folks. 

The Press Start Employment Initiative (PSEI) is a mentorship program where youth are paired with mentors that guide them through work placements in Batîment 7, Pointe Saint-Charles and Greater Montreal. 

In collaboration with SHIFT, they will establish mentorships with Fine Art students at Concordia. PSEI also offers community-led workshops that allow youth to learn about communal resources and practices. They will also conduct well-being check-ins with mentees. This program confronts infrastructures that deny opportunities to visible minorities by creating employment opportunities in different fields.

SHIFT LOVES: Opportunities for marginalized youth leverage by community capacity building

Funding stream: Gateway

Funding amount: $5,000

Visual in video game text style, red text on black background reading Press Start
Photo of four Filipino individuals holding signs that read "I am ready for Systems Change"

Kapwa Rising by Kapwa Centre 

The word “kapwa” embodies the concept of recognizing oneself in others and cultivating deeper connections that acknowledge the complex impacts of colonization on the lives and shared histories of Filipinx peoples.

The initiative Kapwa Rising aims to foster and strengthen community care within the Filipinx diaspora in Montreal. Though participatory workshops the team will create space for decolonizing mental health, addressing anti-Asian racism and exploring the experiences of migration. This project is a first step in the long-term vision of developing a network of individuals committed to the collective wellbeing of the Filipinx community through solidarity, advocacy, and mutual aid.

SHIFT LOVES: Challenging dominant stigmatizing narratives within the Filipinx community through collective and community efforts.

Funding stream: Gateway

Funding amount: $5,000

Estran - Quebec Transitional Services Portal

Living enjoyable and fulfilling lives is made more difficult for the transgender community in Quebec because of the many challenges they face when trying to access up-to-date information online. 

Community-University Research Exchange (CURE) is developing Estran – Quebec Transitional Services Portal. The service will help to address the gaps identified by the transgender community in accessing transition services, including mental health, medical and juridical services. 

In the first phase of the project, Estran will design roadmaps to support the development of an application. In the longer term the application would become a platform to list and share reliable and user-friendly content about relevant services for the transgender community.  

SHIFT LOVES: Ensuring access to needed services for trans folks as a tool to combat transphobia and generate change at a systemic level. 

Funding stream: Gateway

Funding amount: $5,000

Visual of a city scape of Montreal with the Mont-Royal mountain in the background, the city scape sitting on top of the spine of an open book

Social Transformation Fund (2022)

Designed to support project teams with a strong connection to Concordia, the Social Transformation Fund allocated $150,000 to seven community-led projects fighting systems of inequity, injustice and unsustainability in Montreal and striving for socially transformative change.

Photo of Black kids seated and drawing in a classroom

Alliance for Community Adaptation

Vulnerable families often require support for their children experiencing developmental or behavioural difficulties and possible autism spectrum disorders. The inability to detect these conditions at an early stage results in the over-reporting of these children to youth protection. This initiative aims to reduce the rate of Black English-speaking children being reported to youth protection, using a culturally and linguistically adapted preventive programming.

SHIFT LOVES: A community-driven approach supported by academia and public health to tackle a complex community priority

After working for over eight years with Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, the African-Canadian Development & Prevention Network (ACDPN) partners with the CIUSSS Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-Montréal (CODIM), in collaboration with Concordia’s Child Studies program, to design an intervention toolkit to be used by families and staff. By the means of workshops, accompaniment services, therapies, and a community of support for parents, trust will be established between the families and the institution, facilitating increased access to and use of services to help correctly identify and address their needs.

Funding stream: IMPACT

Funding amount: $30,000

Buckskin Babes 

The Buckskin Babes Urban Moosehide Tanning Collective focuses on the reclamation of cultural practices for urban Indigenous peoples living in Tiohtià: ke/Montreal. This initiative is a continuation of an immersive project that began in May 2021, in which two moose hides were collectively stretched and scrapped using traditional methods under the guidance of community Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

SHIFT LOVES: Indigenizing urban spaces through opportunities for intergenerational learning, healing and cultural reclamation 

Moving forward to complete the process, the previously streched and scrapped hides will be tanned using a traditional tanning station built by community members, again under the guidance of Elders. By facilitating traditional practices for and by Indigenous students, the team, composed of several students and graduates of Concordia, curates culturally safe educational, healing, and two-spirited mentoring spaces. 

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $15,000

Photo of a A stretched moose hide
Photo of two therapeutic treatments beds

Community Healing Days 

Within our allopathic-centric health care system, access to alternative, hands-based healing modalities is available mainly to those who have the privilege to benefit from private insurance or considerable wealth. While these services have a long history of offering holistic support to physical and mental wellness, they are not within the reach of vulnerable populations.

SHIFT LOVES: Community leadership for system change and equitable access to health care resources

Community Healing Days, an initiative of the Tiger Lotus Coop, the Family Care Collective and a network of hands-based healing practitioners, will offer monthly health clinics that provide alternative and traditional therapies at low cost or free of charge to vulnerable and marginalized communities. In addition, the team will collect data on the needs of participants to inform research aimed at influencing the public health system to incorporate more alternative therapies for a more sustainable and integrated model of care in Quebec.

Funding stream: IMPACT

Funding amount: $30,000

The evolution of Li-Ber-T House

Li-Ber-T House is piloting alternative models and practices to facilitate the reintegration and empowerment of women transitioning out of rehabilitation or released from prison. The first of its kind in Quebec, Liber-T-House offers a comprehensive program in partnership with social workers and mental health practitioners to support women in achieving their goals and dreams.

SHIFT LOVES: Innovative models that are informed by both lived expertise and research 

Having recently opened their doors, the Evolution of Li-Ber-T House project aims to provide additional support to the first round of Li-Ber-T house clients as they transition to independent living. By demonstrating the impact of their model and the importance of a gender-informed approach to reintegration, this team aims to advocate for widespread change in the supports available to vulnerable women. 

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $15,000

Photo of the Li-Ber-T house
Visual of a statue with eyes covered and bleeding and birds flying in the back

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings— A Social Justice Approach to Reintegration

This multi-stakeholder team brings together researchers, community organizers and individuals with lived experience to address the challenges that formerly incarcerated Black men face as they attempt to successfully transition back into society.

SHIFT LOVES: Community-led efforts to tackle recidivism through a model based on current, concrete realities 

With the purpose of strengthening communities and reducing the likelihood of recidivism, this video resource project will involve consultations and data collection from inmates to create a toolbox of short videos and pamphlets. The toolbox, primarily informed by the voices of Black men currently in prison, will help incarcerated and recently released Black men better understand the parole process in prison and navigate new systems, institutions, and technologies as they reintegrate into society. 

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $15,000

Tka: nios (it grows) 

Tka:nios,“it grows”, refers to the direction of growth from Ionkhi’nistenha tsi iohontsa: te (Our Mother Earth). Led by an Indigenous Concordia student from Kahnawake, and in collaboration with Elders from the community, this project seeks to reclaim traditional Haudenosaunee ways of life by placing women at the forefront of sharing knowledge and cultural legacy.  

SHIFT LOVES: Reclaiming traditional knowledge for lasting empowerment of the community

Through monthly hands-on activities, teachings on the importance of reciprocal relationships to land, responsibilities, traditional food ways, and natural medicines will foster a foundation of holistic wellness for the community of Kahnawake. Connecting hearts, minds, and roots to the Onkwehon: we epistemology, the traditional ceremonies of the Ohen: ton Karihwatehkwen will be honoured as a way of reconnection and to bring more balance and awareness to the community.

Funding stream: IMPACT

Funding amount: $30,000

Photo collage of a garden, flowers and grains in bocals
Green visual (logo) - Collective for social change in Black communities of Montreal

Collective for social change in Black communities of Montreal 

This action research initiative between the Quebec Board of Black Educators (QBBE), its community partners and Concordia's Centre for Human Relations and Community Studies (CHRCS) aims to move existing Black community partnerships from an ad hoc, informal group to a value-generating network to address systemic discrimination.

SHIFT LOVES: Engaging with local communities to share knowledge and promote transformational change 

Focusing on five critical levers, including improving the flow of information about social change efforts and knowledge reuse, creating value through the development of a participatory and democratic, values-based, culturally appropriate, and anti-racist framework, this initiative attempts to demonstrate how transformational innovation can occur when an engaged pedagogy is successfully designed by the Black community with key stakeholders within and external to the community.

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $15,000

Gateway Program (2021-2022)

The Gateway Program supports community-based projects led by teams committed to learning about and working for social transformation.

A total of $50,000 is available per year. 

Spring - Fall 2022

Art collaboration with unhoused Inuit

Stemming from conversations with Inuit living near Milton and Parc, this initiative will use art as a tool to amplify the voices and experiences of the unhoused Inuit community in Montreal.  The team will collaborate with the local community to create art projects to be exhibited and sold at gallery events and online, with 100% of proceeds going directly to the artist.

The project attempts to start conversations and mobilize relevant stakeholders to work alongside Inuit communities in Montreal to address homelessness.

SHIFT LOVES: Tackling homelesness through a culturally relevant healing opportunity while developing financial support


Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

A painted illustration: a blue house in yellow hands and a red background
A black man is seated and looking straight to the camera

Black History Matters

One of the most pernicious effects of systemic anti-Black racism in Canadian institutions, policies, and practices is the separation it renders between the Black community and its history. Black History Matters endeavors to combat this erasure with an initiative for and by Black youth that will archive the history of the Black community in Montreal.

The project stems from an intergenerational exchange between youth and community knowledge keepers to enable Black youth to create educational and engaging social media content that captures the life experiences of community members.

SHIFT LOVES: Highlighting the many ways anti-Black racism is rooted and yet made invisible in our educational system 


Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

Brick x Brick Educational Program in Parc-Extension

Brick by Brick is a non-profit organization created by community organizers and professionals of colour to build affordable housing in the multicultural and rapidly gentrifying neighbourhood of Parc-Extension. As part of this project, the team will work with residents to develop an educational program for marginalized people living in Parc-Extension to nurture local leadership and support local talents.

In the long-term, the team seeks to create and sustain a community organizing model that demonstrates how leveraging and amplifying community cultural wealth can translate into a sustainable local economic system that fundamentally shifts power relations.

SHIFT LOVES: Fighting systemic discrimination and the underevaluation of the community wealth of racialized low-income residents in Parc-Extension 


Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

A photo of the Brick x Brick collective housing
A room full of cushions/chairs ready for a healing circle/workshop

DINAH's Healing 

The Diaspora Intervention Network of Awareness and Healing (DINAH) Mission is working to systematically break down taboos surrounding childhood sexual trauma in Montreal Black communities, provide resources to assist with self-healing, and expand conversations around systemic deprioritization of Black mental health needs.

The team will host monthly events to create safe spaces for girls and women to engage in conversations about childhood sexual trauma. A larger-scale event, DINAH’s Healing, will invite a speaker-survivor, therapist and clinical social worker, to share her journey.

SHIFT LOVES: Bringing together members of the Black and African-Canadian diaspora to address a stigmatized issue that negatively impacts the community


Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000


According to several studies, many physicians and other healthcare providers are ill-equipped to offer proper, holistic sexual health care to 2SLGBTQIA+ patients.  This team of trained and practicing healthcare professionals hopes to fill gaps in the current medical education system by developing comprehensive training materials and workshops to increase Quebec’s healthcare system’s capacity to appropriately support and care for 2SLGBTQIA+ folks.

Sex[M]ed is partnering with Treat it Queer, SIECCAN and the Centre for Gender Advocacy, to ensure the project is reflective of the needs of the broader 2SLGBTQIA+ community and creates lasting impacts within the healthcare system.

SHIFT LOVES: Addressing the various gaps in services available to 2SLGBTQIA+ communities from multiple perspectives 


Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

An illustration of a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities in a medical clinic

Fall 2021 - Winter 2022

Black women seated and painting in a park

Healing Through Art Days 

Daily microaggressions and racist incidents create a continuous toll on the mental health of Black people. Healing Through Art Days, presented by the Black Healing Centre, is intended to be a safe space for Montreal's Black community to explore their artistic abilities as a means of alleviating social isolation and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.

SHIFT LOVES: Implementing transformative healing frameworks for and by the community 

Instrumentalizing art as a tool for self and collective healing

Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

Black women's experiences within the Quebec Women's Movement "Parcours des femmes Noires dans le milieu féministe québécois"

In an effort to shed light on the mechanisms of exclusion and oppression experienced by Black women in Quebec's feminist movement, testimonies of women who have been involved in self-proclaimed egalitarian organizations will be documented. By compiling a multiplicity of experiences, the project aims to put forward and legitimize the contribution of Black women to the feminist movement in Quebec. 

SHIFT LOVES:  Lifting marginalized voices to foster an intersectional feminist dialogue 

Creating space to recognize the contribution of Black women to social progress

Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

Visual of  Parcours des femmes Noires dans le milieu féministe québécois

NDG Art Hives HLM 

The NDG Art Hive is an open art studio where weekly workshops are held for tenants living in the four HLMs of NDG. The project will help break the social isolation experienced by seniors and marginalized families and encourage participants to organize activities among themselves. 

SHIFT LOVES: Paving the way for tenants mobilization and advocacy  

Building capacity and confidence for tenants to take leadership in their community 

Funding Stream: GATEWAY 

Funding Amount: $5,000

Rooting for Each Other

The Centre for Gender Advocacy, a Concordia student-funded organization, will build on its long history of offering peer-support services and expand this work to include programming designed by and for QTBIPOC folx. By providing an offering based on creative and collective experiences, the center will challenge the idea that mental health can only be addressed in clinical spaces. 

SHIFT LOVES: Deconstructing and rethinking institutionalized models of healing

Advancing a healing model centered on community-based care for QTBIPOC folx

Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

Young Roots City 

Building from relationships developed with youth at Teen Haven and Tyndale through their participation in Camp Amy Molson, the project will engage youth in vulnerable circumstances in the bioremediation of land located in Montreal. Youth participants will acquire homesteading skills while helping to create the first carbon-neutral camp in Canada.

SHIFT LOVES: Youth as agents of transformation at the intersection of healing the earth and healing the heart

Empowering youth to gain sustainable, lifelong learning while deepening their relationship with the land

Funding Stream: GATEWAY

Funding Amount: $5,000

2020-2021 Funded Projects

Launched in the fall of 2020, the second round of SHIFT's Funding and Support Program offered $120,000 to support socially transformative projects across three separate streams, each tailored to a different level of funding.

Art for Social Change

Montreal en Action will work with BIPOC artists to create visual representations of the 38 recommendations that came out of Montreal’s public consultation on systemic racism. By increasing the number of Montrealers who are aware of these recommendations, they aim to exert pressure on elected officials and to hold the City of Montreal accountable for this important work.

SHIFT LOVES: Using arts-based advocacy to create community accountability

Ensuring that success at a policy level translates into concrete actions and tangible gains in the struggle to end systemic racism

Funding Stream: IDEAS

Funding Amount: $5,000

An illustration of a large crowd of people with different skin and hair colours and clothing Illustration from the Summary Report prepared by the OCPM
A long line of plastic bottles of different shapes and sizes with trees in the background Photo by Mali Maeder on Pexels.

Concordia Precious Plastic Project (CP3)

Led by a multi-disciplinary team of students, CP3 will partner with key actors from around the university to transform the plastic waste management system at Concordia. Through research, public awareness campaigns and the implementation of a new recycling process, they aim to develop a replicable model that will help tackle the global plastic crisis.

SHIFT LOVES: Investing in student-led solutions to systemic challenges

Supporting small scale prototypes on campus to allow for the development of skills and models that can then be adapted for implementation in other institutions.

Funding stream: IDEAS

Funding amount: $5,000

Ferme urbaine Duff-Court

The Comité de vie de quartier Duff-Court (COVIQ) and the Lachine Sustainable Food Systems team will partner with Concordia students and professors to expand their sustainable urban garden project. Together, they aim to transform the Duff Court neighborhood from a food desert into a model for vibrant and healthy food systems that nourish the local communities and the land.  

SHIFT LOVES: Experiential learning that supports community-identified priorities

Students and researchers gaining hands-on experience while supporting a resident-driven initiative for sustainable and participatory community development in a low-income neighbourhood.

Funding stream: IMPACT

Funding amount: $30,000

A man bends over working on a raised garden bed of leafy greens with a grey slatted fence behind him Photo by Priscilla du Preez on Unsplash.
Close-up of a silver microphone in a black microphone stand Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash.

Gathering Vision

Indigenous organizers will interview members of the Indigenous Street Community in Milton-Parc in order to create a living document that positions community members as advocates and experts in the development of policies and programming that affects them. This project aims to address the widespread problem of civic and social service organizations making decisions on behalf of Indigenous peoples and, in turn, act as a catalyst for Indigenizing cohabitation in the neighbourhood.  

SHIFT LOVES: Centering the expertise of people most impacted by an issue

Ensuring that members of the Indigenous Street Community have the resources and platforms to exercise leadership over the design and implementation of solutions for their future.  

Funding stream: IDEAS

Funding amount: $5,000

Listeners Training

Building from the toolkit developed with SHIFT’s financial support in 2020, the Amal Centre for Women and Concordia University Student Parents Centre (CUSP) will provide training and mentorship to increase the confidence and wellbeing of Muslim women who provide informal support to their peers during disclosures of gender-based violence. The support of a strong, resilient peer network allows people in vulnerable situations to more confidently advocate for themselves when interacting with social services and other public institutions.   

SHIFT LOVES: Communities reclaiming power in institutional relationships

Investing in existing informal networks created by and for marginalized communities and valuing their capacity to shift power dynamics and advocate for culturally-relevant social services.

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $15,000

A view from behind of two women wearing hijabs walking arm and arm in a forest. Photo by Jurrien Huggins on Unsplash.
Two Black youth sit side-by-side looking at each other with shy smiles Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash.

Peer Support Groups 

Black Mental Health Connections Montreal is combining their community-led expertise in Black mental health with the Concordia Wellness Centre’s experience in developing peer support programming to pilot two peer support groups for English-speaking Black youth. With the goal of creating a replicable model, this peer-to-peer programming aims to create space for vulnerable conversations, connect participants to Black-specific resources, and facilitate the healing of traumas caused by ongoing systemic racism.

SHIFT LOVES: Resourcing youth-driven initiatives to catalyze community change

Building structures that support youth leadership and tackle community stigma around mental health to allow for intergenerational healing.   

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $15,000

Support Without Status

Recognizing that non-status migrants have a vital leadership role to play in advancing systemic change in the immigration system, this collaboration between migrant justice organizations aims to reduce the barriers that impede this important engagement. Increasing the capacity and sustainability of existing migrant-led solidarity networks to provide psycho-social and material resources will create the essential preconditions for social movement organizing.  

SHIFT LOVES: Sustaining and strengthening well-established solidarity networks

Recognizing the value of resourcing people and relationships so that important grassroots work can continue with more stability, building momentum towards systemic change.

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $15,000

A grey concrete wall with the words "Everyone is Welcome" painted above graffiti Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash.
A mother and child sit on the floor taping a box closed as they prepare to move Photo by Cottonbro on Pexels.

Transitions Project

Logifem will work with an occupational therapist, a moving company, a data-management consultant and JSMB students to provide a more holistic set of supports for women transitioning out of shelter-living into their own apartments. Combining these customized services with a robust evaluation, they aim to demonstrate that a gender-informed approach to housing can better support women to permanently exit the cycle of homelessness.

SHIFT LOVES: Unconventional partnerships that enable experimentation

Leveraging strong connections between diverse stakeholders, fostered by the JMSB Community Service Initiative Roundtable, to adapt each aspect of this project to the community’s specific needs. 

Funding stream: IMPACT

Funding amount: $30,000

2019-2020 Funded Projects

Launched in the fall of 2019, the inaugural round of SHIFT's Funding and Support Program offered $40,000 to support multi-stakeholder teams who were connected to Concordia and leading socially transformative projects at any stage of development.

A Black woman smiles, sitting behind a desk looking into the distance. There are also three men, one sitting beside her wearing glasses.

Concordia Walls to Bridges Program

A team of faculty members and graduate students, with strong ties to Montreal-based Indigenous community organisations and the prison abolition movement, will host a training led by formerly incarcerated leaders from the successful Walls to Bridges program. They plan to establish a similar program at Concordia, offering university courses to mixed groups of incarcerated and non-incarcerated students.

SHIFT LOVES: Relationship building for reciprocity and knowledge sharing

Investing in long-term partnership development with the communities most negatively affected by the prison system, to enable program design and direction to be guided by their leadership.

Funding stream: IDEAS

Funding amount: $5,000

Creative Arts Therapy Training Clinic

The Creative Arts Therapy Training Clinic will work in partnership with the Student Wellness Centre to build a more robust and accessible mental health support ecosystem at Concordia that’s open to the community and serves as a practicum site for graduate students to apply their learning.

SHIFT LOVES: Innovative partnerships in teaching and learning for social impact

Leveraging interdepartmental collaborations to offer experiential learning opportunities for Concordia students, while improving access to mental health resources for our students and community.

Funding stream: IDEAS

Funding amount: $5,000

People's hands creating flowers from colored cardboard sheets. Art workshop by the Creatives arts therapy clinic.
Four different hands hold each other by the wrist in an interlocking pattern.

The Decolonial Perspectives and Practices Hub

The DPP Hub will continue to host collaborative learning events at Concordia with the goal of transforming racist, heteronormative and colonial biases in higher education by celebrating and promoting the contributions of QTBIPOC communities (Queer, Trans*, Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour).

SHIFT LOVES: Concordia “intrapreneurship,” leading change from within

QTBIPOC Concordia students and faculty members leading the process of building the momentum, skills and networks required to create long-term systemic change within their own institution.

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $4,300

The evolution of Li-Ber-T House

Li-Ber-T house is working with Concordia faculty member Dr. Felice Yuen and graduate student Beatriz Hoffmann-Kuhnt to advance their plans of offering transitional housing to women exiting addiction rehabilitation or incarceration facilities. By offering supportive services, skills training and experiences of social inclusion, they hope to increase the likelihood of successful transitions to healthy and safe futures for marginalised women.

SHIFT LOVES: Projects led by lived expertise, propelled by research

A project led by someone who has successfully transitioned out of the criminal justice system and addiction rehabilitation will be supported by university-based expertise in best practices for successful post-rehabilitation and post-incarceration transitions.

Funding stream: IDEAS

Funding amount: $7,000

A small model house in the palm of a hand with another hand cupping it on top.
A Black man holds a piece of broken glass in which his face is reflected Photo by Jurrien Huggins on Unsplash

Healing Through Generations

The Lavender Collective and the Black Perspectives Office are collaborating to expand and promote an online database of racialised mental health professionals, to support racialised students and community members in accessing mental health services adapted to their needs and experiences.

SHIFT LOVES: Multi-stakeholder collaborations to scale up potential impact

A community organization, Concordia staff and Concordia students working together to address a community-identified need at the intersection of systemic racism and mental health

Funding stream: IMPACT

Funding amount: $10,000

A toolkit for optimizing intervention  

Based on a nearly 20 year history of providing services to immigrant women and families experiencing conjugal violence, the Amal Centre for Women will work with Dr. Rosemary Reilly to develop a toolkit on providing culturally-sensitive services to vulnerable clientele, and share it with partners across the city.

SHIFT LOVES: Leveraging front-line service expertise for systems change

Sharing best practices developed through a project for Muslim women, by Muslim women, with the goal of reducing the impacts of xenophobia and racism experienced in institutions and public services.

Funding stream: IMPLEMENTATION

Funding amount: $4,815

A woman with curly black hair greets another woman wearing a blue hijab.
A young woman with short brown hair gives a bag of popcorn to a person wearing a black coat.

Waste Not Want Not

After having successfully increased composting habits at Concordia through education and infrastructure improvements, the Waste Not Want Not team is taking their first steps towards spreading their model to other public and private institutions across Montreal.

SHIFT LOVES: Championing internal innovation success stories off-campus

Supporting a successful Concordia-based sustainability project to scale their impact on waste management from institution-wide to city-wide.

Funding stream: IDEAS

Funding amount: $4,000

Transformative Responses Funding Program

From April to June 2020, SHIFT allocated $70,000 to 15 local initiatives that were responding to the circumstances created by the global pandemic and striving for social transformation in the crisis and post-crisis context. Read more here.

Kapit-Bisig Laban Covid: A connection hub providing for the emergency needs of family caregivers, temporary workers and newly arrived immigrants in the Filipino community while connecting them to advocacy resources and information in their own language about their rights as workers in Canada. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Marché commun: A collective of media professionals will partner with a network of volunteers that emerged to offer emergency delivery services to seniors during the pandemic to create a non-profit or cooperative delivery service that prioritizes workers rights and the needs of local businesses. SHIFT Support: $3,000

Ageing + Communication + Technologies Grocery Response NDG: Seniors facing the double burden of social isolation and low access to internet are being supported in accessing a range of community services using low-tech tools, while project organizers raise awareness about the risks created by policies that make essential services only available online and the need for low-cost internet services. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Access to Justice for Refugee Status Claimants: A local lawyer who came to Canada as a refugee himself will provide services to refugee claimants of African origins so they can access essential information in their own languages during the crisis, and work towards establishing more resources to reduce the systemic injustice experienced by African refugee claimants in Canada. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Time to connect: A community organization will provide access to and nurture a virtual communication network between low income single mothers, connecting them to one another throughout this period of confinement in order to continue their empowerment-based programming that aims to break the cycle of poverty. SHIFT Support: $3,000

Fil Collectif/Collective Thread: Building from a resident-led mutual aid group, this project will provide Parc Extension mothers with the tools and materials needed to start small businesses producing reusable masks. In addition to creating opportunities for at-home, paid work for marginalized women, distributing the masks in the neighbourhood through local community organisations will increase the health and safety risks of low income residents. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Sharing Stories from the Underground: The Solidarity Across Borders network will organise media and digital communication training to support non-status migrants in sharing their stories, raising awareness about unsafe working conditions, lack of access to healthcare and precarious legal situations that contribute to their systemic discrimination. SHIFT Support: $5,000

NDG Cares: A resident-led solidarity project to build a community garden that will enable members of the socially and geographically isolated St Raymond’s neighbourhood to build community, beautify their own green spaces and grow their own food. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Culture Change in Long-Term Care: Through online community engagement, a virtual summit, and knowledge dissemination, this project will catalyze conversations across sectors, centre the voices of those with lived experience, and work with provincial and federal policy makers to build an intergenerational movement towards a culture for elders built on dignity. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Montreal Vision for a Just Recovery: Environmental movement actors, social justice organisers, leaders of mutual aid groups and community members will participate in three collaborative sessions to articulate a vision for a stronger, more resilient Montreal. The documents created through these processes will be used to initiate conversations with key decision-makers about emerging from the current crisis in a more just and equitable way. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Connecting 2LGBTQ+ youth to resources: A community organization will help to break the heightened social isolation experienced by trans and non-binary youth by hosting a series of workshops that will empower these youth to support one another, to access health and wellness information provided by a network of 2LGBTQ+ community members and to connect with resources adapted to their needs. SHIFT Support: $5,000

“Home” - Narratives of Confinement: Women who have been disproportionately impacted by this crisis will participate in storytelling circles that invite them to narrate their experiences of confinement and the layers of labour involved in working from home. In addition to being a supportive space these circles will allow for the gathering of qualitative data which will be used to advocate for policy change. SHIFT Support: $4,975

Changing Mindsets Through Human Connection: The organizers behind the Je Me Souviendrai video series will continue to change the hearts and minds of people who hold prejudice, bias, and racist beliefs by creating and sharing media content that actively counters racist stereotypes and offers positive, strength-based narratives about healthcare workers and other marginalized individuals. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Hamidou Horticulture: A local agro-entrepreneur will train Afro-descendent families in the techniques of food production, marketing, and distribution in order to to build a network of Afro-descendent agricultural professionals who can run small businesses of their own and increase the availability of organic, locally cultivated, culturally-relevant foods. SHIFT Support: $5,000

Diverse Language Capsules on Topics Related to Conjugal Violence: A community organization will create and disseminate video capsules that provide culturally relevant information about resources related to conjugal violence in a variety of languages with the goal of breaking down barriers to essential services and ultimately inspiring a larger change in the accessibility of Quebec's social support systems. SHIFT Support: $4,000

Interested in learning more about the support we offer our funded teams? Set up a virtual meeting using our online booking tool or stay in touch by signing up for our newsletter and following us on Facebook.

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