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This funding program is now closed.  Please refer to our main Funding and Support program for more opportunities and stay updated through our newsletter.



Transformative Responses to COVID-19

From April to June 2020, SHIFT allocated $70,000 to support 15 socially transformative initiatives that are responding to the circumstances created by the global pandemic.

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Photo by Max Di Capua on Unsplash

In response to the evolving context of COVID-19, we launched a temporary and accelerated funding program to support socially transformative efforts that are taking place during a truly transformative time.

The purpose of this program was two-fold:

1. To support socially transformative projects that respond to community-identified, crisis-related needs in the short-term, while having the potential to impact systemic injustice, inequity and unsustainability in the longer-term

2. To support socially transformative projects that will assist in recovery from this crisis, rebuilding systems and structures in ways that move us in the direction of a more just, equitable and sustainable future.

Program Recap

Applications received: 78

Number of projects funded: 15

Funding distributed: $70,000

Supported projects

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
Read more about Kapit-Bisig Laban Covid

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
Read more about Marché commun

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
Read more about Ageing + Communication + Technologies Grocery Response NDG

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
Read more about Access to Justice for Refugee Status Claimants

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
Read more about Time to Connect

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
Read more about Collective Thread

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
Read more about Sharing Stories from the Underground

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
Read more about NDG Cares

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
Read more about Culture Change in Long-Term Care

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
Read more about Montreal Vision for a Just Recovery

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
Read more about Connecting 2LGBTQ+ youth to resources

“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
Read more about “Home” - Narratives of Confinement

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
Read more about Changing Mindsets Through Human Connection

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
Read more about Hamidou Horticulture

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
Read more about Diverse Language Capsules

Program details

Application process


Selection criteria

Our commitment

We are witnessing a global effort to think creatively while responding to the demands of an unprecedented situation. As this pandemic continues to unfold, it is becoming more and more clear that this crisis, and all of the responses to it, will drive transformative change, the nature of which is still to be determined.

In response to this reality, and aligned with our vision and values, we are launching this program with a commitment to listening to and learning from individuals, organizations, researchers, and communities along the way. We will be receptive to feedback and will do our best to remain as agile as possible.

If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please be in touch.

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