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CivicAction Calls on Toronto Region Game-Changers for 2020 DiverseCity Fellows

TORONTOJan. 8, 2020 /CNW/ – Nearly 80% of Canadians say they think CEOs should take the lead on change. Yet as people look to leaders for action, decision-making tables continue to lack a rich cross-section of backgrounds, experiences or skills needed to effectively tackle tomorrow’s most pressing challenges. To change the leadership game in the Toronto region, the CivicAction Leadership Foundation wants rising leaders and professionals from across the region to apply to be a CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow by February 9, 2020.

The Fellows program is a high-impact experience where participants supercharge their leadership skills, build new networks and get mentored by some of Canada’s top leaders. The program brings together 25 all-star rising leaders from different backgrounds, sectors and identities who have a shared desire to boost their leadership potential and drive change.

Candidates applying to the program should have a minimum of five years professional and/or volunteer experience, and be creative problem-solvers who are ambitious, results-oriented and collaborative.

“We know that to tackle our region’s challenges, wisdom should come from many, not the few,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO of CivicAction, “This award-winning fellowship program helps expand the GTHA’s leadership brain trust with new voices and talent ready to take action.”

Between company boardrooms and municipal councils, leadership in the Toronto region is still far from reflecting our diversity. For example, nearly 50% of the population identifies as a visible minority, but immigrants and newcomers only make up 6% of senior leadership positions across public, private and non-profit sectors. Women also only make up 20% of senior leadership positions in Toronto’s corporate sector. And when it comes to trust in Canada’s leaders and institutions, nearly half of the general Canadian population see society failing them according to Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer.

Since 2009, 250+ Fellows have completed the program and are bringing their unique experiences to top positions in the public, private and non-profit worlds.

“DiverseCity Fellows was an unforgettable, mind-expanding experience,” said Benjamin Bongolan, 2018 DiverseCity Fellow and Coordinator, Newcomer Family Settlement Services at The 519, “I not only had the chance to level up my leadership game, but I also met incredible people and got to learn first-hand about the urban issues facing so many residents in the region.”

Information sessions on the program and application process will be held January 21st and 22nd, and an informational webinar is scheduled for January 16th. For more information on the Fellows program and how to apply, please visit

Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement.

About CivicAction: Complex challenges need an all hands on deck approach, and collective impact is what CivicAction does best. A leading not-for-profit in Canada, we have nearly two decades of experience working to boost civic engagement and build better cities by creating and implementing effective solutions to the most pressing challenges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and beyond. To find out more visit or follow @CivicActionGTHA.

About the CivicAction Leadership Foundation: Building on a decade of high-impact and award-winning leadership programming, CivicAction launched the CivicAction Leadership Foundation to further elevate and catalyze our region’s leadership potential. With a focus on advancing education, the Foundation harnesses the power of diverse leaders and empowers and activates all voices to influence and shape our region. For more information visit

About CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows: CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows is one of North America’s leading urban fellows programs for rising city-builders. Now in its eleventh year, with over 250 graduates, this free year-long leadership program enables Fellows to become better leaders and create change in their communities.

SOURCE CivicAction Leadership Foundation

For further information: or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Sarah Harris
VP, Partnerships and Engagement, CivicAction
C: 416-827-4542

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