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URBAN HERO: Jodie Rawn has a gift for elevating tomorrow’s civic leaders

Toronto resident is a 2019 Urban Hero winner – Social Issues category, People’s Choice

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By Megan Delaire

Jodie Rawn stands in a polka dot dress smiling.It is Jodie Rawn’s personal and professional mission to elevate tomorrow’s civic leaders by making space at the table for those who are underrepresented there today.

As managing director of CivicAction’s Leadership Foundation, Rawn leads a small team of civic-minded professionals in delivering programs that provide training and development opportunities for rising leaders, especially those from Toronto’s diverse ethnic backgrounds.

“The programs we deliver are not so much about finding those Type A leaders who often put up their hands,” Rawn explained, “but finding voices who maybe traditionally don’t get access to those leadership tables.”

Rawn’s dedication over the last four years to giving future leaders the tools and opportunities to thrive netted the Davisville resident a Star Metroland Media 2019 Urban Hero Award in the Social Issues category, People’s Choice.

One of the programs Rawn and her team deliver is the foundation’s DiverseCity fellowship, a year-long intensive leadership program for 25 of region’s top leaders from diverse sectors, backgrounds and communities. Through the program, participants strengthen their skills in areas such as communication, collaboration, and negotiation. They work with senior-level civic mentors, tackle city-building projects and discuss challenges to thriving cities such as populism, social isolation and a lack of trust in city-building.


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