Community Diversity Leadership, Halton Food for Thought Named Finalists for 2012 Great Grants

Awards Ontario Trillium Foundation recognizes projects outstanding impact 

TORONTO, Feb. 22, 2012 /CNW/ -


The Ontario Trillium Foundation today announced that Community Diversity Leadership, and Halton Food for Thought are finalists for the prestigious 2012 Great Grants Awards. The awards recognize Ontario organizations that have demonstrated exceptional results, innovation and a lasting impact on the communities they serve.

Community Diversity Leadership, and Halton Food for Thought have both been selected as finalists in the human and social services category. A total of eight 2012 Great Grants Awards recipients will be recognized in the presence of Hon. Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, at a ceremony in Toronto on March 23.


Community Diversity Leadership c/o Harmony Movement -- Peel

Some 15,000 youth and young adults participated in the Community Diversity Leadership project in Peel region. The initiative implemented a leadership training program designed to foster cultural awareness and understanding of diversity and to promote harmony and mutual respect among youth in schools and the wider community. Harmony Movement, a not-for-profit organization, partnered with the Multi-Cultural Agency of Group of Peel to deliver the diversity education sessions. Specifically, the initiative delivered 30 ten-week diversity leadership certificate programs; 67 student and youth community diversity workshops and 22 adult workshops, three youth events, nine school assemblies on diversity and 16 student leadership and equity conferences. Most of these were delivered for and by the students themselves. A training manual will allow the initiative to be replicated elsewhere in Peel Region, which has one of Ontario's largest populations of newcomers.

Community Diversity Leadership was awarded a Community grant of $225,000 over three years in 2008.

Halton Food for Thought 

In 2006, Halton Food for Thought started providing meal cards to youth at risk aged 14 to 18. The program targeted students living in poverty or independently and those considering leaving school due to family dysfunction, substance abuse or domestic violence. All arrived at school without any food to sustain them through an entire day of learning. Two years into the program, thanks to OTF funding, local support to stay in school could be extended to 186 students from 24 high schools. With Halton Food for Thought's key leadership and direction, the community rallied behind its challenged youth to remove the hunger and isolation barriers they faced. New partnerships grew to include 78 businesses and 28 partners and sponsors. Fed food and hope, over 86% of participating students earned high school credits, had better attendance and enjoyed a better outlook.

Halton Food for Thought was awarded a Community grant of $81,600 over two years in 2008.


"We are very proud of Community Diversity Leadership and Halton Food for Thought and are excited that, with these nominations, their work in the community will now be acknowledged across Ontario. Their efforts go to the heart of the Foundation's own work: to support good ideas and help foster community connections that improve people's quality of life."

  • Gayle Wadden, Chair of Halton-Peel Grant Review Team, OTF

"The practical manner in which students learn about cultural proficiency, respect and empowerment is truly innovative and I know of no other program in the province that is doing this kind of social justice work."

  • Testimony about Community Diversity Leadership from Chris D'Souza, Teacher, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board.


  • Ontario Trillium Foundation Great Grants Award finalists were selected from among some 4,500 groups that received OTF support between April 2006 and December 2010
  • Eight Great Grants Awards will be presented on March 23 in Toronto:
    • One award for each of OTF's four funded sectors: arts and culture, sports and recreation, environment, and human and social services
    • The Minister's Award
    • The Chair's Award
    • The CEO's Award
    • The People's Choice Award
  • OTF grants funding to approximately 1,500 organizations each year.



SOURCE Ontario Trillium Foundation

For further information:

Renée Ouellet
Ontario Trillium Foundation
1.800.263.2887 ext. 265 

Cheuk Kwan
Harmony Movement

Lena Bassford 
Halton Food for Thought

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