Behaviour Change Platform for D&I

25 Toronto Diversity and Inclusion Organizations You Can Support

In keeping with the title of most diverse city in the world, Toronto has many organizations working to fight injustice, discrimination, and build community for under-served groups. Each group on this list has a unique angle or way of working to support its community.

The organizations listed here are by no means exhaustive, nor does this list imply they are the only ones doing the work they do. The vast network of organizations in the city often collaborate, helping in many different ways that contribute to change over time. Crescendo highlighted a few organizations doing interesting, impactful work in the following communities:

(Click on the title to jump to that portion of the article.)


This list is intended to get you started in your research. Before making any commitments, consult employees on organizations they’d like to support. Whether your organization opts for business-driven or employee-driven community support, employee opinions need to be included in the conversation.

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LGBTQ+

1. Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA)

Overview
The CLGA is a nonprofit that primarily focuses on preserving and telling the stories of LGBTQ+ Canadians. Outside of that mandate it also works to preserve international LGBTQ+ history through its research library.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • LGBTQ+ history in Canada

Ways to Support the Organization
The primary way to support the CLGA is through donations. They welcome the following:

  • Monthly donations

  • One time donations

  • Leave a gift in a Will & Estate document

  • Donations in lieu of gifts (for birthdays or other holidays)

  • Donating stocks and securities

  • In Memoriam / Special Occasion gifts

Check Out Their Social Media

Point of Contact

  • Connect with the CLGA through their Contact Us page


2. Glad Day Bookshop

Overview
Both the oldest surviving LGBTQ+ bookstore in the world and Toronto’s oldest surviving bookstore, Glad Day provides a space to engage in LGBTQ+ stories and storytelling. Beyond that, its new location in Toronto’s Gay Village offers a cafe, bar, party/event space, and features many community events like drag queen story time.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • LGBTQ+ identities and storytelling with an explicit focus representation and freedom of speech for all members of the queer and trans community

Ways to Support the Organization

Engage With Them on Social Media

Point of Contact

  • The best way to chat with someone at Glad Day is to go to the bookstore

  • You can also reach out to a number of the co-operative owners listed on their About Us page


3. Rainbow Railroad

Overview
Taking its name inspiration from the Underground Railroad for slaves in the American south, Rainbow Railroad is an organization that helps LGBTQ+ people escape state sanctioned or supported persecution, torture, and murder due to their LGBTQ+ identity. The organization helps claimants escape their home country and file for refugee status in Canada and the United States.  

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • LGBTQ+ individuals coming from countries where it is illegal to be LGBTQ+

Ways to Support the Organization

  • Given the high costs of relocation (upwards of $10,000), donation is one of the best ways to support Rainbow Railroad

  • Donations can be monthly or made once

  • Securities and stocks

  • Aeroplan miles

There are lots of other ways to support Rainbow Railroad

  • Host a fundraising event or turn a personal celebration (birthday, etc.) into a fundraising event

  • Sponsor a case, committing to fundraise enough for one individual case through your community or other chosen means

  • Volunteer with the organization

  • Become a corporate sponsor

Follow Them on Social Media

Point of Contact


4. Start Proud

Overview
Start Proud is Canada’s largest LGBTQ+ student recruiting organization. Operating all across Canada, Start Proud hosts conferences and meetups so students from all backgrounds can find opportunities, build networks, and meet other people in their community. Start Proud hosts the Out On Bay Street conference for business, finance, and graduate students, Venture Out conference for tech and entrepreneurship, and New Precedent for law students.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • LGBTQ+ students

Ways to Support the Organization

Follow Start Proud or Venture Out on Social Media

Point of Contact


5. The 519

Overview
The 519 Church Street Community centre is a City of Toronto agency that provides services, space, and leadership to Toronto’s LGBTQ+ community. They provide services like free rapid HIV testing, space for events, mental health support, and employment support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • The LGBTQ+ community with a focus on underprivileged and under-served members of the community

Ways to Support the Organization

  • Gifting securities and stocks

  • Donating your car

  • Hosting a third-party fundraising event

Follow Them on Social Media

Point of Contact

  • You can get in touch with The 519 team by dropping in at their location, at 519 Church Street
    Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9

  • You can also contact the relevant group for your request through their Contact Us page

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Women / Non-Binary

6. Canadian Women’s Foundation

Overview
The Canadian Women’s Foundation was originally founded in 1986 with the mission to advance gender equality. Since then, the organization has evolved into a multi-faceted women’s organization helping women move out of violence and poverty, and helping them on their journey towards confidence and leadership.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Women across Canada who face violence and poverty

How to Support the Organization
There are many ways to support the Canadian Women’s Foundation such as:

Other Ways to Participate

Connect with Women’s Foundation of Canada on these platforms:

Point of Contact

  • Get in touch through their Contact Us form or use the relevant email


7. Ellevate Toronto Chapter

Overview
Ellevate is an international networking group for professional women. Their goal is to provide a community to lean on and learn from so women can advance their careers and professional lives.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Professional working women

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of Contact

  • Connect with Ellevate through their Contact Us page or through the relevant email contact listed on this page


8. Ladies Learning Code / Canada Learning Code

Overview
Ladies Learning Code, now a program under the Canada Learning Code umbrella, is a hands-on, project-based educational organization teaching all beginners the basic tech skills they need to become ‘digital creators.’ The organization hosts meetups, workshops, and other events for adult women, young girls, and teachers.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Women of all ages who want to learn technical skills

How to Support the Organization

Follow Them on Social Media

Point of Contact


9. #movethedial

Overview
#movethedial is a community, networking, and events organization with a mission to increase the participation and leadership of all women in tech. Since its founding, #movethedial expanded from hosting events in Toronto to hosting events across North America where women can tell their stories to inspire and educate others along the viewpoint that ‘you can’t be what you can’t see.’

Community / Identity Group Focus
Women in the technology industry

Ways to Support the Organization

  • Attend a #movethedial event

  • Email to inquire about volunteer opportunities

Find #movethedial on Social Media

Point of Contact


10. Sistering

Overview
Sistering was founded in 1980 with the mission it still pursues today: to help homeless and transient women in Toronto. Originally intended for women living in hostels or those released from mental health facilities with nowhere to go, the mission evolved to help all women who face homelessness and transience, including women leaving abusive situations, widowed women, or young women involved in sex or drug trafficking.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Women who face homelessness and transience in their lives

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of contact


11. Bridgeschool.io

Overview 

Bridge is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that builds and delivers advanced, free, in-person training courses for developers and designers who are women, agender, or non-binary. By focusing on the "middle" of the pipeline (professionals who are already in the industry, looking to move beyond junior) we provide a unique experience for our students that results in expertly-trained, highly sought-after developers and designers. And we don't stop there - we're building the diverse tech leadership of tomorrow by bringing together our students and forward-thinking companies who want to hire great talent. The result is companies with more diverse teams, and alumni with the brighter future's they deserve.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Women, agender, and non-binary developers and designers in Toronto.

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of contact


12. Women and Color

Overview
As a purpose-driven non-profit organization, Women and Color creates opportunities to advance and amplify emerging thought leaders from underrepresented groups in tech. Through it's online platform, Women and Color enables event organizers to find and connect with talented women and people of colour available for speaking opportunities at tech-related events. Additionally, Women and Color hosts 2-day speaker bootcamps designed for diverse subject matter experts who are ready to elevate their influence through meaningful public speaking opportunities.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • On platform: subject matter experts in tech who identify as women and/or people of colour

  • In community: event organizers and companies looking to diversify their speaker rosters

Ways to Support the Organization

  • Donations. Click here to donate.

  • Sponsorships. Email Women and Color for sponsorship opportunities.

  • Collaborate. Contact Executive Director Mohammed Asaduallah to discuss opportunities to collaborate.

Follow them on social media:

Point of Contact

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People of Colour (PoC)

12. Black Business Professionals Association (BBPA)

Overview
The Black Business Professionals Association was founded in 1983 to address equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education, and economic development. They provide support and resources for Black professionals across Canada with the intent of empowering the Black community and promoting cross-cultural understanding and equity for Black Canadians.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Professional Black Canadians

Ways to Support the Organization

Connect with the BBPA on Social Media Through:

Point of Contact

  • You can reach the BBPA through their main email, info@bbpa.org

  • You can also reach them via phone at 416-504-4097


13. IntersectTO

Overview
IntersectTO takes its inspiration from the Color Coded project in LA and is building a space for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) folks to learn technology skills. Starting with co-design sessions to learn about community needs, the organization hopes to grow into an affordable, accessible skill-sharing community and event series.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Black, Indigenous, and people of colour in tech

Ways to Support the Organization

  • The organization is actively encouraging BIPOC people to join the Facebook group

  • IntersectTO is hoping for BIPOC people to join and attend co-design sessions to share perspectives on what IntersectTO needs to offer members of the BIPOC tech community

Point of Contact

  • Join the Facebook group to learn more about forming and shaping this community


14. Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (THCC)

Overview
The Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (THCC) is an advocacy and lobbying group that works on behalf of Hispanic entrepreneurs and professionals in Canada. They aim to represent the Hispanic business community at all levels of government to further business interests relevant to the community.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Hispanic entrepreneurs and professionals in Toronto and across Canada

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of Contact


15. Women and Color (Also seen in Women / Non-binary section above)

Overview
As a purpose-driven non-profit organization, Women and Color creates opportunities to advance and amplify emerging thought leaders from underrepresented groups in tech. Through it's online platform, Women and Color enables event organizers to find and connect with talented women and people of colour available for speaking opportunities at tech-related events. Additionally, Women and Color hosts 2-day speaker bootcamps designed for diverse subject matter experts who are ready to elevate their influence through meaningful public speaking opportunities.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • On platform: subject matter experts in tech who identify as women and/or people of colour

  • In community: event organizers and companies looking to diversify their speaker rosters

Ways to Support the Organization

  • Donations. Click here to donate.

  • Sponsorships. Email Women and Color for sponsorship opportunities.

  • Collaborate. Contact Executive Director Mohammed Asaduallah to discuss opportunities to collaborate.

Follow them on social media:

Point of Contact


16. Urban Alliance on Race Relations

Overview
The Urban Alliance on Race Relations is a nonprofit organization focused on tackling racism in Canadian society. Founded in 1975 in Toronto, the organization works with community groups, public sector, and private sector to provide advocacy, education, and research on racism in society.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Black Canadians and people who suffer from anti-Black racism

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of Contact

  • Get in touch with the Urban Alliance on Race Relations through their Contact Us page

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Accessibility / (Dis)Ability

17. Artists Without Barriers

Overview
Artists Without Barriers is an artist collective by and for artists with dis/abilities and their allies in Toronto. The organization provides artists with accessible studio spaces, arts education, and creative wellness counselling, with the mission supporting people living with dis/abilities to pursue their calling as artists.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • People living with dis/abilities who either are artists or want to become artists, and their allies

Ways to Support the Organization

There are a variety of ways to support Artists Without Barriers

  • Offer your time as fundraising support to help the organization get grants

  • Be a scribe, acting as a visual translator

  • Donate funds

  • Donate supplies

Point of Contact

  • Reach out to Artists Without Barriers through their Contact Us form


18. BALANCE for Blind Adults

Overview
BALANCE for Blind Adults is a not-for-profit agency focused on training adults who are blind and/or are partially-sighted on how to navigate daily life. Their mission is to ensure all people are able to live a quality, enriched life free of social barriers. In line with that, BALANCE focuses on building autonomy and skills within individuals so they can be empowered to take charge of their lives.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Adults with vision difficulties, partial sight, or blindness

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of Contact


19. Canadian Business SenseAbility

Overview
Canadian Business SenseAbility is a national, bilingual business network dedicated to helping businesses become more accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities. They offer research, consulting, and networking/hiring opportunities for employers looking to be more inclusive of people with disabilities.

Community / Identity Group Focus
Professionals with disabilities and organizations that want to be more inclusive of people with disabilities

Ways to Support the Organization

Follow the Organization on Social Media

Point of Contact


20. LOFT Community Services

Overview

LOFT offers housing and other practical support to people with physical and mental health challenges, addiction issues, and cognitive impairment. Their approach promotes recovery and independence, offering services and education along the way to help individuals lead autonomous, stable lives. Their support through housing and practical support - something they’ve been doing since 1953 - is focused on helping those who fall through the cracks get back on their feet.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • People with physical and mental health challenges, addiction issues, or cognitive impairment that has inhibited them from finding stable housing or other practical support on their own

Ways to Support the Organization

Follow Them on Social Media

Point of Contact

  • Heather McDonald is the CEO of LOFT Community Services (hmcdonald@loftcs.org or 416-979-1994 ext. 2023)


21. Toronto Accessible Sports Council (TASC)

Overview
Toronto Accessible Sports Council (TASC) focuses on providing and facilitating accessible sports and recreation opportunities in Toronto. The organization not only promotes any existing accessible sport and recreation opportunities but also advocates for and supports the development of accessible sporting/recreational facilities and programs.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • People living with disabilities who want sport and recreation facilities and opportunities.

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of Contact

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Indigenous / Aboriginal / Native

22. Aboriginal Housing Support Centre (AHSC)

Overview

The Aboriginal Housing Support Centre helps Aboriginal peoples with any current housing needs, whether that is understanding the law around housing, finding housing, or fighting a discrimination claim under the Residential Tenancy Act. The organization also supports Aboriginal landlords by helping them to understand their obligations and rights as property owners.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Aboriginal community in charge of housing for themselves/their families or Aboriginal property owners.

Ways to Support the Organization

  • Reach out to the AHSC to learn more about what support they may be looking for

Point of Contact

  • To get in touch with the organization, reach out via their Contact Us form


23. Aboriginal Legal Services

Overview
Founded in 1990, Aboriginal Legal Services was formed after a needs assessment done by the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto identified that the Aboriginal community in Toronto needed additional legal support. ALS’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of the Aboriginal community and its citizens to deal with justice issues, and to advocate for and provide Aboriginal-controlled and culturally-based justice alternatives.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • The Aboriginal community across Ontario

Ways to Support the Organization

Follow them on Social Media:

Point of Contact


24. ImagineNATIVE

Overview
ImagineNATIVE is the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. The registered charity is focused on inspiring and connecting communities through original Indigenous-created film and media with the goal of fostering greater understanding of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and artistic expressions.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Indigenous film and media creators

Ways to Support the Organization

Follow ImagineNATIVE on Social Media

Point of Contact


25. Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT)

Overview

The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT) is a membership-based organization that offers a wide range of programs and services based on Indigenous cultural heritage and teachings. Founded in 1962, the organization acts as a meeting place for Indigenous peoples from around the world and is the oldest Indigenous community organization in Toronto.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Indigenous peoples from Toronto and all over Canada / the world

Ways to Support the Organization

Point of Contact

  • Use their Contact Us form to find the appropriate email or phone number depending on your reason for reaching out


26. Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT)

Overview
The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto (NWRCT) is a community-based organization dedicated to providing resources and support to urban Indigenous women and their families. Founded in 1985 in a location known as “The Pit,” the organization grew to serve Indigenous women and their families in six categories: Housing, Family support, Advocacy, Employment, Education, and Youth.

Community / Identity Group Focus

  • Urban Indigenous women and their families

Ways to Support the Organization

Follow Them on Social Media

Point of Contact

  • Reach out through the Contact Us page to find out how you can access services or get more involved with the NWRCT

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