ALBERTA – Two Canadian Muslim organizations have announced receiving a 2018 Core Grants of $150,000 each from the Inspirit Foundation to help address Islamophobia, Muslim Link reported on February 20.
“Inspirit Foundation identified Islamophobia as a significant barrier to inclusion in Canada. Recognizing the urgency of this issue, we increased our focus on Islamophobia and funded research to understand the experiences of young Muslims in Canada,” explained Shazlin Rahman and Rudayna Bahubeshi who’ve worked with the organization.
The recipients of this year’s funds were Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council (AMPAC) and the Coalition of Muslim Women Kitchener-Waterloo (CMW-KW).
This fund provides multi-year, unrestricted grants of up to $150,000 ($50,000 per year up to three years) to support Indigenous-led or Muslim-led organizations engaging in promising and high impact models and approaches.
AMPAC which is based in Edmonton, Alberta, will champion engagement and anti-racism efforts in the state, with a special focus on Islamophobia through educational workshops and special events to build bridges between Muslim communities and others.
Throughout the next three years, AMPAC’s aims to strengthen current programs including the Islamophobia hotline, program monitoring, and developing staff and board infrastructure to support enhanced policy work.
To support this, AMPAC will increase its staff capacity and initiate AMPAC’s organizational structural transition from an operational board towards one focused on strategy and governance in order to support current programming and develop plans to expand further across the province.
Pools of Muslims Leaders
Rahman and Bahubeshi further informed that: “Addressing Islamophobia became one of two priority areas in our 2016–2021 strategic plan, alongside advancing reconciliation. While Inspirit Foundation is one of the only non-Muslim foundations in Canada focused on addressing Islamophobia, many organizations are tackling issues connected to racism and Islamophobia.”
On the other hand, CMW-KW is based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, where it began with over 50 Muslim women, concerned about the potential negative impact of the proposed Bill 94 in Quebec, organized a community forum titled “Let Us Talk” in 2010.
CMW-KW will continue the organization’s primary mission of building understanding between Muslims and the broader community and strengthen the voices of Muslim women in the Kitchener-Waterloo.
This includes developing a pool of Muslim women leaders of diverse backgrounds and ages to serve on the board and committees, hiring a coordinator for an Islamophobia awareness project and securing additional resources to evaluate and document the CMW-KW model for scaling and replication.
Canadian Core Grants
Core Grants in Canada support organizations developing innovative institutional, systemic, or interpersonal solutions addressing Islamophobia or reconciliation, while increasing the capacity for Muslim and Indigenous communities to address these issues.
Inspirit Foundation is a public foundation based in Toronto, Ontario. Its asset base comes from the proceeds of the sale of Vision TV, a multi-faith, multicultural television channel licensed in 1987 which used to the world’s sole multi-faith network.
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