Disrupt & Dismantle! Leadership Fellowship

December 2021 to June 2022

Apply to be a fellow

YWCA Canada will be launching a paid, high-impact fellowship for QTBIPOC employees in the YWCA movement through our Block Hate project. This fellowship will provide selected participants the opportunity to advance their leadership skills while tackling online hate and building resilience in their communities. 

YWCA Canada’s Block Hate project: Building Resilience against Online Hate Speech is a four-year research and knowledge mobilization project funded by Public Safety Canada’s Community Resilience Fund.

YWCA is engaged in community-based research and collaborating with partners in tech and human rights to improve community resilience by developing technological intervention tools to prevent, address and report online hate speech.

The objective of the Block Hate initiative is to strengthen civil society responses at the national and local levels through engagement with the information, communication, and technology sector as well as local communities in creating and sharing digital counter-narratives to disrupt and dismantle (such as: Anti-Black racism, Anti-Indigenous racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, transphobic hate speech, escalating right-wing populism and xenophobic or racist discourses).

The Disrupt & Dismantle! Leadership Fellows will ensure that data gaps and lived experiences will be named and centered in the work of YWCA Canada.

For over 150 years, the YWCA network has offered leaders training, networking, and skill-building opportunities. We lay the stepping-stones for self-identified QTBIPOC leaders (MA staff or Board volunteers) to take on progressive leadership roles in the YWCA, in their communities and in public life.

To support the Block Hate project, YWCA Canada has developed the YWCA Disrupt & Dismantle! Leadership Fellowship. This paid fellowship is an opportunity for self-identified QTBIPOC staff members and board volunteers to advance their leadership skills, build resilience and engage in equity work. With facilitation by subject matter experts in anti-racism and tech, the leadership program will create space for participants to enhance their effective leadership knowledge and skills. The Fellows will also serve as advisors for the National Office for its work on the Block Hate project and will be provided access to training, mentorship and support.

YWCA has partnered with in-house and external subject matter experts to develop rigorous curriculum and participatory data collection that provides space for connection, networking, reflection and personal growth. Fellows will learn the fundamentals of community organizing based on key leadership practices: relationship building for teams, developing strategy and data collection for co-creation of anti-racist tech.

Members of the cohort will:

  • Commit to pre-readings and virtual attendance
  • Dedicate 10-15 hours per month approximately
  • Level up their conceptual understanding of online hate speech, digital platforms, and how it addresses systemic racism and hate crimes
  • Advance their anti-racism/anti-oppression technical skills
  • Explore current tech solutions to address hate speech; and assist with co-creation of new tools (AI, chatbots, data analytics for algorithm development, data scraping, games, and cybersecurity tools)
  • Explore how to implement OCAP principles to support Indigenous data sovereignty
  • Connect with civil society partners who are currently addressing transphobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and anti-Indigenous hate online and through bystander intervention
  • Collect data to counter hate speech as bystanders
  • Based on Harvard University’s Ganz curriculum, practice key leadership skills for organizing communities that mobilize power and make change
  • Develop a data collection group project related to systemic racism issue. To put their learning into action, groups will host focus groups and propose tech solutions in addressing online hate
  • Engage in bi-monthly conversations over Zoom and through Slack with other cohort members
  • Share learnings via monthly reflections based on a specific theme or topic

** Kindly note that the entire fellowship will be triggering; because there will be multiple guest speakers and training activities where we will be discussing with QTBIPOC individuals with lived experience of hate crimes. Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of debriefing resources available, step off the call and to name being triggered on the Zoom call. Fellowship sessions will incorporate traditional practices for addressing trauma, including but not limited to: individual debriefing, journaling, yoga practices, meditation, traditional teachings and the use of online caucuses.

Leadership fellows will receive an honorarium of $4,000+HST CAD at the completion of the training.

Who is eligible for this program and who should apply?

  • YWCA Canada’s Disrupt & Dismantle! Leadership Fellowship is open to self-identified QTBIPOC individuals who are currently staff or board members of a YWCA member associations in Canada
  • QTBIPOC individuals with lived experience with a demonstrated commitment to advancing leadership skills are encouraged to apply

How to apply?

  • Complete a number of open–ended questions by describing your interest in the project and relevant experience or course work
  • Submit an updated résumé and YWCA reference
  • Attend a Zoom group interview scheduled on November 30 at 1pm EST
Click here to apply

Program Timeline

November 1 Applications Open
November 22 Applications Due
December 10 Announcement of Fellows
December 14, 1pm EST Orientation
December 20, 1pm EST Networking meeting
December 2021-June 2022 Bi-monthly participant meetings
January – May 2022 #BlockHate Participant Directed Online Series
Key sessions include:
– Understanding Online Hate Human Rights
– Leadership Self-Assessment
– Building leadership skills for community organizing
– Advocacy Training
– Other training sessions will be informed by the interests and learning development plans of the fellows
January – March 2022 Community consultations
January – March 2022 Lexicon development
June 2022 Group project presentations
January to December 2022 Mentorship and support from YWCA Canada senior leadership team