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Inspiring Communities Announces Fellowship Program

IC Fellowships: Policy and Polarization

Focus areas to include polarizing conversations and shifting policy making

For release September 20, 2022

(Kjipuktuk) Inspiring Communities (IC) is proud to present the first two dynamic changemakers in our new Fellowship Program. The program will foster research and experimentation to develop positive social change through a systems approach. The Fellowship Program is designed to catalyze change throughout our region.

Our first Fellow is Vanessa Paesani. Vanessa was the moving force behind Amplify East, grounded in the #MeToo movement, which shone a spotlight on remarkable women in Atlantic Canada. Vanessa’s Fellowship will focus on the topics that polarize public discourse, and aims to determine how to replace conflict with curiosity about others’ perspectives. Her work will be shared through a podcast of conversations on these polarizing topics, which may include abortion rights, the wealth gap, racism and health care reform.

The second Fellow is Kjeld Mizpah (KJ) Conyers-Steede, who intends to put his extensive experience in public service to work, finding ways to shift policy from the current cause-and-effect linear thinking common in the field toward a systems approach. KJ will share his work through a series of blog posts and reflections. 

The Fellowships, funded with support from SI Canada, will run from September through December, with each Fellow receiving a stipend to support their work, as well as support from the Inspiring Communities team. 

IC is the Atlantic node for SI Canada. As a node, Inspiring Communities hosts both this fellowship program and the Atlantic Changemakers Council. The Council expands and distributes network leadership and storytelling in support of Atlantic Canada’s innovation ecosystem.

Inspiring Communities is a nonprofit organization based in Nova Scotia, with outreach to the Atlantic Provinces, which supports systems change through community connections, collaboration in systems partnerships and demonstrating impact so that we create equitable thriving communities. We center equity in our work. 

Social Innovation Canada (SI Canada) is an initiative to connect social innovation practitioners, build the capacity of the sector, and to elevate this work in Canada and beyond.

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