An incredible $1.5 million gift to the Canadian Women’s Foundation is now transforming into action against gender-based violence in communities across Canada.

Thanks to the generosity of the Slaight Family Foundation, these funds are being distributed over five years to programs that address gender-based violence in urban centres. The first $250,000 has been allocated to 14 organizations through our Community Needs grant stream.

The funds support programs that operate for and by marginalized communities. This includes programs run for Black, Indigenous, and racialized communities that are underserved by traditional institutions and rely on grassroots initiatives that can meet their unique needs. The funding is also being channeled toward emergent needs, such as those of recent refugees who need support to address gender-based violence and trauma.

Many of the recipient organizations have seen demand for services rise during the pandemic. Some are using the funds to fill staffing gaps, while others are expanding their programming and reach, or simply bolstering the vital services they currently offer.

Here are some examples of Slaight Family Foundation Ending Gender-Based Violence in Critical Communities grant recipients:

The Vancouver Women’s Health Collective, BC
This organization provides culturally informed, low-barrier access to free, trauma-informed drop-in/respite programs and services in the city’s downtown east side. It strives to go beyond meeting clients’ basic needs, and supports their ability to thrive through safer connection and a sense of belonging. An Indigenous Culture and Community Coordinator ensures that programming reflects the communities that the organization supports.

Durham Rape Crisis Centre, Oshawa, ON
The funding will be used to meet the Centre’s increasing need for crisis services by survivors of sexual violence. It will enable the hire of an additional intake counsellor and the provision of honoraria for volunteers who support the 24/7 crisis line.

SHADE: Safe Housing and Directed Empowerment, Winnipeg, MB
SHADE supports immigrant and refugee women impacted by gender-based violence and family violence, through counselling and programs that help to heal, rebuild their lives and develop healthy relationships. This grant will help SHADE meet the need for administrative support as it works to expand its programming, policy and fundraising activities.

Immigrant Women’s Information Network, Toronto, ON
The organization will run a survivor-centred, trauma-informed, and culturally safe Afghan Girls’ Empowerment Group for ages 9 to 15. The program aims to support refugee girls in rebuilding their lives in Canada, with education about rights, critical thinking, healthy relationships, boundaries, and consent.