Catalyst Grants

The Catalyst Grants are one of the ways that the York-TD Community Engagement Centre (CEC) is working to deepen University-Community partnerships in Jane Finch. These  grants awarded $25,000 among 5 partnership projects that include projects promoting access to post-secondary education, supporting community-based research and creating experiential education opportunities for students.   An Advisory committee composed of community stakeholders, York University Vice Provost and faculty are among the decision makers of grant recipients.

Catalyst Grant Award Recipients 2016 – 2017

The CEC would like to acknowledge all organizations/partners who submitted their application for the 2016-2017 grant award.  We would like to congratulate the following successful applicants on receiving the award:

Project 1: Critical Issues In Education: Parent Workshop Series

With a delivery of 10 monthly parent workshops Education Involved will build a network of parents to empower and engage parents in their children’s education.  It will help teacher candidates on the importance of community collaboration and parent involvement, and  also contribute one-on-one consultations for participants of the workshops throughout the year.   The initiative  It will focus on critical issues in education such as: accessing the Ontario Disability Tax Credit, reduction of violence, strategies for helping with homework etc.


(1)  Paul Raso, Education Involved Advocacy Group
(2)  Lindsay LaMorre, Faculty of Education, Community Practicum Coordinator


Project 2: Jane Finch Community Research Partnership Conference

A one day conference to address the challenge in accessing research about or conducted in the Jane Finch community.  This is a follow-up to a successful workshop in June 2016.  The conference will facilitate the sharing of ideas and provide a foundational basis for moving forward with the development of a community based research repository.  It will explore best practices for research within Jane Finch, foster discussions pertaining to local community knowledge as well as examine effective ways in which residents and community organizations can best utilize research.  A sub-committee will be developed to focus on identifying and developing the various aspects necessary to the creation of the research repository.


(1)  Abena Offeh-Gyiamah, Community Resident
(2) Maura Matesic, Community Liaison Librarian, York U


Project 3:  Temporary Employment Agencies in Jane and Finch Research Project

This research will identify who are violating agencies in Jane Finch (violation of workers rights by the agency or assigning workers to places that violate their rights, what violations are happening, how does it compare to other areas of Ontario, what are the concerns of the residents, what is being done by the Ministry of Labour and other government agencies to respond, recommendations of what should be done instead.  The project will be used to either determine a law/policy reform project that can serve as a solution to precarious working conditions or further educate the community about their rights as temp workers.  It will also demonstrate to law students the importance of resident engagement and community lawyering as an aspect to their future careers as lawyers.


(1)  Rachele Clemente-Gottardi, RAG Participant, Resident Action Group – a sub-group of JFAAP focused primarily on employment related issues, Workers Action Centre, JF Toronto Strong Neighborhood Strategy (TSNS) Taskforce

(2)  Nicola Holness, Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP)


Project 4:  Making the Connection

This project seeks to identify reasons for the lack of female participation in programs and youth spaces in Jane Finch.  This project aims to develop an understanding of the different ways to better engage young female participants and develop strategies of inclusive programming and the creation of new gender specific activities.


(1) Krystle Skeete,  The Spot: Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre
(2) Natalie Coulter, PhD Assistant Professor, Department of Communications


Project 5:  Young Inventors Initiative

This March Break program will expose youth in Jane Finch to the design and development of technology through innovative experiential learning.  The program will explore the rich histories of African inventors and also create their own technological inventions.  They participants will be introduced to concepts of business and technology, employment, entrepreneurship and higher learning opportunities within York.

(1)  Denise Challenger,  Harriet Tubman Institute
(2)  Caitlin Fisher,  Augmented Reality Lab,  Associate Professor:  Department of  Cinema & Media Arts, School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design
(3)   Morris Beckford, Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services


For more information on Catalyst Grant Awards please, feel free to contact us