Launched in 2011, our Inclusive Local Economies program has invested over $12 million in 90 organizations in Toronto. Ten years on we felt the time was right to deepen our understanding of the impact the program has had — on organizations, strategies, and the broader field — to help guide our future priorities and approaches. We’re grateful for the calibre of engagement, insight, and unvarnished feedback we’ve received from current and former grantees.
Inviting deep reflection from our community during such a trying time has meant that we heard a lot on the scale of the challenges they are facing and frustrations about what can be achieved in such circumstances. It’s hard at times to feel like progress is possible, let alone that we can have a hand in it.
However, there was a moment during the first in-person grantee convening we held since the pandemic began, when we were reminded by a community leader in the room that together, we are achieving wins. And what a timely and necessary reminder it was.
Change is happening — and it’s the strength of our collective efforts that are making it possible.
Over the last two years we’ve seen hard-won victories on access to child care, increases to the minimum wage, and improvements to immigration policies, all seeded by the long-term and relentless efforts of workers, community organizers, and policy advocates. We know much is lacking and there is still more to do — but it’s important that we not lose sight of what’s been achieved.
Throughout the review process, we’ve been reminded of the role Metcalf can play in bringing people together, amplifying voices, and illuminating new perspectives and shared sight lines. In the stories that follow, you’ll see many of these same themes come through.
As always, I welcome your thoughts.