Pressing Pause

Pressing Pause

JustChange accelerates bold ideas in Ottawa for social, environmental and economic change. We’ve been doing this for over 6 years by giving out nearly $40,000 in grants to dozens of grantees. We’re so proud of the ideas we have funded and who we’ve partnered with along the way.

We’re now going to do something equally as bold. We’re going to press pause to take some time to step back and explore our model of delivery (okay, so not James Bond bold, but policy-wonk bold – this is Ottawa after all!)

We started as 12 young people with $50 to give a month in support of great ideas. We wanted to democratize philanthropy, lower barriers to accessing funding in the community and we wanted to give ideas a chance; people with proven concepts needed not apply. We were disillusioned by granting models that dictated how dollars were spent and decided to leave this up to the experts, the ones with the great ideas. We gave micro-grants and enabled average people to act as philanthropists. We’re proud of all this too.

The core of what we do will always remain. We will guard these principles. We just want to explore how we do it. We will be back! For those who have reached out recently with funding requests or expressions of interest to join our board, we have not forgotten about you – we appreciate your interest and we will be in touch! Thank you!

To all of our supporters, mentors and grantees over the years, thank you! If you have feedback, thoughts, words of encouragement as we take this new phase on, please do reach out. We’d love to hear from you.

Much love,

JustChange

Dead Parent’s Podcast – March 2019

When she was 19 years old, Samantha Lapierre’s mom died. As a university student, she was far from home without a strong network of support. Most of her peers had not experienced parent death and the subject seemed to make them feel uncomfortable. Online resources were targeted to people older than her, while therapy was an expensive and overwhelming prospect. She felt alone in her grief.

Dead Parents Podcast is Samantha’s contribution to building a community of support for people grieving a parent. Through an informal interview-style podcast, she is facilitating open, honest conversations about the multi-faceted experience of parent death, acknowledging the difficult, nuanced and sometimes complicated feelings that come along with it. She also intends to facilitate events that make space for artists to share their work about grief and loss, and to continue the discussion in real time.

JustChange Ottawa is proud to support Dead Parents Podcast’s efforts to build a community for healing, provide an educational tool for listeners who want to better support others, and ultimately break down the taboos around talking about death.

Please join us to celebrate Dead Parent’s Podcast on Sunday, March 3rd at the Atomic Rooster from 3pm – 4:30pm.

May 2018 – The Birth Talks Presents!

May 2018 – The Birth Talks Presents!

Around the world, about four babies are born each second of every day. The circumstances under which they are born vary drastically. Each birth story is different and unique – and does not always follow the strictly joyful narrative we tend to hear. For too long, these complex stories have remained untold, especially for women and girls from marginalized communities.

In an exciting new initiative, birth advocate and midwife-in-training Mai Ngo is teaming up with Naomi Tessler of Branch Out Theatre to give us The Birth Talk Presents!, an innovative and transformative community project that will work with women from diverse backgrounds to help them write, perform, and heal through their stories, poems, and monologues. Building on the success of Mai’s Femmy Award-winning podcast, The Birth Talks, the six-week theatre program will conclude with a public performance to share stories from women of all backgrounds, through an intersectional feminist lens that considers how race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, age and ability affect a woman’s experience of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. The performances will go beyond mainstream narratives of pregnancy to discuss loss, access, privilege, joy, pain, life transition, mourning, and – most of all – healing and resilience.

You can learn more about their project and support their crowdfunding campaign at this link

Join us to celebrate Mai, Naomi, and the women of The Birth Talks Presents! at Just Drinks on May 10 at the Happy Goat Coffee Co. on Elgin St. at 6pm!!

June 2017 – Locall

June 2017 – Locall

We are thrilled to announce our latest JustChange grantee – Locall.

Locall aims to find innovative solutions for newcomers (immigrants and refugees) seeking to integrate into Canada, but who face challenges with language barriers.

In essence, they have designed, tested and developed an incredible mobile application that attempts to tap into Arabic-speaking Canadians across the country who wish to support those who have just recently landed in Canada.

With the tap of a button via the Locall smartphone app, Arabic-speaking refugees and immigrants are immediately matched to interpreters based on availability, sex, age, and Arabic dialect to help them resolve day-to-day challenges outside of medical, legal/financial and emergency appointments. To protect the privacy of both the refugee and interpreter, calls will only be made through this app and access can only be obtained through access codes from settlement agencies/sponsor families.

As Locall states, “our idea is simple: instead of having newcomers rely on translation applications that often get used out of context, we wish to connect the refugees with the long list of “Localls” who have voluntarily signed up to interpret for newcomers. A mere conversation with a local who can help with interpretation, immediately and at no cost, can go a long way for those who need help with integrating into a new community.”

Locall has already completed extensive consultations with key stakeholders, as well as having already completed their first trial run with community members and refugees to test out the concept. Their next stage, using JustChange funds, will be to scale up into a fully fledged app, with website, and get it up and running for the better part of a year to test its sustainability and growth.

If you are interested in hearing from them about their project, please join JustChange and Locall at the Common Eatery at 6:00pm for #JustDrinks on June 13th 2017.

April 2017 – EthicalTree

April 2017 – EthicalTree

JustChange is happy to announce the winner of this month’s micro-grant, EthicalTree. Siavash and Frank co-founded EthicalTree because, as ethically-oriented consumers themselves, they found it very difficult to find businesses that aligned with their values.

According to EthicalTree, research has shown that 33% of Canadians are either vegetarian or consciously reducing their meat consumption, that 58% of Canadians buy organic products every week, and that at least 31% of Canadians say that Fair Trade certification has a high or very high influence on their buying. As such, their goal is to make it easier for consumers to find local businesses that align with their specific ethical values, whatever those may be – vegan, fair trade, organic, woman-owned, eco-friendly, and more.

Hence EthicalTree, the Ottawa-based “Yelp” of ethical consumers – a free online directory where users can search for local businesses based on the ethical values that matter to them. Users can currently filter local business searches to see only vegetarian-friendly, Fair Trade-friendly, Organic-friendly, or women-owned businesses, and we plan to add more ethical criteria, such as Halal, Sweatshop-free, and Eco-friendly, as we go forward.

Making it easier for consumers to purchase ethical products empowers people to make purchasing decisions that have positive social and environmental impacts on their city and the world, whether that means reducing suffering to animals, lowering carbon emissions, supporting producers with fair wages, or encouraging young women in entrepreneurship. As we make it easier for consumers to support causes they care about with their dollars, they will shape Ottawa’s business ecosystem into a more ethically-oriented one.

Now that EthicalTree is up and running, it’s all about marketing and encouraging more consumers to use EthicalTree. With this new support from JustChange, EthicalTree will host a Street Market at the University of Ottawa, where local businesses can sell ethically-sourced goods to ethically-oriented consumers on campus, as well as grow and expand on the website. As such, we invite you all to join us on April 11

As such, we invite you all to join us on April 11 at Café Nostalgica from 6:30pm8:00pm to celebrate giving, EthicalTree and of course, great conversation.