The Religious Diversity Youth Leadership Project

The project’s official launch took place on Thursday 27 September 2012 – click here for details


About RDYL

In 2012, the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre, together with the Religion in the Public Sphere Initiative and Centre for Community Partnerships won a three-year, $500,000 grant from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to bring together students, faculty, community leaders and youth in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to build networks of communication, inquiry, and action around the problems and possibilities of living in a religiously diverse society.

The Project provides opportunities for young adults across the GTA to cultivate civic responsibility and leadership as they work against exclusion and marginalization arising from issues related to religious diversity. The Project also presents leadership and community engagement opportunities for students and young adults working within GTA community organizations in raising awareness of how open communication about religious diversity is connected to Canadian values and civic responsibility.

'University receives federal funds for religious diversity project' – The Catholic Register

Project Activities

Activity A – Religious Diversity Youth Leadership Training

Contact: Nadir Shirazi, Program Coordinator • • (416) 946-3120

U of T students will participate in training modules (certificate program) using an action/reflection (service-learning) pedagogy re:

  • leadership in the community
  • enhancing one’s citizenship capacities
  • preparing for service in diverse communities (including religious communities)
  • negotiating inclusion across differences (including religious diversity)

Students who complete the training and provide leadership in two community events/initiatives will receive a certificate in RDYL Training from the Multi-Faith Centre.

Activity B – Service-Learning Community Partnerships

Contact: Laurie O’Handley, Community Coordinator • • (416) 978-2353

Through academic and co-curricular service-learning experiences, young adults will be placed within community organizations supporting initiatives that allow them to engage the dynamics of civic responsibility and religious diversity in the public sphere. Community partners will also include other University departments that are addressing issues of negotiating diversity and inclusion amongst young adults. In addition to human resources support in the form of student organizers and facilitators, modest financial support is also available to community partners, including honorariums, food, publicity and travel.

Activity C – Public Forums and Community Research Workshops

Contact: Siri Hansen, Project Coordinator • • (416) 978-2615

Scholars, policy-makers, community leaders and students will engage in semi-annual two-day events consisting of 1) a public panel featuring leading researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners, and 2) a community research workshop bringing together scholars, students, policy-makers, and community leaders. Forum and workshop themes include: religious diversity and publicly-funded healthcare; gender and sexuality in GTA religious communities; religion and the decriminalization of drugs; and religion and the arts.


Link to Multi-Faith Centre Link to RPS Home Link to Centre for Community Partnerships

RPS people

Project Coordinator: Siri Hansen

Get in touch