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.

February 2017 – Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls

February 2017 – Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls

The JustChange Ottawa board is excited to announce that the latest $1,000 grant is going to Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls, an organization that uses music as a vehicle for empowerment for self-identifying girls. Their flagship event is a rock camp where participants learn an instrument, join a band, and showcase their achievements at a concert. They also host monthly jam sessions, where girls have access to studio space to practice their music.

Tiffanie Tri, one of Rock Camp’s leaders, explains how their project seeks to empower girls through music. “We create a safe space for girls of all economic means and races so that they can build self-confidence. We are always looking for ways to reduce barriers to access to learning and playing music.” Their newest project aims to do just that.

The JustChange grant will go towards setting up a new music instrument library and jam space. “The goal is to increase our reach and impact in the community,” Tri explains. “We want to improve access to instruments and studio space, and maybe even introduce a new venue for our Rock Camp.”

Ultimately, Rock Camp for Girls wants to increase diversity and inclusion in the Ottawa music scene. And to that we say “rock on!”

The Rock Camp for Girls team is passionate about their project, and they want to tell you all about. Come learn more and ‘jam’ with us at JustDrinks this Thursday, February 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pressed Cafe, 750 Gladstone Ave.

December 2016 – Empower’em

December 2016 – Empower’em

empoweremEmpower’em President and Founder, Nayaelah Siddiqui, understands there is a growing lack of self-confidence in Muslim women, which needs to be addressed.

According to the Environics Survey of Muslims in Canada (2016), one of the top issues facing Canadian Muslims is how they are perceived by the larger, mainstream society. One-third (33%) of non-Muslim Canadians have a generally negative view of Islam. Moreover, Statistics Canada has noted that hate crimes against Canadian Muslims have doubled over the last three years. Muslim women, particularly those who are visibly Muslim due to the distinguished “hijab” or headscarf they wear, are the most frequent targets of hateful demonstrations that are manifested in numerous ways, including exclusion from mainstream society.

In the absence of strong support networks, these issues may lead to a lack of self-confidence, identity, and Canadian pride if they are left unaddressed; further discouraging young women from fully thriving in their communities and hindering their ability to contribute in positive ways to enrich Canadian society.

This is why JustChange is proud to support Empowerem’s main objective of boosting self-confidence in women by empowering them in four key areas of development.

  1. Skills Development
  2. Health
  3. Spirituality and;
  4. Outreach/Community involvement

These four objectives help with empowering young women better enabling them to become more informed, engaged and civically active so that they can become positive forces in their communities, in Ottawa, and by extension the wider Canadian society. For example, through Skills Development, Empower’em provides workshops on car management (like how to  change a tire or boost a car). Another example via the Outreach objective, they aim to start “Quilt for them.” This initiative will not only involve young women learning skills (e.g., sewing), but also paved a way for them to have a positive impact in the communities they live in. Women can start projects that they are most passionate about with like-minded people which would lead to a stronger and more collective effort in community projects.

You can learn more about Empower’em at their website here: http://empowerem.ca/ and join us for #JustDrinks on December 15th 2016 at 6:30pm at the Ministry of Coffee and Social Affairs at 1013 Wellington St W, Ottawa, ON K1Y 2Y1 to celebrate this incredible Ottawa-based initiative.

You can reserve your free ticket here.


JustChange and PhilanthroTHINK: What’s New in Philanthropy?

JustChange and PhilanthroTHINK: What’s New in Philanthropy?

Free Event at Carleton University on February 25th 2016 at 2:00pm!

What’s New in Philanthropy? Giving Circles, Social Investment and Engaged Millennials

Philanthropy is being reinvented in a variety of ways.  Giving circles are creating new collective approaches. Social investment, with expectations of financial as well as social returns, may be attracting new contributors – or detracting from traditional giving. The Millennial generation is actively engaged but in quite different ways and with different motivations than their parents. Explore these issues with:

Angela Eikenberry, Professor, University of Nebraska Omaha, author ofGiving Circles

Daniel Tisch, Founding Partner, Social Venture Partners

Brian Toller, President, Tolcor Investments; Board member, Community Foundations of Canada

Angela Dzinas, Alterna Savings

Jesse Cressman-Dickinson, Read Guernsey, Mitchell Kutney & KasiaPolanska, JustChange



JustChange supports urban farming model in Ottawa

JustChange supports urban farming model in Ottawa

“Much of the food we consume is shipped thousands of miles away and dependent on an unsustainable petroleum-based system, which in the long term damages the environment, food security, local economies and ultimately, human lives.” – Madeleine Maltby, founder of Britannia Backyard Edibles


In an effort to address some of the challenges with Canada’s relationship to food, JustChange Ottawa is pleased to announce support for Britannia Backyard Edibles, a new initiative in Ottawa that grows and supplies local/organic fresh market vegetables through “Community Supported Agriculture.”

The initiative will operate in a sustainable manner by using low carbon farming practices to provide a food source within the community.

Brittania Backyard Edibles relies on residential sub-acre plots to turn backyards into productive food gardens that help provide more access to much-needed locally grown vegetables. This backyard urban farming model provides a gateway for new methods of food production that brings the farm into an urban landscape and closer to the market.

I believe that change starts at the community level. Britannia Backyard Edibles will not only provide a healthy and sustainable food source to neighbourhoods within Ottawa, but also helps to create a sense of community around food and connect residents to natural food systems, local economies and each other. – Madeleine Maltby

JustChange Ottawa’s grant will contribute towards various start-up materials and equipment for the first season of Britannia Backyard Edibles, including a drip irrigation systems for the first five plots and season extension materials, such as row cover and galvanized metal hoops for creating low tunnels.

On April 9th at 5:30pm-7:30pm, JustChange Ottawa will be celebrating #JustDrinks with Madeleine Maltby and her new initiative, Britannia Backyard Edibles at Bread By Us (accessible venue and extended hours of operation) at 1065 Wellington St. West. You can register for free here.

Brittania Backyard Edibles can be reached on both Facebook and Twitter.