Inspirit is inviting applications for a 10 month Fellowship to co-lead the 2021 Lab!

Inspirit Foundation is launching the Narrative Change Lab — a new national initiative that supports underrepresented communities in the development of pop culture strategies that advance equity and shift narrative power in the arts and media sectors. They believe the stories we encounter in mainstream cultural platforms such as television, film, music, art, and journalism can better reflect a pluralistic society. The Lab is an opportunity for creative leaders to collaborate and imagine new ways to right historical omissions, fight hateful stereotypes, and seed new stories in the Canadian pop culture landscape.

They are inviting applications for a ten-month Fellowship to co-lead the 2021 Lab with Inspirit.


The first Muslims arrived in Canada in 1854. They brought with them their stories, cultures, foods, weaving them into the fabric of Canadian identity. But Muslims have never been seen nor treated as equal Canadian citizens. In the two decades since 9/11, Islamophobia has spiked nationally and globally, despite increased efforts by both Muslim and non-Muslim communities to educate the public on the systemic discrimination and racism faced by Muslims in countries around the world.

Here in Canada, a 2018 Environics Survey concluding the following: “Of all the distinct groups in Canadian society today, Muslims are most widely considered to be the ‘other’ because of where they come from, associations with terrorism in other countries, and specific religious practices like head coverings.”

These stereotypes are reflected throughout the Canadian arts and media landscape; we see content depicting Muslims consistently failing the ‘Riz Test’. Opportunities for Canadian Muslims to frame their own stories and experiences have been few and far between. This needs to change.


In 2021, Inspirit will be supporting a Fellowship position to co-lead the new Inspirit Narrative Change Lab. We are seeking dynamic candidates who work within and have deep knowledge of the arts and/or media sectors, a passion for pop culture, and lived experience and connections within Canadian Muslim communities.

As a Fellow you will receive a $65,000 stipend to co-lead the Lab with Inspirit from February-December 2021. The expected time commitment is approximately 25-28 hours per week.  Inspirit will also provide additional funds to cover the associated costs of running the Lab.


As a Fellow, you will:

  • Collaborate with Inspirit to convene and facilitate a multi-disciplinary cohort of Muslim practitioners to develop innovative approaches to counteract and go beyond Islamophobic tropes within Canadian pop culture;
  • Generate creative strategies and solutions to amplify diverse Muslim-led pop culture narratives through public arts and media events/projects;
  • Provide research and insights into the current landscape of Muslim impact and engagement in arts/culture and media in Canada; and,
  • Elevate public dialogue and awareness of critical issues within Muslim communities and the broader public around Muslim identity through associated public and community engagement activities.

Please note: The final design and deliverables of the Lab will be mutually agreed upon with Inspirit during a kick-off phase in February 2021.


Inspirit is looking for applicants who demonstrate:

  • Deep experience and knowledge of the arts/culture and/or media sectors in Canada;
  • Experience using storytelling and pop culture tools to shift narratives and advance social change;
  • Knowledge of and experience in multiple storytelling platforms and/or disciplines, including, but not limited to: web, podcast, print, film, television, and radio; and/or, visual arts, performance, music, comedy, etc.
  • Commitment to civic engagement and strong relationships in a diversity of Canadian Muslim communities;
  • An ability to collaborate with others, and develop and maintain positive working relationships;
  • Experience and demonstrated skills in engaging and facilitating groups.

Additional skills and characteristics:

  • Based in and eligible to work in Canada;
  • Eagerness to listen and engage diverse perspectives of others;
  • Self-starter with strong project management skills;
  • Exceptional research skills;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to convey information effectively for a variety of audiences;
  • An understanding of systems and strategy development;
  • Comfort with risk and exploration in an emergent and highly experimental process.

In keeping with Inspirit’s commitment to equity, we encourage self-identifying Muslims from across Canada to apply. We are committed to all forms of diversity and welcome applications from all racial, ethnic, and sectarian backgrounds. We also welcome candidates with disabilities, as well as all genders and sexualities.

Accommodations are available upon request for candidates with disabilities taking part in all aspects of the recruitment and selection process. Please contact us at 416-644-3600 or info@inspiritfoundation.org to discuss how we can assist.

Applications will be reviewed by Inspirit staff as well as an external advisory committee of experts in media and/or arts sectors.



  • Applications open: November 9, 2020 
  • Application deadline: December 7, 2020 
  • Selection process: December 9, 2020 – January 14, 2021 
  • Shortlisted candidates notified and interviews: January 18 – 22, 2021 
  • Selected Fellow notified: February 1, 2021 

More information here.