WATERLOO, December 1, 2022 – The Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) has completed an intensive coaching series administered by KOJO Institute on diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a focus on anti-Black racism. This training was made possible by a $24,800 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Government of Ontario.

KOJO Institute is a leader in equity consulting, directing organizations towards truly equitable cultures and outcomes. Founded in1998 by CEO Kike Ojo-Thompson, they guide organizations in the public and private sectors towards social justice and systems change. The training provided to GRFF included foundational training for all staff, training specific for GRFF’s board of directors, and training focused entirely on anti-Black racism.

Coming out of the pandemic, it was one of GRFF’s strategic goals to provide and empower their volunteers with modern, up-to-date training. “EDI was a logical place to begin the work,” says Chair of the board Michael Clark. “If we do not have the knowledge about where we as an organization exist, and what image we project to our audience, we have no right to suggest we have an authority in our spaces.”

The training, which was open to all current and former GRFF volunteers, provided valuable information to the board of directors, who will use the skills and knowledge gained in the training t implement changes in the operations, to better align with the needs of their audience. “This sort of training is in high demand now. As a volunteer operated not for profit, we wouldn’t have had the resources to take part if it hadn’t been for the Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation,” says Clark. GRFF is operated by approximately 50 volunteers each year.

If you are interested in learning more about GRFF please contact Michel Clark, Chair, at chair@grff.ca

ABOUT GRAND RIVER FILM FESTIVAL – Founded in 2007, the Grand River Film Festival (GRFF) is committed to celebrate and inspire community through the shared experience of film. Featuring compelling documentaries, engaging shorts and premiere features, GRFF presents an integrated cultural experience. The festival encourages community involvement through a shared love for cinema by offering unique and diverse programming with creative community partnerships.