Are you ready to imagine what is possible in your livelihood and community?

As Angela Davis has taught us, "You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time".  We all have a role to play in transforming our corner of the world, and our redesigned Leadership for Social Change course supports you and your peers in imagining what is possible in our livelihoods and communities. Together, we will practice asking for what we want and need, with our peers.

Surrounded by like-minded (and like-hearted) peers and facilitators, you'll dig deep into your lived experience, unlearn harmful systemic narratives, re-learn how to express yourself through your values, strengths, and joy, as well as practice agency with your peers. We do this with a trauma-informed, care-filled approach, and apply an anti-capitalist, anti-racist, queer and feminist lens to everything we do.

Following this courase is our program, Building Collective Power: a co-created community of practice for those who want to learn and practice advocacy, alternative ways of working, and collectivism. It’s for those of us who want to bring an anti-oppression lens to our work in the community, and to learn alongside others to build ecosystems of wholistic wellness around community organizing, businesses, work of all kinds, and livelihoods in general. The Building Collective Power program includes skill building workshops, mentorship, peer learning, practice spaces, facilitation training, and financial and wellness supports to make participation as accessible as we can for you. (Leadership for Social Change is a prerequisite for Building Collective Power.)

These course are for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour that identify as women, trans, non-binary, or gender non-conforming, who prefer to learn in spaces that centre their intersectional identities and experiences. 

We believe that we are all experts of our own experience. When we can share similar experiences in how we move in the world and how we are affected by the systems around us, we can start to brainstorm and share ways of applying our values and lived experiences to challenge the status quo. As racialized, non binary, and women facilitators, we are very excited to co-create a shared learning space with you in a way that empowers us to collectively create worlds that work for us.

Create new possibilities for yourself and your community.

Leadership for Social Change is a fully-facilitated, immersive online course where we come together for weekly evening sessions on Thursdays (6:30-9:30pm PT) for 12 weeks (April 6  - June 29, 2023). Optional Tuesday evening office hours will be available where you can drop in and receive additional support with the course content. You'll be guided through an intentional sequence of interactive workshops, personal reflections, and small group discussions, each part building upon the previous ones. We also incorporate mindfulness and energizer breaks to keep the screen fatigue at bay and support you in feeling present.

Each cohort is made up of 12 - 16 participants to cultivate a supportive small group experience. You can enrol below to save your spot and you'll get access to the online course platform one week before the course starts. In addition to each session's content, reflection prompts and homework activities will be shared between sessions on this platform. You'll have access to the content for one year.

We're here to support you throughout the course so you can focus on the work you're meant to do. Our current offerings are free to participate in and include generous wrap around supports, including wellness funds, living stipends, elder/child care funds and accessibility supports. Read about course details and wrap around supports here: Course Outline & Wrap Around Supports

Not ready to apply yet? Share your email and we'll reach out with more information!

This course is for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour that identify as gender non-conforming, trans, non-binary and women who prefer to learn in spaces that centre their intersectional identities and experiences.

Join our next cohort launching April 6, 2023!

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Here's What Our Alumni Are Saying

Beginning the Journey Towards Purpose


“Groundswell provides an inclusive, intensive and supportive container for beginning the journey towards purpose with proven structures to guide what is often a difficult and confusing process.”

Realign With Why You Do What You Do


“Groundswell is an opportunity to step out of the hustle of work and realign yourself to the heart of why you do what you do. It gives you a safe space to explore the alternatives, wonder and imagine yourself stepping towards a path that feels more congruent with your being.”

Living True To Your Values


“Groundswell does a fantastic job of creating an environment that prompted me to dig deep into my self and my leadership. I love that the Groundswell team practices what they preach. Living true to your values doesn't have to be a detriment in life or work, and Groundswell is proof of that.”

The Course You Didn't Know You Needed


“This is the type of course you didn't know you needed until you've done it. I have already spoken about this program to so many people, and feel that many (like-minded) women in my life also yearn to widen their perspective on work and how we value it.”

Supportive and Insightful


“An incredible experience! Supportive, insightful, highly recommended method to delve deep into personal development and mapping future directions. I’m overwhelmed by just how well the course proceeded via Zoom.”

Radically Changed How I Work


“I appreciate the call to radically change how I work -- not because I need to improve my "work-life balance" but because our inequitable systems are harmful, are intolerable, and cannot continue to be supported through our banal day-to-day occupations. Take this course."

An Asset to the World


"Groundswell makes you look at yourself as an asset to the world. This is empowering. Be prepared to find that you are closer to being an entrepreneur than you think.”

More Possibilities Than I Had Imagined


“I grew up with a lot of the standard expectations - you go to school, get a job and that’s what you now do. Groundswell broke down those expectations of what life is and what it could be. There are more possibilities than I had imagined.”

Impressed with the Online Format


“The Groundswell experience was incredible and I feel way more confident about my journey than before the course. I'm particularly impressed with the online format, the facilitators did an incredible job at keeping the group focused, relaxed and socially connected.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Who is the course for? Who can apply for the BIPOC cohort?

    This cohort is specifically for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour that identify as women, trans women, and non-binary or gender non conforming folks who prefer to learn in spaces that centre intersectional identities and experiences. Leadership for Social Change brings together folks from many different backgrounds, lived experiences, and stages of life and career. This includes those working in the non-profit and social sector, community organizers and activists, social entrepreneurs, recent graduates, and those in mid or late career wanting to shift their work towards social change. Established leaders who want to create more inclusive and values-aligned cultures for their teams and organizations are also welcome. Many of our alumni are from racialized, gender-diverse, and LGBTQIA2S+ communities, ranging in age from 22 to 60!

  • What happens in a typical session?

    There are two type of sessions, core sessions as a group and drop in office hours. Core sessions as a group are on Thursdays. You'll be supported by Groundswell's team of facilitators and your cohort of peers through an intentional sequence of interactive workshops, guided personal reflection, and small group discussions, each one building upon the previous ones. We’ll incorporate mindfulness and energizer breaks to keep the screen fatigue at bay and support you in feeling present. You can come as you are and we'll often remind you to do what you need to be comfortable, including the option to have video off for some parts of the sessions. Drop in office hours will be held on Tuesdays and are a time to drop in and discuss any questions you may have about the course content, homework and for additional support.

  • How many hours is the course?

    The 12-week course includes about 40 instructional hours. The format is facilitated weekly evening sessions from 6:30-9:30pm PT (including short breaks). OPTIONAL drop in office hours will also be offered in addition to these sessions.

  • How much time should I expect to spend on the course outside of class?

    You can expect to spend around 3 hours a week outside of class time on course-related activities, including spending time with reflection prompts that we provide, some assignments, resources, and your own self-directed learning and unlearning. There are no grades or marks here!

  • How many people will be in the course?

    We limit each cohort to 16 participants to cultivate a supportive small group experience. You'll get to know each other while sharing, discussing, and reflecting on what comes up in the course. We'll also create a private chat group so you can support and encourage each other during and after the course.

  • What if I have to miss a session?

    Sessions are not normally recorded, though if you let us know in advance that you'll miss a session, in most cases we can record it for you to watch later. You can also schedule a one-on-one call with a facilitator if you have any questions. Note that a significant part of the course experience is interacting with your peers in small group discussions, which aren't recorded.

  • What do you mean by 'unlearning'?

    Doing the work of social change requires us to be open to change ourselves. This involves not only learning more concepts and skills, but also unlearning the systemic narratives that we have internalized. We'll meet you where you're at in doing this work, and invite you to our community agreements which include honouring your own and each other's lived experience. Then we can start to collectively relearn ways of working and relating that shift the status quo.

  • This course sounds really much am I expected to share?

    We approach leadership from the inside-out. Our curriculum and sessions are rooted in social emotional learning (more on that in the course!) and acknowledging that we learn more about ourselves in the presence of others. We'll support you in digging deep though you'll have choice in how much of that you share. On the occasions where you don't feel like sharing as much, you'll benefit from witnessing your peers in a shared learning environment. Our community agreements include mutual confidentiality when sharing personal experiences.

  • What is the registration process? Do I have to apply?

    While Leadership for Social Change is usually open for enrolment, the BIPOC cohort is application based. If you need any support in filling out the application form or you have questions, please reach out to us at [email protected].

  • Are there bursaries available to cover tuition fees?

    Our BIPOC offering of Leadership for Social Change is fully funded and has wrap around supports for all students. If you are accepted, there is no cost to you.

  • What kind of organization is Groundswell?

    Groundswell provides alternative education that centers its students' lived experience, challenges harmful systems, and builds collective power to change the status quo. We have a dual structure of registered charity (Groundswell Education Society) and non-profit organization (that delivers this course). This structure allows us to access funding that keeps our programming accessible to folks who are underrepresented in business and leadership, while enabling us be responsive to our students' needs with our program design and delivery. You can learn more about us and our approach at