Tuesday, March 15, 2022
On behalf of the staff and the Board of Directors at Apathy is Boring, we are excited to share with you our 2020-2021 Annual Report.
2020 was marked with extraordinary resilience and notable success as we, like so many others, pivoted our work to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19. We gathered as a team in January to make big plans for the year and then brought together the RISE hubs from all seven cities for our biggest retreat ever in February. But in March, we quickly adjusted to the new realities and began delivering our programming in an online format. Even though we were physically apart, we remained united in our vision to help youth in Canada become active and engaged citizens.
An immense thank-you to our volunteers, community partners, donors and funders – our impact this year would not have been possible without your generous support and contributions. Join us as we continue to pave the way forward with a culture of engaged youth and active decision-makers. The future of Canada’s democracy is looking bright!
Friday, January 14, 2022
We are thrilled to announce the addition of not one, not two, but EIGHT new members to our board! With this expansion, we proudly put our organization’s values front and centre. The new board members reflect our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and to providing youth in Canada with leadership opportunities. From youth activists to a best-selling author, all of them bring extensive experience in advocacy and promoting democracy. We look forward to their guidance as we continue to build an inclusive, youth-friendly society.
We are ready to welcome eight incredibly invigorating youth champions to our board. I am confident that this board will help Apathy is Boring meet the pressing challenges of our time while helping us strengthen civic engagement, democracy and advocating for accessibility for youth across the country.
Habon Ali, Board Chair
Head over to Our Team page to learn more about all of our board members!
BOARD CHAIR TRANSITION
After chairing the board of directors of Apathy is Boring for six years, Niamh Leonard has decided to step down. The board of directors is delighted to announce that Habon Ali has been unanimously elected as the organization’s next chair, effective May 20, 2021.
We wish to thank Niamh Leonard for her incredible contribution to the organization over the last nine years. Having first joined the organization as an intern in 2012, Niamh was elected to the board of directors in 2014. After a short stint as vice-chair, she was elected as chair and has since led the board of directors through a period of intense organizational growth with courage, vision and empathy.
“Serving Apathy is Boring has been the greatest honour. I am delighted that Habon Ali will now step in as chair. Having worked closely with Habon, I have been struck by her amazing mind, her proactive leadership, and her indelible humour. Committed to creating meaningful spaces for youth democratic engagement, Habon will know how to lead the organization so that it best serves young Canadians in an ever changing democratic landscape.”
Niamh Leonard, Outgoing Chair of the Board of Directors
A seasoned community builder, Habon has been involved in the Prime Minister’s Youth Council, the Toronto Public Health’s Youth Health Action Network, and the Mosaic Institute. She is currently a Humanitarian Fellow at Grand Challenges Canada. Habon brings a wealth of youth advocacy experience: she was involved in the creation of Canada’s first National Youth Policy, the development of Canada’s Service Corps and the Amplify Lab at Apathy is Boring.
“I am honoured to serve as the next chair of Apathy is Boring. With Niamh leaving, I have big shoes to fill. As the world faces converging crises, Apathy is Boring is uniquely placed to support young people in meeting the challenges ahead. I cannot wait to work alongside our incredible team for years to come.”
Habon Ali, Incoming Chair of the Board of Directors
With this decision, the board of directors is pleased to continue Apathy is Boring’s tradition of placing young people in positions of meaningful leadership within the organization, thus maintaining our by-youth-for-youth approach.
SAY HELLO TO YOUTH FRIENDLY!
Young people living in Canada have been uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s made socializing, going to school and finding work all the more difficult. But now that we’re on the path to normal life again with vaccinations taking place, we want to make sure youth are front and centre in the economic and social recovery.
(Re-)Enter Youth Friendly. The program will work with partner organizations to create environments where youth perspectives will be specifically sought out, valued and integrated. Youth - being more creative, more innovative and more likely to take risks - are at the forefront of change and Youth Friendly’s mission is to ensure organizations, social enterprises, government, and communities recognize that.
Through various services including workshops, presentations, brainstorms and consultations, YF will help organizations better understand how to create conditions that generate meaningful, sustainable environments, and engage young Canadians to leverage their expertise in reopening a strong and democratic society.
This relaunched version of Youth Friendly combines the previous experience we’ve garnered from consulting organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross, Canada World Youth and the City of Kitchener with the Youth-Led Democratic Innovation (#YLDI) framework we’ve developed through RISE. So we 100% know what we’re talking about and this is us unleashing it to partners who will ultimately make intentional and inclusive spaces for youth like you!
Thursday, August 13, 2020
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’m delighted to announce that Samantha Reusch-Desautels, currently the Impact Manager at Apathy is Boring, will become the organization’s next Executive Director on August 17th, 2020. She will replace Caro Loutfi, who will be leaving the organization on September 1st, 2020. Samantha brings a valuable combination of skills to the role and understands the challenges youth face in today’s democracy.
Samantha was chosen because of her deep passion for the organization’s mission and her clear vision of how Apathy is Boring can build on its success of the last few years to become a thought leader on the future of Canadian democracy. Over the last two years, she has taken the lead on developing the model for the organization’s theory of change (Youth Led Democratic Innovation), and has taken on leadership roles in fundraising, impact evaluation and public relations. With this decision, we are pleased to be encouraging employee growth within Apathy is Boring and to further maintain our by-youth-for-youth approach.
“In the last two years, Samantha has been central to Apathy is Boring’s strategy as the organization navigated a period of tremendous growth. We are grateful she has accepted to now serve at the helm of the organization. Her keen strategic eye, the depth of her understanding of the organization, and her ability to make democracy accessible will all be invaluable assets as the organization embarks on its next chapter.”
Niamh Leonard, Chair of the Board of Directors
"I am honoured and elated to have been chosen to lead this organization into its next chapter. Diverse youth from coast to coast to coast are doing the essential work of building communities, raising public awareness and creating innovative solutions to the largest shared challenges of our time. I am committed to continuing the incredible work of Apathy is Boring by building bridges and promoting dialogue between our democratic institutions and young Canadians."
Samantha Reusch-Desautels, Executive Director
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Apathy is Boring. Samantha will be working alongside a motivated and passionate staff team to move our mission forward by supporting youth across Canada to be active citizens and to create the change they hope to see in their communities.
Chair of the Board of Directors
Monday, June 8, 2020
After five years at the helm of Apathy is Boring, our Executive Director Caro Loutfi will be leaving her position this September to attend Oxford University. While we are sad to see her go, we are incredibly proud of her and congratulate her on this exciting next step that will expand her horizons and allow her to contribute to change on a global scale.
Starting out as a Communications Intern in 2013, Caro rapidly grew into various roles at the organization: she was promoted to Coordinator, to Director of Operations, and finally, in 2015, to Executive Director. The Board of Directors saw tremendous potential in Caro and placed her in the top leadership position of the organization when she was 24. Under her leadership, Apathy is Boring has reached and supported millions of young Canadians so they can access resources, develop skills and build networks to deepen their impact on their country. Today the organization is in excellent health, with a team of 22 employees across seven regional offices and a budget that has increased twelve-fold. These results reflect Caro’s keen strategic eye, her ability to rally support for her ideas, and the ease with which she builds meaningful relationships with those around her.
"I joined Apathy is Boring as an intern at the age of 23, and then took on the leadership role of this pan-Canadian non-profit at 24. The past seven years have been life-changing. I’ve seen how youth, when supported by one another and equipped with tools, can take charge of the conditions they live in and build a better future. While I’ve decided to leave the organization to deepen my learning at Oxford University this fall, I am forever grateful for this community and the work being done. I want to thank the staff team for pushing me to be a better leader at every turn, and the board for having had the courage of their conviction to put a young person in a position of leadership, and for having given me that trust."
Caro Loutfi, Executive Director
“On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Caro Loutfi for her tremendous work and leadership over the last five years. Her enthusiasm and sense of possibility have inspired us, reinforcing our belief that we can strengthen Canada’s democracy at a meaningful scale."
Niamh Leonard, Chair of the Board of Directors
Looking to the future, the Board of Directors has engaged KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) to assist in finding Apathy is Boring's next Executive Director. Through a rigorous consultation process with staff, and partners, KCI will help identify the right leader for this next phase of our development.
Sylvie Battisti from KCI’s Search Team is leading this recruitment assignment. The profile for the Executive Director position is posted on our Careers page. Enquiries and applications should be directed to Ms. Battisti ([email protected]).
REMEMBERING KENNY CANTRILL
Friday, May 1, 2020
It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of Kenny Cantrill, age 32, one of Apathy is Boring’s Rise Alumni, who passed away on April 23rd, 2020.
Kenny had a remarkable life, one which he was not ashamed to say had challenges. But he was also driven by a determination to do good and to support others to learn from his own journey. His personal motto was to encourage those around him to think about the “B.P.O.: the Best Possible Outcome”.
Kenny joined Apathy is Boring’s Rise program shortly after being released from almost a decade in jail. Once out, Kenny was committed to lowering recidivism and learning about how to contribute meaningfully to his community and support his peers.
In Kenny’s own words: “Apathy is Boring changed my life, expanded my intentions and blew my purpose to new proportions. After A is B, I started working at a non-profit where I helped over 100 incarcerated people get out of jail and into treatment, became a certified Personal Trainer, and launched a podcast. […] This year before starting my social work diploma I founded a grassroots organization compiled of over 50 engaged volunteers who come from similar adversities, who care and want to give back. It’s a small movement of change and reform. We call ourselves Redemption Icon. Showing up as a small army of icons, we are healing our own trauma and changing lives by ending stigmas and providing hope and value. And my most prized accomplishment was a trip out to Banff, Alberta where I spoke amongst some of the world’s finest academics at the National Prison Abolition Conference. I was the only person there to share a lived experience. Today I am living my dream, and empowering others to do the same.”
Even while pursuing this dream, Kenny’s challenges continued, but his contributions to his community remain. While he is no longer with us, he lit the path for a way forward to see his vision through.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Kenny’s family and friends, particularly to his children, as well as all those who are touched by his loss, including Apathy is Boring Staff, RISE alumni and current ambassadors who knew Kenny, as well as the Redemption Icon community and the Life on Life’s Terms Podcast community.
As our community and those who knew Kenny are grieving his passing in their own ways during this time of social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Apathy is Boring wants to encourage you to seek mental health resources if you need them. Here is a free service: text HOME to 741741 to access a counsellor through Crisis Text Line.
REMEMBERING MOHAMMAD ASADI-LARI
Monday, January 18, 2020
It is with heavy hearts that we share the loss of one of Apathy is Boring’s board members, Mohammad Asadi-Lari, age 23, and his sister Zeynab Asadi-Lari, age 21, who were on Ukraine International Airlines flight 752.
“Curious, passionate and thoughtful, Mohammad embodied the very spirit of engaged citizenship that Apathy is Boring seeks to inspire across Canada. He was passionate about engaging young people in a diversity of decision-making spaces, from science, to innovation, and to policy. Beyond his brilliance, he always sought to elevate those around him with generosity and kindness. His legacy will live on through the many people he touched.”
Niamh Leonard, Chair of the Board of Directors, Apathy is Boring
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mohammad and Zeynab’s family and friends, as well as all those who are touched by their loss, including the Toronto Global Shapers Hub, the youth advisory group for the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the STEM fellowship community, the students at the University of Toronto and many others. We would also like to send our love and support to all those impacted by this tragedy, particularly to the families and friends of the 176 passengers on board the flight and the Iranian community.
In Mohammad’s own words: “I am a firm believer in the potential for youth to make an impact not only in their communities, but also on broader policy decisions that will ultimately affect “their” futures. That is why I am determined to work harder on the issues I care about!”
Mohammad’s memory will accompany us in our every step as we continue the daily work of supporting young people across Canada.
Caro Loutfi, Executive Director
Niamh Leonard, Chair of the Board of Directors
Jean-Pierre Kingsley, President of the Council of Advisors