Increasing Racial Diversity in the Progressive Sector Strengthens Power, Enhances Strategy, and Fosters a Just, Equitable World Free from White Dominance.

What it is

Each year the Break Through Fellowship accepts a small cohort from across Canada. Over the course of nine months we support them to learn, obtain certifications, test new ideas, and execute digital skills and strategies into projects that support our clients.

Piloted in 2021, this is a nine-month, unionized, paid internship. Qualified BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) candidates will develop their talents in digital strategy while earning certifications in their areas of practice. These positions are focused on professional development to support fellows in breaking into the progressive sector. Grassriots commits to providing training, teaching, and support along with collaborative learning experiences for the fellow.

Current fellowship streams include digital marketing, development, and fundraising.

Fellowship Openings

Naming a Need for Greater Diversity in the progressive sector

Overwhelmingly, racialized workers are underpaid, undervalued, and are offered fewer opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive in their careers. This is especially true in the progressive sector – we are not exempt from the same racism and discrimination. It is one of the reasons why BIPOC workers are disproportionately underrepresented in these fields.

With the goal of diversifying the progressive sector, Grassriots decided to act.

Break Through Fellowship has 3 goals

the number 1

To break out exceptional digital talent that is working in the progressive sector, and;

the number 2

To support racialized workers in breaking down systemic barriers and accessing employment in the progressive sector;

the number 3

To break through the domination of white voices and support the sector in becoming more racially diverse.

How We Engage Our Clients

Having more racialized voices in digital and fundraising means a better industry. Our Fellows work alongside Grassriots staff to provide support with ongoing projects for selected pro bono clients. We matc Clients and their projects to the skill development priorities of our Fellows in order to give them relevant and meaningful work experience. In return, we ask for support in helping us further the objectives of our program by providing our candidates with professional references or career opportunities.

If you work at a union, charity, or nonprofit organization and would like to interview a fellow for a position you are trying to fill, please contact us here.


A unionized (term) position at Grassriots;

Full health and dental benefits on Day 1;

11 paid vacation days;

12 paid sick days;

Paid certification programs (as identified by the fellow and their mentor);

Ongoing mentorship from experienced Grassriots staff and other contacts within the industry, and;

Professional development opportunities including networking events and conferences, as relevant to the fellow’s area of practice.

The fellowship enabled me to sharpen my front-end web development skills. I built a web API (application programming interface) for a client. I also conducted a significant update to one of our major Engaging Network templates. And as the father of a toddler, I appreciate the flexibility and understanding of the team when it comes to balancing work and home life!

The Fellowship Program changed my life. I participated in training and shadowing sessions, and received support as I polished and developed my skills. I was also able to study subjects that interested me, which provided me with more opportunities to grow. After six months, I was offered a full-time position at Grassriots.