Towards Collaboration and Growth: Productive Dialogue in a Polarized World 

In the context of our increasingly polarized world, including growing Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and Anti-Arab and Anti-Palestinian hate in Canada and the recent increase in violence in Israel and Palestine, PFC has engaged experts to support the development of a member-driven initiative. It aims to increase understanding and collaboration in the Canadian philanthropic community.

The experts are assisting us in helping our network generate ideas, practical solutions, and useful resources to navigate difficult conversations and a way forward. The goal is to facilitate learning, expression, and compassionate listening to diverse perspectives with care and humility.


Whether you are new to the topics or have existing experience, knowledge, or expertise, we welcome engagement from individuals across the network to come together in the spirit of openness and dialogue. 

This initiative does not seek to change minds, debate, or tone police. The intention is to nurture learning and help us practice how to engage with one another in our own communities and contexts, when we disagree – and when we’re experiencing high tension and polarization – so that we can foster understanding and generate ideas and solutions towards moving forward together.

Participation will provide the opportunity to:

  • Engage with diverse narratives and viewpoints from Palestinian, Israeli, Muslim, Jewish and other perspectives.
  • Learn more about the impacts of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia on Canadians and Canadian philanthropy in the context of an increasingly polarized world. 
  • Foster deeper understanding and mutual respect.
  • Build and practice effective communication and conflict de-escalation strategies, enabling intense conversations to be constructive and meaningful. 
  • Contribute positively to workplace culture, sector dynamics, and philanthropic efforts.

Together, we can take meaningful steps towards bridging differences and promoting peacebuilding efforts and mutual understanding in our communities and beyond.

Phase 1

  • Engaged in consultation with PFC board, PFC members, and subject matter experts
  • Conducted a comprehensive needs assessment, comprised of key informant interviews and a PFC member survey
  • Curated relevant pedagogical resources about navigating conflict, with the support of Alicia Kuin, Mediator and Conflict Management Consultant 

Phase 2 

  • Information sessions – we have enlisted specialists in conflict resolution, law, neuroscience, and trauma and resiliency to offer learning opportunities and resources to PFC members and initiative partners. Sessions will be offered on the following topics: Polarization and Empathy, Human Rights and the Canadian Legal Landscape, and the Power of Storytelling in Fostering Connection.
  • Facilitated dialogue series – one 1 hour prep-session, and three 6 hours days of intentional dialogue facilitated by a team of experts for leadership of PFC members and initiative partners. The dialogue sessions will foster a safer environment to engage in meaningful discussions on the impact of polarization and discrimination, concerns about sector reactions and responses, aspirations for change, and the community’s collective role during this time.

Phase 3

In development

PFC is grateful for the engagement and financial support of our initiative partners