Placement Update- Diasporic Genius Organization Research

Vision and Mission- The North Star

Empowering people to make real, positive change in their lives, their communities, and their cities.

Our mission is to empower the residents of Toronto to make real, positive changes in their lives, their communities and their city, by teaching and applying the power of the creative imagination and activating the hidden resource of diversity.

After our last field trip to Artscape Youngspace, I followed Ella’s suggestion and dropped by Diasporic Genius’s office in 401 Richmond building. Unfortunately it was Monday and a lot of their offices weren’t open, which I ended up paying a second visit by attending one of their event on Thursday. The workshop was called “Circles Not Walls- Creating Connections Across Boundaries”, which was a multicultural dialogue that’s meant to reconnect communities in the city. The two visits prior to me coming on board with DG gave me an insight of the work environment and a sense of organization culture, and last but not lease, it allows me to actually put a face to my name and build real connection with the future team that I’d be working with.

“After the trauma I’ve been carrying, this Story Circle and related programs have helped me to start to see in colour again!”

Testimonial from Anonymous Attendee of the Story Circle 

diasporic_genius_logo5 The organizational structure at DG is fairly organic. The founding artistic/project director, David Buchbinder is a JUNO award-wining trumpeter and bandleader. Roula Said stepped up last year from workshop facilitator to office administrator, who is also the director of her own mindful body movement studio called Om Laila. DG also has a steering committee and an advisory group that sit on top of the structure that oversee the overall operation and governance of the organization.

David was selected by Toronto Arts Foundation as the finalist of William Kilbourn Award for the Celebration of Toronto’s cultural life. Learn more about his career by clicking on-

[DG is not a registered charity, donation toward them will go through their umbrella organization called Tides Canada, which has a charitable status with CRA.]

Tides Canada Project LogoTides Canada is a parenting organization that provides a shared platform that accelerates change and impact. It empowers grass-root organizations and smaller social initiatives by helping them solicit fundings and collaborative opportunities.

Tides Canada Initiatives Society solicited $17,000 from the Metcalf Foundation to support the core operations of Diasporic Genius; Shadowland Theatre also raised $10,000 for DG.

Biennial Report 2012–2013. Retrieved February 10, 2017, from

Fundraising is one of the main goal and challenge especially for the year of 2017. Ontario Trillium Foundation awarded them a multi-year operating grant, which they are currently in the final year. DG was also granted a one year project funding for drum and singing workshop. Besides from known granting shown on the website, there is no annual report online anywhere for external researching purposes as they weren’t obligated or legally bounded to do so.

Diasporic Genius Shared Office-City Builder’s Lab (photo by Kyle Baptista)

DG shares office space with Park People in 401 Richmond City-Builder’s Lab(Centre for City Ecology).

Read more on Canadian music ecology- 

Bliss, Karen. “The Whole World in our land: Thanks to Canada’s multicultural mix, the global music scene here is flourishing,” Words & Music, vol 15, Spring 2008


circle not walls.jpg

Please RSVP to Roula Said at if you plan to attend! 

Location: The Tell (formerly Musideum), on the main floor of 401 Richmond

Time: Thursdays February 16, 7 to 9 pm


3 thoughts on “Placement Update- Diasporic Genius Organization Research

  1. I’m really impressed with your abilities to take initiatives and land your own placement in such a short period of time. The template and font of your blog are nice too! Maybe you could share with us more of your personal reflections as well as your observations on DG’s daily operations, program developments, etc. You can even conduct an interview with the founder of DG as your featured blog post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Karen,
      It’s great to have you as the very first comment on my blog, you go girl! I’ll definitely take that suggestion and have a sit-down with my AD, hopefully that post will be featured in the near future:) Stay tuned😊


  2. Wow its so great that you took that initiative and went in to try and find them! I’m so glad to hear that you went to the workshop and were able to put a face to the name, thats awesome! I would love to hear more about how the placement is going and hear more about your experience there!


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