The Samuel Family Foundation is dedicated to helping people improve their lives and reinforce their commitment to family, community and society. We focus our efforts on building and developing successful communities by increasing access to education, health and employment opportunities for everyone through:
- Increased awareness and understanding
- Supporting and learning from community-based strategies
- Demonstrating innovative processes
- Supporting actions leading to sustained solutions that build and deepen social connectedness
About The Foundation
From the earliest days of the Samuel family business, social responsibility has directly shaped every aspect of our enterprise. Based on his philosophy of giving back and improving our community, third-generation owner Sigmund Samuel was responsible for developing the Canadiana Collection at the Royal Ontario Museum and the undergraduate library at the University of Toronto. Building on this tradition, the Samuel Family Foundation was established by fourth-generation owners Ernest and Elizabeth Samuel in 1993, with a focus on the arts, education, and healthcare, which included support for the Royal Ontario Museum and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.
Under the current leadership of President and Chair, Kim Samuel, the Foundation’s mandate has expanded to include poverty eradication, human rights, climate change, youth and older people’s empowerment, and universal design. The Samuel Family Foundation also works closely with several key partners and collaborators on its Social Connectedness Program. Designed to overcome social isolation and create a greater sense of community, this core Samuel Family Foundation initiative focuses on grassroots knowledge and programs to build caring communities and advocate for inclusive policy change.
As part of the Social Connectedness Program, the Foundation has convened three Global Symposia on Overcoming Social Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness in partnership with the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness. The most recent 2019 Global Symposium was held in Toronto, Canada, and brought together 150 community activists, policymakers, researchers and youth from across Canada, and the world. Together, participants outlined new strategies for building belonging, and explored how organizations and individuals can work to strengthen human connections and build resilient communities of the future - ones in which we all belong.
News And Updates
As a proud partner of the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness, the Samuel Family Foundation is thrilled to welcome the new 2021 cohort of Social Connectedness Fellows.
The Social Connectedness Fellowship empowers students and recent graduates to carry out innovative research to inspire local and global action to build community and belonging.
From May-August, Fellows alongside their partner organizations, will conduct research to address issues relating to social isolation and belonging. They will connect with experts in their field as well as communities who can inform their research, engage virtually and creatively with the communities their research is designed to serve, and recommend program and policy areas to help foster connectedness and build belonging.
Welcome 2021 Social Connectedness Fellows! To learn more about the Fellows and their research projects, please click here.
The Samuel Family Foundation is also a proud partner of the Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness Symposium on Overcoming Isolation and Deepening Social Connectedness. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Symposium has been delayed to the Fall of 2022 in order to safely gather in-person.
The Samuel Family Foundation is a proud partner of the following organizations: