Participating in the Changemaker Program will enhance the annual #GetAjaxMoving campaign that increases awareness of transportation options and sustainable transportation

The Town’s Active Transportation Coordinator, Armi de Francia, was selected by 8-80 Cities as one of their twenty Ontario Community Changemaker grant winners. Armi was recognized as a young leader in Ajax for her innovative ideas to create a more equitable, healthy and engaged community, while enhancing mobility in public spaces.

Armi will receive a $5,000 microgrant and leadership development and training to execute the project, Centering Race, Gender, and Disability in Active Transportation. This project will be a part of the annual #GetAjaxMoving campaign, which will involve two significant activities expected to launch and activate in spring 2023. Over the next two years, #GetAjaxMoving will focus on leveraging community assets by consistent collaboration with community leaders.

The funds from the grant will be used to implement:

  • Women of Colour Bike Ride and Social: This activity will promote social inclusion and reduce barriers to biking among Black, Indigenous, people of colour and racialized residents ages 18+ who identify as women or those from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. The no-drop ride and social will improve access to legally required bike accessories and maintenance.
  • Driver Safety Campaign Centering Pedestrians with Disabilities Crossing Intersections: An idea that originally came from the Accessibility Advisory Committee, this activity improves civic engagement, encourages safe driving at intersections and raises awareness on considerations of pedestrians with disabilities. This campaign will be in collaboration with residents with disabilities and initiate the considerations of more crossing time at intersections and the ability to sense turning vehicles.

Armi will be partnering with BikePOC and the Women of Colour Durham Collective for these innovative initiatives, as well as the Town’s Communications Staff, the Accessibility Advisory Committee and Accessibility Coordinator, the Diversity and Inclusion Staff Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator.


“Increasing mobility options for residents cannot be achieved without addressing challenges created by structural racism, patriarchy and ableism. To address these challenges, it is important for municipalities to value and work with the leadership and strengths of communities while also addressing barriers to participation. The Ontario Community Changemakers Program will enable me to work with Women of Colour Durham Collective, BikePOC and local disability advocates to advance mobility equity in Ajax.” - Armi de Francia, Active Transportation Coordinator, Town of Ajax

“We are very pleased that Armi has been recognized and selected to implement her innovative ideas and further enhance the Town’s efforts to build an engaged community and improve mobility throughout public spaces. The upcoming work from Armi and the Town staff mentioned above, reaffirms the Town’s dedication and focus on the importance of spreading awareness on social inclusion and reducing barriers in active transportation.” - Shane Baker, CAO, Town of Ajax

Quick Facts

  • 8-80 Cities is a nonprofit organization committed to improving the quality of life for people in cities by bringing individuals together to enhance mobility and the public space.
  • The Ontario Community Changemakers Program is a leadership and microgrant program to support residents aged 19-35 with innovative ideas to activate public space, enhance civic engagement and foster social inclusion. The program runs with support from the Balsam Foundation.
  • 8-80 Cities received 70 strong applications this year and chose 20 changemakers to implement their unique ideas.
  • The changemakers will have 12 months to execute their ideas, and they will receive helpful training and capacity building from 8-80 Cities and various international public space experts.

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