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Brian Bronfman Family Foundation

 

The Brian Bronfman Family Foundation is a philanthropic organization focused on funding practical initiatives fostering increased harmony in society. President Brian Bronfman says the foundation operates on the unique mandate of supporting “applied peace.”

“We look at peace not as something merely symbolic or necessarily political, but as something that can be applied in a concrete manner for the improvement of our world and our lives. We look at [funding] initiatives that build bridges between cultures, prevent violence, increase empathy and emotional intelligence, and deal with conflict in a dynamic and empowering manner, such as through dialogue, mediation, and restorative justice.”

Over the years, the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation has funded organizations including Equitas, Ensemble for the Respect of Diversity, Leave Out Violence, and Institut Pacifique, where Bronfman himself worked for two years, founding the organization’s social mediation division. A goal for the upcoming year for the foundation is to look for additional worthwhile organizations working towards diversity and applied peace to add to its recipient base.

While most of the initiatives supported by the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation are undertaken by grassroots organizations based in Quebec, one of the foundation’s proudest accomplishments of the past year has been of a more international scope - working with the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative. “Not only did we give funding support for the Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative but we also encouraged them to take a bottom-up approach rather than a top-down one.” Bronfman explains that the foundation aided in the development of programs and preventative training to help children in impacted communities become more knowledgeable about what to do when faced with the circumstances of recruitment.

In 2009, the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation founded the Peace Grantmakers Network, a group of ten foundations and other partners with applied peace work on their agendas. “Our foundation recognizes that we will not have the impact we want working on our own, so we aim to do things collaboratively…to maximize our impact and create – in peace – a more recognizable area of philanthropy.”

Such collaboration is key. Bronfman says the network is always looking to make productive relationships, including its partnership with PREVNet, which has been ongoing for a few years.

Last year, PREVNet was asked to help oversee the two symposiums organized by the Peace Grantmakers Network. “We asked PREVNet to ensure that the content was worthwhile, to make sure that we really got the message out about what works and what doesn’t in bullying practices and prevention.”  The first symposium, "Creating Caring School Communities: Social Emotional Learning & Bullying Prevention" was held February 7, 2014 in Montreal and attended by over 200 education and health professionals. PREVNet Scientific Co-Director, Dr. Debra Pepler delivered a workshop entitled "Bullying Prevention: It's all about relationships". The organization's second symposium "Research Meets Practice: Effective Tools to Prevent Bullying" hosted at Concordia University on November 10, 2014 was also a resounding success. Over 200 school representatives and government ministers were in attendance for workshops and discussions focused on yielding solutions from cutting edge research and on-the-ground expertise in bullying prevention. PREVNet Scientific Co-Director Wendy Craig was there to deliver the opening keynote examining how relationships influence mental health and highlighting evidence-based tools which help foster the development of healthy relationships.

Moving forward, the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation and the Peace Grantmakers Network are looking to continue working closely with PREVNet. The Peace Grantmakers Network will be collaborating with the Quebec government’s Ministry of Education as well as the Jasmin Roy Foundation to develop bullying prevention training for schools over the next several years with the intention of ultimately reaching all schools in the province. PREVNet, Bronfman announces, will be on board with a primary role in content development. “The foundation has been excited to find ways to introduce people to PREVNet’s valuable research. The hope is that NGOs and our team will be working with PREVNet more in the future.”


Written by Anny Tang, Queen’s University on behalf of PREVNet
Special thanks to Brian Bronfman of the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation

For more information about the Brian Bronfman Family Foundation click here
For more information about the Peace Grantmakers Network click here

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