Lesra Martin Student Changemaker Award

Established in 2020, the award is premised on the understanding that access to education is the key to legal, legislative, and social change to improve Black lives. Recipients are those who effect change for Black lives using creative and innovative scholarship and/or co-curricular activity.


The approximate value is expected to be $1,000.


To be eligible to apply, applicants:

  • – must be Innis College undergraduate students registered in the 2023-2024 Fall/Winter Session;
  • – must be have an academic status of “In Good Standing” (CGPA of 1.5+);
  • – can be either a returning or a graduating student;
  • – can be either a domestic or international student.

The same student(s) cannot receive the award in multiple years. Strong preference will be given to Black student applicants. Sustained changemaker activity by upper year students will be ranked above activity of outstanding first year students.

How to Apply

The application is available online, and must be completed by logging into your UTmail+ account. For the 2023-2024 application cycle, the deadline to apply is 18 March 2024 at 11:59pm EDT.

Application Components

Three components are required to be considered for this award:

1) A submission of work that demonstrates effecting change for Black lives through substantial creative and innovative scholarship (e.g., scholarship could include digital social media projects, academic submissions, artistic installations, music compositions, and films) and/or co-curricular activity (e.g., co-curricular activity could be the formation of a club, student programming initiatives, and/or equity and outreach efforts);

2) A brief statement or introductory video on what you believe stands out in your profile or application. This statement will help guide the adjudication committee through an application that could be artistic or academic or extracurricular or some combination of all three;

3) A resume or CV.

Awarding Body

The award body is the Innis College Council. A committee comprised of the Principal of Innis College, a demonstrably invested Innis student (who could be a student on Innis College Council), and one or two invested alumni of the College will adjudicate submissions and make a recommendation to the Recruitment, Admissions and Awards Committee of Innis College Council.


Students can expect to hear results by June. For returning students, the award will be paid out in September after registration for the 2024-2025 Fall/Winter Session is confirmed. For graduating students, the award will be paid immediately. Awards are paid directly to outstanding fees first. If there is a credit remaining on your ACORN account, these funds will be directed to you. Please ensure that you have added direct deposit in ACORN. If you do not have direct deposit set up, update your mailing address on ACORN, as award cheques will be mailed to that address.


Questions can be directed to the Innis College Registrar’s Office by phone at 416-978-2513 or by email at registrar.innis@utoronto.ca.

Apply Here!