Grad student wins Soroptimist Foundation grant for women

York PhD student Jill Andrew in the Faculty of Education was one of four women across Canada to receive the Soroptimist Foundation of Canada’s annual grant for women to help fund her postgraduate studies.

The $7,500 grants are awarded to women studying for careers that will improve the quality of women’s lives. Andrew (BA Hons. ’02, BEd ’03) is currently working on her dissertation, titled “Abject in the City? Stories of Female Corporeality from the Margins,” which focusses on female JillAndrewbody images, personal narratives both in-person and online, body (re)presentations in popular culture and body activisms as resistances against controlling images and socially dominant normalized body ideals.

Jill Andrew

“I am very thankful to this organization and still on cloud 10 about being selected out of some 400-plus reported hopefuls for this distinction. The Soroptimist Foundation of Canada Grant Award sends a strong message to academic institutions and to graduate students like myself,” says Andrew. “They support and will recognize our work as we aspire to help create better lives through outstanding research and activism for women and girls in Canada. I am utterly excited to be in such fine company as Soroptimist and my fellow graduate grant award recipients.”

Within her dissertation, Andrew will explore various topics, including “Fat in the City: Monologues (and narratives) of Corpulent Proportions,” which will document fashion/dress/consumer/blogging and blog discourse experiences of some fat women in Canada, and “Bleached in the City: Erasing Darkness,” an exploration of the socio-cultural, economic, raced and gendered experience of some black female “bleachers” (those who have bleached their skin or thought about doing so) in Canada.

She will also examine where, how and with whom female “marginalized” bodies construct and negotiate identity and belonging as a strategy to help find and execute their oppositional gazes.

Andrew, who says she identifies as a black feminist and fat activist, is curious as to how some females create and sustain spaces within a society in which, all too often she believes, too much “fat” and too much “black” are either fetishized or produce feelings of fear, disgust and disavowal for many.

In addition, Andrew is founder/director of BITE ME! Toronto International Body Image Film & Arts Festival, Curvy Catwalk Fashion Fundraiser and co-founder of Fat in the City, a fashion, news and lifestyle blog.

In 2010, she was one of 120 women from across Canada handpicked by the office of the former Governor General Michaëlle Jean to participate in the first ever Governor General Women’s Conference, Together for Women’s Security.

For more information about the grant or Andrew, visit the Soroptimist Foundation website.

Celebration of community projects by 20 youth in GTA next weekend

A symposium this Saturday will celebrate community projects designed and executed by 20 youth in the GTA as part of Engaging Girls, Changing Communities (EGCC) – a community-based research project out of York’s Faculty of Education.

The symposium, hosted by EGCC in collaboration with Working Women Community Centre, will bring together girls, young women and a network of researchers, public school professionals and youth-serving organizations to celebrate 13 unique Nombuso Dlaminipeer led projects and to share youth experiences. It will take place Saturday, July 6, from 11am to 2pm, at Metro Hall, 55 John St. in Toronto.

Nombuso Dlamini

Over the past six months, young girls have taken leadership roles, engaged in their community and skillfully developed and executed projects, which have benefited many other girls their age. The event will celebrate and further highlight the importance for girls to nurture and implement their own community-based initiatives at an early age.

EGCC investigates how young women and girls engage in leadership and civic activities in new urban environments. The project brings together researchers and community members along with the young women to define leadership, on their own terms.

EGCC symposiumIt is led by Professor Nombuso Dlamini of York’s Faculty of Education, the inaugural Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment. Dlamini is the author of Youth and Identity Politics (University of Toronto Press, 2005) and the editor of New Directions in African Education (University of Calgary Press, 2008).

The project’s co-applicants, Professor Joy Mannette of York University, Njoki Wane of the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and Yvette Daniel of the University of Windsor, in addition to MPs and city councilors, will also be in attendance.

This research is supported by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada.

RSVP to Flavia Genovese at or ext. 44562.

More information on the project, visit the Jean Augustine Chair in Education in the New Urban Environment website or visit the EGCC Facebook page.

High school students march to beat of higher education

On June 14, more than 200 graduates from three local high schools participated in the Walk with Excellence parade celebrating academic success, thirst for learning and inclusive access to postsecondary education.

With principals, teachers and community members cheering them on, graduates from C. W. Jeffreys Collegiate Institute, Westview Centennial Secondary and Downsview Secondary School walked along Sentinel Road to a reception in York University’s TEL Building.

This student achievement celebration was a demonstration of York’s partnership with the community and schools, and Walk of Excellenceserved as a warm welcome to high school graduates from the nearby Toronto’s Jane/Finch neighbourhood. It was also an opportunity to provide graduating students an experience with the University environment.

Students mingle at York University following their march

The youth marched wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “We’re In The Know”, the title of a poem by George Elliott Clarke, City of Toronto’s Poet Laureate 2013, and sporting commemorative Walk with Excellence medallions.

They not only had an opportunity to experience York University and its campus, but also had the chance to commemorate their successful high school journeys within a University setting that champions post-secondary pathways.

The Walk with Excellence event was collaboratively organized by Educational Attainment West, Success Beyond Limits, Toronto District School Board, CUPE, Pattie Palace, Festival Management Committee, PEACH and the York Centre for Education & Community.

InVISIBILITY: Indigenous in the City — a celebration of urban Aboriginal art, voices, stories

Members of the urban Aboriginal community, including students, parents and teachers from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will gather at Macdonald block Thursday, June 27 to invite politicians, administrators, policymakers and the public to see, listen and participate in conversations with the Aboriginal community.

It is part of inVISIBILITY: Indigenous in the City, a knowledge mobilization project directed by Professor Susan Dion Invisibilityof York’s Faculty of Education, a national expert in urban Aboriginal education, which includes Carla Rice, Anna Hudson, Tanya Senk and Hannah Fowlie, and is funded by the Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada.

The project, in addition to being a  celebration of urban Aboriginal presence, its diversities and complexities, strives to create an indigenous space where urban Aboriginal peoples represent themselves, tell their own stories and invite people to attend, listen and converse.

“I’ve been attending Aboriginal art exhibits, film festival and celebrations in Toronto for years and I love meeting friends, family and Aboriginal colleagues at these events,” says Dion. “As an Aboriginal educator, I go to meetings with people who make policies that impact the lives of Aboriginal people, yet I rarely see these people at our events. I wanted an event that would bring communities together.”

inVISIBILITY: Indigenous in the City is that event. “As indigenous people we always represented ourselves, told our own stories and shared our teachings,” says Dion. “However, up until recently most non-indigenous people have not had much interest in seeing and hearing our experiences and perspectives. I think that’s changing, I think people want to know us.”

In collaboration with the TDSB Aboriginal Education Centre staff, Dion, Rice and Hudson have brought together a thought provoking and exquisite collection of visual art, performance video and digital stories, along with a speaker series that provides the public with multiple opportunities to come together, engage with content and have conversations.

Attend the opening reception at the John B. Aird Gallery, 900 Bay St. (at Wellesley) in Toronto June 27, from 5 to 8pm. Meet the artists and storytellers and experience Aboriginal visibility.

The art exhibition and speaker series will take place at the gallery, Monday to Friday, from 10am to 6pm. It will feature the work of five Aboriginal artists who address questions of urban Aboriginal identity and education. The exhibition includes a series of digital stories created by Aboriginal students, parents and teachers from TDSB.

The artists will include Jeff Thomas, an urban-Iroquois and self-taught photo-based artist; Vanessa Dion Fletcher, a Potawatomi/Lenape working in performance, video, printmaking and beading artist; Beth Kotierk, an Inuk born in Nunavut working in painting, installation, video and performance art; Nigit’Stil Norbert, a Gwichin/Irish/Russian from Yellowknife working in stop-motion, photography, beading and installion; and Walter Kahero:ton Scott, a Mohawk from Kahnawake working in print, video, sculpture and comic books.

Upcoming Speaker series:

June 28, from 4:30 to 6:30pm – artist talks

July 4, from 4:30 to 6:30pm – digital story screening with student, parent and teacher storytellers

July 11, from 4:30 to 6:30pm – film screening and discussion
July 18, from 2:30 to 4:30pm – guest lectures by Verna St. Denis and Jan Hare.

For more information about the gallery, contact Dale Barett at and for the inVISIBILITY Project, contact Susan Dion at

New report says 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness each year

a homeless youth

The Canadian Homelessness Research Network (Homeless Hub) and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness released the first extensive Canadian report card on homelessness called State of Homelessness in Canada: 2013 today in Toronto.

Highlights of the report include:

  • 200,000 different Canadians experience homelessness each year, with as many as 1.3 million experiencing homelessness in the last five years;
  • 30,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night;
      • 2,880 unsheltered (outside in cars, parks, on the street)
      • 14,400 staying in Emergency Homelessness Shelters
      • 7,350 staying in Violence Against Women Shelters
      • 4,464 provisionally accommodated (homeless but in hospitals, prison or interim housing)
  • for most homelessness is a very short, one time experience but between 4,000 to 8,000 are chronically homeless (long-term homeless) and 6,000 to 22,000 are episodically homeless (experience repeated episodes of homelessness over a lifetime);
  • chronic and episodically homeless people (less than 15 per cent of the total) take up more than 50% of the emergency shelter space in Canada; and,
  • homelessness costs the Canadian economy $7.05 billion per year.

“The State of Homelessness provides a starting point to inform the development of a consistent, evidence-based approach towards ending homelessness.” says York University Professor Stephen Gaetz, director of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network. “Our goal in developing this report was to both assess the breadth of the problem and to develop a methodology for national measurement”.

“The State of Homelessness also highlights where there has been some meaningful progress in Canada that proves homelessness is not an intractable problem,” added Tim Richter, president & CEO of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. “Homelessness can be solved and we have some excellent Canadian examples to follow.”

Among the examples of progress cited in the report are:

  • Vancouver’s 66 per cent reduction in street homelessness since 2008
  • Edmonton’s 30 per cent reduction in overall homelessness since 2008
  • Toronto’s 51 per cent decrease in street homelessness since 2006
  • Alberta’s provincial plan to end homelessness and the 16 per cent province-wide reduction since 2008
  • Fredericton, New Brunswick’s 30 per cent reduction in emergency shelter use
  • The Mental Health Commission of Canada At Home/Chez Soi Housing First project in five Canadian cities
  • Renewal of the federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy, refocused on Housing First

The State of Homelessness also offers six recommendations including:

  1. Communities should develop and implement clear plans to end homelessness, supported by all levels of government.
  2. All levels of government must work to increase the supply of affordable housing.
  3. Communities – and all levels of government – should embrace Housing First.
  4. Eliminating chronic and episodic homelessness should be prioritized.
  5. Ending Aboriginal Homelessness should be prioritized as both a distinct category of action and part of the overall strategy to end homelessness.
  6. Introduce more comprehensive data collection, performance monitoring, analysis and research.

The Canadian Homelessness Research Network (Homeless Hub) at York University is dedicated to mobilizing research evidence to have a bigger impact on solutions to homelessness in Canada.

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness has been formed to create a national movement to end homelessness in Canada from the community up.

Teachers can shape how young people see the world, says activist

Everything in the world disappears – buildings crumble, pyramids get covered with sands of time, markets go up and down in financial worlds. In fact, perhaps the only true legacy in this world is “how you shape how one young person looks at this world”, said Craig Kielburger Friday during Spring Convocation. “The only thing truly lasting is to teach a child.”


Kielburger received an honorary doctor of laws degree from York during the Faculty of Education convocation ceremony for his work with the non-profit organization Free the Children, which he co-founded at the age of 12.

Craig Kielburger

“I believe you have sought extraordinary noble work,” he told graduands. “In our work, we seek to build schools, providing education to children around the world, and I believe there is no greater gift than the gift you will be providing to countless young people in this province, in this country, and perhaps at an international level.”

Few children have the privilege to gain an education. About 113 million children between the ages of five and 11 have never once stepped foot into a classroom, have never once received that opportunity, said Kielburger, who is the youngest ever graduate of the Schulich Kellogg Executive MBA Program from York’s Schulich School of Business. “The vast majority of who are girls.”

Free the Children works in “war zones where former child soldiers in Sierra Leone sit next to children who are orphaned”. In Haiti after the earthquake, schools collapsed, but children continued to study under trees. In places like East Africa, kids will walk four, five, six hours each way for the opportunity, the privilege they realize, to receive an education.

“In my travels around the world, when I ask the children if they could have anything in the world, what would it be? And most often it is the chance to go to school,” he said. “It was a teacher who changed my life. You’ve picked a difficult profession, you’ve picked a challenging profession, and you’ve picked an extraordinary profession.”


Kielburger told the graduating class that after reading a Toronto Star article about a boy, at the time, his own age who was murdered for trying to make a difference in Pakistan, he asked his teacher if he could give a talk to the class about it.

“In that one moment that teacher made a decision that forever changed the course of my life[…] He could have easily have looked at me and said, ‘not today, we’re late. We’re running behind schedule, we have to prep for those standardized tests’. But instead, he realized that yes, education is about reading, writing, arithmetic, it’s about the three Rs, but it’s also about compassion, courage and community; It’s also about the three Cs. He said we have to educate the mind, but we also have to educate the heart.”

And in that moment, one teacher changed the direction of the life of one student who went on co-found the world’s largest network of children helping children through education. It is now the leading youth-driven charity with 1.7 million young people involved in all of its programs. It works in eight developing countries providing education, health care, food security, clean water and alternative income programs. It has built more than 650 schools and school rooms.

He also co-founded Leaders Today, an organization that annually provided 350,000 young people with important leadership skills through a unique local and international training program. He is also the author of the book, Free the Children, which won the Christopher Book Award and was translated into eight languages. With his brother Marc he also wrote Take Action! – A Guide to Active Citizenship, Take More Action, and From Me to We, books that encourage people to create a better world through volunteerism and social involvement.

Kielburger has won many prestigious awards, including the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award and the World Economic Forum GLT Award, but he never forgot that one teacher that changed his life. He told graduands, “You’ve picked a difficult profession, you’ve picked a challenging profession, and you’ve picked an extraordinary profession.”

A teacher is someone who has chosen to accept a most noble calling, says hon doc

MaryAnnChambers2What is a teacher? That was the question posed by Mary Anne Chambers in the inspirational speech she gave York’s Faculty of Education graduands after she received an honorary doctor of laws degree at the Spring Convocation ceremony Friday morning.

Chambers was recognized for her community leadership and her long history of advocating for children and youth, particularly those who have been marginalized within our social and educational systems.

According to Chambers, a job description couldn’t possibly capture what is expected of a teacher, so she answered her own question by providing numerous examples of teachers she has been touched by, who have gone above and beyond their basic job requirements to make a positive impact on the lives of their students.

She spoke of teachers at the Brookside Youth Centre – a correctional facility in Cobourg, Ont. – who compress their curriculum and partner with local tradespeople to ensure that youth leave with at least one new high school credit in addition to marketable skills. “The ultimate objective is that the youth leave the centre better equipped to succeed in the real world,” said Chambers to the graduating class.

She mentioned the teacher who kindly waited with her granddaughters when she was a few minutes late picking them up from cross country practice, and a principal who acted as a confidant and counsellor to a student who went through a traumatic personal event and didn’t feel comfortable speaking to anyone else about it. “I hope today’s graduands will have the wisdom to recognize that sometimes their students might need additional help in order to be successful, help that might not be available in their classroom.”

Chambers spoke of her daughter-in-law who teaches outdoor education at a high school, and how she was approached by a parent of one of the more challenging students who said that her programming had resulted in extremely positive changes in his formerly unmotivated and uninspired son. She spoke of some missed opportunities, too, when additional student assistance could have been available for struggling students if only the teacher had acknowledged the need and requested the resources.

“Will you be willing to reach out and to find a way to be a partner and a mediator, or perhaps even a consultant or coach, for your students, so that together you can provide the kind of support your students might need to be successful?” she asked.

To cap off her heartfelt speech, Chambers left York’s potential future educators with one final answer to her question and some last words of encouragement.

“If we exclude parenting from being classified as a profession, what other profession plays such a significant, impactful and pivotal role in the development of a human being?” she asked the audience. “I will suggest to you that a teacher is a very, very special person who has chosen not a job or an occupation, but someone – a professional – who has chosen to accept a most noble calling. And in return for accepting that calling, I wish each of you who are graduating today great joy as you experience the impact that you can have on the human beings whose lives you will touch.”

York research projects and grad students awarded over $19.5 million from SSHRC and partners

Five York-led research partnerships have received $14.3 million through the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Partnership Grants program, Partnership Development Grants program and partnership contributions from external research partners participating in the projects. In addition, more than $5.2 million was awarded to 145 York master’s and doctoral students to support scholarships and fellowships from SSHRC’s Talent Program.

StephenGaetzStephen Gaetz (right), professor and associate dean in the Faculty of Education, has received more than $2.5 million in funding over seven years to lead “Canadian Observatory on Homelessness”, with more than 27 researchers – including Professor Janet Mosher at Osgoode Hall Law School, Professor Valerie Preston in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) and Professor Stan Shapson in the Faculty of Education − and 29 partner organizations. The project, a non-partisan research and policy partnership, aims to evaluate current policy directions and programmatic approaches to preventing and reducing homelessness, address key policy questions, and support the development and implementation of effective and sustainable solutions to homelessness in communities across Canada. The goal is to mobilize research on homelessness so it has a greater impact on policy and practice, leading to more effective solutions to homelessness. The project, which will also receive more than $2.5 million in matching funding and contributions from partnering organizations, will leverage the collaborative, research and knowledge mobilization capacities of participating individuals and organizations.

ahudson__mediumAnna Hudson (left), professor in the Faculty of Fine Arts, has received more than $3.5 million over six years to lead a major project titled “Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage: a multi-media/multi-platform re-engagement of voice in visual art and performance”, with 10 researchers – including Professor Susan Dion in the Faculty of Education and Professor Angela Norwood from the Faculty of Fine Arts – and nine partner organizations. The goal of the project is to conduct collaborative research on the contribution of Inuit visual culture, art and performance to Inuit language preservation, social well-being and cultural identity. The project will address the current disconnect for Inuit today between orality – being the voice that defines the self in relation to others – and materiality – being the environment in which one lives well together through three primary objectives: access to advanced information and communication technologies, connection of Inuit voice to objects of Inuit cultural heritage and expanded creation of Inuit cultural capacity. It will receive an additional $1.9 million in matching funding and contributions from partnering organizations.

LeahVosko2Leah Vosko (right), Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender and Work and political science professor, LA&PS, has received more than $2 million in funding over five years to lead a major national project with 33 researchers – including Professor Mark Thomas in the Department of Sociology and Professor Eric Tucker at Osgoode Hall Law School − and 16 partner organizations. The project, titled “Closing the Enforcement Gap: Improving Employment Standards Protection for People in Precarious Jobs”, will examine the role of employment standards enforcement in ensuring minimum conditions in areas such as wages, working time, vacations and leaves for workers in precarious jobs in Ontario, characterized by job insecurity, low income and limited access to regulatory protection. The objectives of the project, which will receive more than an additional $1.3 million in matching funding and contributions from partnering organizations, are to map the nature and scope of employment standards violations and document enforcement practices to identify regulatory challenges and develop alternative models of enforcement that may be applied in Ontario and other jurisdictions within Canada and internationally.

“We are delighted by the results of these recent SSHRC competitions, enabling York to maintain our track record in leading the country in the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada’s large-scale awards competitions valued at $1 million or more,” said Robert Haché, York’s vice-president research and innovation. “The projects led by York Professors Stephen Gaetz, Anna Hudson and Leah Vosko enable our researchers to work together with research partners to address persistent, social and economic challenges facing our society today. It will also enable our researchers and graduate students to make important contributions to our country’s knowledge base.”

Two York researchers were also awarded more than $397,000 in SSHRC funding through the Partnership Development Grants program. The program encourages applicants to work collaboratively with partners to develop research in the social sciences and humanities. This funding will support partnerships between York researchers and Canadian and international universities, a charitable organization and an international association.

Gary Goodyear, federal minister of state for science and technology, announced the funding on Friday, May 31, at the launch of the annual Congress of the Humanities & Social Sciences.  In total, more than $63 million is being awarded over a period of seven years to support 78 research teams across the country through SSHRC’s Partnership Grants and Partnership Development Grants. An additional $104 million from SSHRC’s Talent Program will support more than 3,700 master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral scholarships and fellowships.

An analysis conducted by the Strategic & Institutional Research Initiatives Unit, in the Office of Research Services at York, revealed that between 2006 and 2013, York researchers received more SSHRC awards valued at $1 million or more than any other institution in Canada. SSHRC’s large-scale awards offered between 2001 and 2013 have included the Community-University Research Alliance (CURA), Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI), the Strategic Knowledge Clusters and the SSHRC Partnership Grants.

For a complete list of Partnership Grant and Partnership Development Grant awards, visit the SSHRC website.

Glendon hosts first symposium in a series dedicated to Ontario’s policy challenge

Mature Student

On May 23, York University’s Glendon College will host a symposium on education policy, the first of four events showcasing the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy. This program is endowed by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities and managed by the Council of Ontario Universities.

The Glendon symposium features two panels with  nine experts from diverse backgrounds discussing Ontario’s postsecondary education policy challenges. The first panel will see experts exploring how to improve the performance of postsecondary institutions and support student achievement, while the second panel will consider the specific educational needs of Ontario’s Aboriginal and Francophone communities. The event will include brief presentations, a question-and-answer session, speed mentoring sessions, poster presentations by graduate students, and a cocktail reception that will provide an opportunity for the audience to network with the experts and decision-makers.

The panellists participating in this event are:

Solange Belluz, the manager of the French- Language Continued Learning Unit in the French-Language Policy & Programs Branch serving the Ministries of Education and Training, Colleges & Universities in the Ontario government. Belluz was instrumental in the creation of several postsecondary education entities such the predecessor of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (OCAT), the College-University Consortium Council (CUCC)) and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO). In 2012, she led the secretariat that supported the expert panel on Access to French-Language Postsecondary Education in Central and Southwestern Ontario.  Belluz is an alumna of York University and has a masters in translation and an MBA.

Simona Chiose is the education editor at The Globe & Mail. She coordinates education coverage across the media company’s multiple platforms. Prior to this role, she was the arts editor at the newspaper. Chiose has a masters in political science from the University of Toronto and is currently completing a PhD in immigration policy making.

Scott Davies is a professor of sociology and Ontario Research Chair in Education Achievement and At-Risk Students at McMaster University. A sociologist of education, Davies is examining determinants and correlates of student achievement and the emergence of academic inequalities from preschool to postsecondary levels. He has won awards from the American Education Research Association and the Canadian Education Research Association.

Glen Jones is the Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement and a professor of higher education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His research focuses on higher education policy, governance, academic work and administration. He is a prolific contributor to the Canadian and international literature on higher education and a frequent public speaker and commentator on higher education issues. Jones received the research award from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education in 2001 and their Distinguished Member Award in 2011.

Normand Labrie is the scientific director of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et culture.  He has been active for many years at the European Commission as an international expert, as well as at the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie, as vice-president of the advisory committee on the situation of the French language and Francophones in North America, as well as the chair of the International Network of Observatories of French and National Languages. In 2007, he was granted the Medal of the Order of the Pléiade of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (Luxembourg) for his contribution to the development of Francophonie.

Brenda Macdougall  is currently the chair of Métis Research and an associate professor of geography at the University of Ottawa. She has worked extensively with Métis communities in Saskatchewan documenting the connections and relationships between family members as a lens to understanding both Métis society and culture. At the University of Ottawa, Macdougall is similarly engaging in Ontario-based  Métis historical and community research while continuing to pursue research associated with Great Plains-based Métis societies. In her role as research chair, she oversees a number of significant research grants each of which is focused on tracing  Métis family and, in turn, historical communities as she works to document the contours of a people.

Kenneth McRoberts is the principal of  York University’s Glendon College. First appointed on July 1, 1999, he is now serving a third five-year term. Before his appointment as principal, McRoberts was professor of political science in the Faculty of Arts at York University. He is the author of numerous books, journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics including Quebec politics, Canadian federalism and constitutional questions. He is the past-president of the Canadian Political Science Association, has received an honorary doctorate from Université Laval and has been made an Officer in the Palmes académiques by the government of France. From 2009 to 2011, Principal McRoberts was the President of the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne. In 2010, the Ontario government awarded him the Prix de la francophonie de l’Ontario.

Theresa Shanahan practiced law in Toronto before obtaining her doctorate in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She is associate professor in the Faculties of Education and Graduate Studies at York University and the former associate dean of research and professional development in the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include education law and policy, the political economy of postsecondary education, university governance (system and institutional decision-making), professional education/ governance/ethics, human rights and access and equity issues in education. She is currently involved in higher education policy research including the SSHRCC-funded project Making Policy in Postsecondary Education, 1990-2007 with colleagues Professors Paul Axelrod, Roopa Desai-Trilokekar and Richard Wellen.

Jennifer St. Germain has been working within Ontario’s Métis public service for more than 14 years. As the director of education and training for the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), she oversees responsibility for leadership development, partnership engagement and the implementation of innovative employment and education policy and program priorities for Métis across Ontario. She represents the MNO on numerous government tables and is a frequent speaker on Métis issues. She holds bachelor of arts degrees in history and political science from McMaster University and a master of arts in Canadian Studies from Carleton University.

Tackling Ontario’s Challenges takes place at Glendon College, 2275 Bayview Avenue in Toronto on May 23 from 1:30 to 6:30pm. It is free and open to the public, all are welcome. For more information, visit the Tackling Ontario’s Challenges website.

This series of symposia is part of the Ontario Research Chairs in Public Policy Program endowed by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The 2013 edition is organized by the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs and the Office of the Vice-President Research and Innovation on behalf of the Council of Ontario Universities.



Symposium looks at how formal education can produce contributing citizens

What do children and youth need to know to ensure they are responsible, active and contributing citizens? And how can formal education be reoriented to meet these goals? These questions and more will be addressed at a symposium on Monday.

The symposium, What’s Worth Knowing: Educating for Responsible Citizenship Symposium, will take place May 13 at the Central YMCA of Greater Toronto, 20 Grosvenor Street, Toronto. It’s hosted by Learning for a Sustainable Future, which is housed in York’s Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS), and has a strategic partnership with York University to deliver education programming.

It will bring together more than 140 senior decision makers from the education, government, business and non-profit sectors – as well as high school and postsecondary students – from across LSFCanada to raise awareness about challenges facing youth citizenship and identify strategies to promote positive action.

“Democracy relies on the active involvement of its citizens to address problems from local to global scales. Contemporary society is facing unprecedented environmental, social and economic challenges and yet people are engaging with these issues less and less,” says David Bell, chair of LSF, professor emeritus  and former dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York.

“This symposium will highlight the role of education in preparing young people to be literate in davidonleysustainability, to be knowledgeable citizens, participatory citizens; and agents for positive change.”

David Onley

It will build on the Ready or Not? Preparing Youth for 21st Century Responsible Citizenship round table discussions that were held in four cities across Canada – Toronto, Halifax, Edmonton and Winnipeg – between March 22 and May 1, 2012 in collaboration with Deloitte.

“The greatest declines in civic participation are occurring in younger generations, indicating that formal education is not adequately preparing young people to be empowered and engaged citizens” says LSF Executive Director Pamela Schwartzberg. “Students should be graduating equipped not DonnaCranfieldonly with the knowledge of political structures, but with the skills of engagement, gained through experience, and the desire to act as change agents. No other institution is better positioned than the education system to address the fundamental challenges we face.”

Donna Cansfield

Notable speakers will include: David C. Onley, lieutenant governor of Ontario; Minister Michael Coteau, Ontario minister of citizenship and immigration; Donna Cansfield, MPP Etobicoke Centre, chief government whip; Lynn Patterson, director of corporate responsibility, RBC; Ken Fredeen, general counsel, Deloitte; and Charles Hopkins, UNESCO chair, Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability.

A youth showcase of best practices in citizenship education will include students from the Headwaters Program in Guelph, Ontario, the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study at the MichaelCoteauOntario Institute of Studies in Education in Toronto, Ontario and Collège Durocher Saint-Lambert in Saint-Lambert, Quebec.

Michael Coteau

LSF is a Canadian charity founded in 1991 with the mission to promote, through education, the knowledge, skills, values, perspectives and practices essential to a sustainable future. LSF’s innovative programs and strategic partnerships are reshaping education policies towards fostering responsible citizens for the 21st century.

A full list of the day’s events can be found here.

For more information, visit the Learning for a Sustainable Future website.