Atkinson Field Notes

Learning in Action

News, presentations and reflections from Atkinson’s Chief Executive Officer Colette Murphy and the rest of the Atkinson team.

2 May 24
I appreciate this opportunity to think aloud with you about this day and the way ahead. Since leaving home early yesterday morning, I’ve been thinking about expectations – mine, yours and ours. I expected to have a long day of travel with a transfer in Vancouver on Wednesday. That flight was delayed and I ended up on a direct flight to Victoria... Read more >
2 Feb 24
The reality of Ed Broadbent’s death is sinking in slowly. He seemed ageless and invincible at 87. A much respected main character in the story of this country – and in the lives of many individuals and communities with whom he made common cause. Atkinson was one of the organizations with whom Ed collaborated over several decades to advance a broad, shared vision... Read more >
30 Oct 23
It’s good to be with you today to talk about the cities we deserve and to celebrate the people who build them – people just like you – who get up every morning (even on Saturdays) ready to do this essential civic labour. And it does take all of us – residents throughout the GTHA, elected officials and public servants, trade unionists and workforce developers... Read more >
1 May 23
“We’ve lost a giant,” wrote Pedro Barata on the day after we learned that Dr. Charles Pascal had died suddenly. “Charles was relentless. He leaves us such a rich legacy of progressive policies and strong organizations pushing for social justice. So many of us benefited from Charles’ wisdom, time and belief.” Ever since I heard the news last Monday... Read more >
14 Apr 23
After five years at Atkinson, I’m leaving to become Councillor Ausma Malik’s Chief of Staff at Toronto City Hall. Ausma and her entire team share a belief that the city can be more equitable and livable – one of many things we hold in common with voters in Spadina-Fort York. In making the move from social justice philanthropy to municipal politics... Read more >
21 Dec 22
The Atkinson Foundation turned 80 this year. We arrived at the threshold of a new decade quietly, in stark contrast to the boisterous celebration of our 75th anniversary at 1 Yonge Street, in the space that once housed the Toronto Star’s printing presses. In  October, Atkinson’s Board and staff members raised their glasses to Joseph Atkinson and Elmina Elliott... Read more >
19 Dec 22
The Toronto Community Benefits Network (TCBN) has won the Atkinson Good Fight Prize for its campaign to put equity at the centre of Ontario’s infrastructure development process. This $80,000 award was given to mark our 80th anniversary. Read more >
21 Oct 22
The exorbitant price we pay for inequality is rising faster than the current rate of inflation these days. When I first heard the logic of inflation many years ago, it sounded like a naturally occurring phenomenon like gravity and tides. I soon discovered that the cost of essential goods and services, and the cost of borrowing money... Read more >
5 Jul 22
“Musicians are the original gig workers. Same as Uber drivers and food delivery workers. I realized we’re in the same fight.” Rollie Pemberton (aka Cadence Weapon) said this in response to a question about artists as workers at a public reading of his new book, Bedroom Rapper.  Read more >
27 May 22
My life feels suspended in a whirlwind of change, opportunity, and unlimited possibilities. Now more than ever, I’m convinced of our ability to garner collective power for good. Growing up in east Scarborough, I’ve always found myself drawn to examining overarching systems of oppression and their long-lasting effects on various communities. Read more >
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