Atkinson Field Notes

Learning in Action

Reflections, presentations and speeches by Atkinson’s Chief Executive Officer Colette Murphy and the rest of the Atkinson team.


16 Apr 20
In this first month of the crisis, we’ve been seeing organizers in lower-income communities do what they do best: amplifying the voices of people most affected by this crisis, and keeping them connected to each other. Read more >
20 Feb 20
“I wasn’t a failed DJ. I was pre-successful.” This is just one of the flashes of brilliance that made me a true fan of The Good Place, a wildly funny, philosophical sitcom about life, death, good, evil, redemption and frozen yogurt that premiered in 2016. The series finale aired late last month. Read more >
3 Jul 19
Is it possible to have a competitive economy that is also fair? This question was on my mind when I moderated a panel on economic democracy at the Progress Summit earlier this year. Economist Rocío Martínez-Sampere, sociologist Julia Posca and workers’ rights organizer Deena Ladd joined me for what turned out to be an inspiring economic myth-busting session. Read more >
17 Jan 19
Last fall, I was extremely lucky to have the opportunity to hear Gloria Steinem speak. In a panel discussion, she was asked about the challenge of right wing populism and the threat to social justice. Read more >
19 Dec 18
Almost four years ago, I became a member at Karma Co-op Food Store—a small, historic food co-op in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. The co-op began as a cost-effective way for the residents of the area to access high-quality, local, fair-trade, organic produce and health products in the early 70s, back when such things weren’t readily available at your local grocery store. Read more >
3 Dec 18
With the support of the Atkinson Foundation, Meg Ronson and I published a new paper called The Co-operative Opportunity: A Strategy for Small Business Succession in Ontario this fall. Our research pursued signs of massive generational change in this sector. Read more >
23 Feb 18
Thank you for inviting me to pick up the conversation where David Watson left off last night. Like UNISON Scotland, the Atkinson Foundation knows inequality is a political choice and not a natural condition. We look to leaders in every sector like David who have made the choice to get behind the people who are suffering the most from the politics of austerity. Read more >
22 Jan 18
The Atkinson Decent Work Fund is open and ready to hear from you. Since 2014, we have invested over $3 million in organizing communities to protect workers’ rights, create decent work, and share the benefits of public investment and economic growth more equitably. Read more >
25 Oct 17
On a unseasonably hot and sunny mid September morning, an Ontario-based group of community leaders travelled to Buffalo, New York. Our mission was to see first hand how organizers are building coalitions to support public policy advocacy for community benefits Read more >
12 Apr 17
A keynote delivered at the Cities Reducing Poverty Summit on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in Hamilton by Atkinson’s Colette Murphy. This event was convened by Vibrant Communities Canada and the City of Hamilton, and co-hosted by the Maytree Foundation and the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. Read more >
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