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.


23 Dec 21
This latest variant of COVID arrived like a sudden blizzard: disorienting, frightening and all-too-familiar. Since then, we’ve been madly pumping our brakes, keeping a cautious distance, and rapidly recalculating routes. Read more >
6 Sep 21
I’m standing on the shore of the great lake once known as Niigaani-gichigami at Point Petre, looking toward Soup Harbour where friends live. Their barn’s blue roof is barely visible against the summer sky. A flat limestone shelf stretches across the bay and suggests a footpath from one point to another. But things are not as they seem. Read more >
1 May 21
This pandemic continues to distort our sense of time. Scientists call it “temporal disintegration”. A feeling of living in the moment, day to day, unmoored from the past and unable to imagine the future. But also a feeling of living large, emboldened to act with moral purpose in the here and now. Read more >
22 Jan 21
Stay home is a simple message but not a simple choice. Without paid sick days, the decision to go to work sick or not be able to pay bills is one forced on far too many workers in Canada every day. Read more >
18 Dec 20
“The reckoning might be now.” In Colette's year-end letter, she thanks the people who are leading the way in this movement moment. Read more >
13 Jul 20
Essential workers and their families continue to bear the brunt of COVID-19 for little more than our gratitude. It should be no surprise that these workers are mostly Black, Indigenous and people of colour. Read more >
10 Jun 20
When I first joined the Atkinson Foundation in 2019, I wrote a field note entitled “I am where I need to be”. I’ve learned a lot from this small but mighty team on the importance of understanding how narrative plays such an intricate role in our lives and how it shapes the world we’re in. Read more >
22 May 20
Two tomatoes. Alongside onions, garlic, ginger and a handful of spices. That makes the base of most of my mom’s recipes. This has taken on new relevance for me because, like so many of us, I have been cooking at home more than ever before in the last two months. Read more >
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 >
9 Apr 20
I took this picture on a quick solo run through my neighbourhood a few days ago. Since the scope of the crisis became known, we’ve been moving at a lightning pace — powering through every emotion from surprise and excitement to anger and fear. But this sign slowed me down and helped me catch my breath. Read more >
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