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.


4 Mar 22
It’s been exactly 152 days since Canada marked its first National Truth and Reconciliation Day. I’m among those who experienced the ringing of the opening bell by Tabatha Bull at the Toronto Stock Exchange as a sign of real progress. But I am also among those who want to use our investor power to make sure history does not record it as yet another symbolic gesture. 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 >
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 >
29 Oct 20
I’m pleased to be here with you on the traditional territories of many nations – Anishnabek, Mississaugas of the Credit and Haudenosaunee Confederacy – and home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit people today. It’s an honour to be in conversation with Ruth, Paulette, Peter, Paul and André — all of whom inspire me to risk more for racial justice. 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 >
18 Mar 19
When I am asked how I first became interested in social justice, I share my memory of being 10 years old and tagging along with my parents to community meetings. Born and raised in Montréal to Afro-Peruvian parents with little family in Canada, I went where they went; to someone’s living room or community centre. Read more >
1 Nov 17
I was a kid who loved the weekend comics but who never quite became a comic book nerd. I discovered Chester Brown's now acclaimed graphic novel on Louis Riel while in university. It was a revelation to me to see such serious information delivered in an entertaining and sensitive way. While the playful illustrations pulled me in Read more >
12 Aug 16
Last month I travelled to Buffalo for a conference that brought together community organizers, advocates and academics to talk about strategies for a people and planet-centre economy. Buffalo, only two hours south of my home in Toronto, is making an ambitious comeback after a long economic decline. Read more >
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