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.

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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
2 Nov 18
It takes courage, patience, resilience and determination to start a new life as a stranger in a new country. I cannot talk about my journey to and within Canada without mentioning Bethlehem United Shelter. Read more >
11 Sep 18
In my first year of journalism school I was given an assignment to write about a great moment in Canadian journalism. I submitted an essay on how Joseph Atkinson paved the way for socially responsible journalism with the creation of what is known today as the Toronto Star. Read more >
19 Apr 16
“Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long,” advised Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “but it bends toward justice.” The words of Dr. King mean so much to so many. In my own commitment and work to build a more just world, these words have given me reassurance and perspective. Read more >
28 Jul 15
Anyone who follows the work of the Atkinson Foundation knows it has embarked on an exciting new phase in its 73-year history of advancing Joseph Atkinson’s vision of an equitable society. I’m one of those people, and I’m thrilled to join the Foundation as its Director of Social Investment. Read more >
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