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What is the social responsibility of higher education in these times? How do we promote principles of democracy, social justice and citizenship through our colleges and universities?  How can colleges and communities come together in the building of a more just society? How do today’s educators empower students to not just be the residents of democracies, but to become its stewards, protectors, and custodians?

The Tommy Douglas Institute was created to explore these and other questions concerning the ethical role of post-secondary education in the 21st century. Since its launch in 2013, The Tommy Douglas Institute has provided a site of critical discourse on issues pertinent to teaching, learning and working in neoliberal times. Every year we invite participants from colleges and universities (students, faculty, support workers and administration) and  communities (citizens, residents, community workers, social workers and activists) to come together in exploring ideas of critical and socially just pedagogy and what it means to educate for change.

The annual one-day event of breakout sessions, interactive exhibits, and a closing community forum, regularly features a dynamic keynote address. Our inspiring roster of speakers has included: celebrated author and cultural critic Henry Giroux; journalist and activist Judy Rebick; artist and activist Shirley Douglas; progressive politician Olivia Chow; and prolific author, activist and public intellectual, Chris Hedges. This year we are pleased to welcome Canada's 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate, the immensely talented George Elliott Clarke.

With your support, the Institute will continue to bring together colleges, universities and communities as we explore the possibilities of educating for social justice. In so doing The Tommy Douglas Institute will strive to live up to the promise of its namesake, one of our greatest Canadians…

Courage my friends; ‘tis not too late to build a better world.

Tommy C. Douglas

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