Media Release
October 4, 2011

Coady Institute joins ONEXONE Canada to build leadership capacity in Haiti

ANTIGONISH, Nova Scotia – Dr. John Gaventa, director of the Coady International Institute at StFX and Ms. Joey Adler, founder of the ONEXONE organization, today announced a funding agreement to help establish a Haitian Centre of Excellence for Leadership.

The new leadership centre will support the rebuilding of Haiti, which was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010.

Dr. John Gaventa, Coady Institute director, says now more than ever, Haiti needs strong leaders to rebuild their society and take a new approach to governance and citizen engagement.

“In Haiti, the Coady Institute has been asked to go beyond the work of other organizations that focus on charitable relief, to help to build the next generation of leaders who can rebuild Haiti for themselves,” he said. “There’s now an opportunity to build broad public awareness and support for citizen-led development throughout Haitian society.”

The seed funding from ONEXONE will provide leverage for the Coady Institute to begin to develop the Centre and to attract other funders who see the value in building a new generation of Haitian community leaders.

Joey Adler, founder of ONEXONE, says the Coady Institute will be a valuable partner in the process of developing grassroots leadership.

“Many other organizations, including the Clinton Foundation, have recognized the strengths of Coady leadership education,” she said. “I’m very pleased that we can work together to get this project started, as we invite other organizations to support our vision for a more prosperous Haiti.”

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is a strong supporter of StFX involvement in the new leadership training centre. In a speech in Antigonish earlier this year, he said “You couldn’t have picked a better way to help the wonderful people of Haiti on their richly deserved journey to a new level of prosperity and liberty, and I am very, very grateful.”

At that same event, Frank McKenna, chair of the StFX Board of Governors and  honourary volunteer with ONEXONE, added: “With so many lives lost in the great earthquake…resulting in the destruction of a lot of the public services, we have a chance, right here, in this little community in Nova Scotia, to bring a large measure of leadership to a country that desperately needs it.”

Maryse Penette-Kedar, co-chair of a committed group of private, community and government leaders in Haiti (and currently a Coady Institute participant) says only education can reverse the current poverty situation in Haiti.

“To have the Coady International Institute, a world-renowned centre of excellence in community leadership education, work hand in hand with us to establish a centre in Haiti is a unique opportunity and a significant step in the right direction. I applaud ONEXONE, which has generously agreed to fund such a crucial endeavour.

Ms. Penette-Kedar also thanked President Bill Clinton and Frank McKenna for their leadership and their support for a stronger, well-functioning democracy.

The new centre will reach out to rural and urban leaders throughout Haiti, with a strong focus on developing and supporting women leaders. During the first phase, several cohorts of Haitian leaders will attend the Coady Institute in Antigonish. There will also be some on-the-ground training in Haiti, appointment of a board of directors and a campaign for long-term, sustainable funding.

About ONEXONE – ONEXONE is a Canadian registered foundation that was founded on the principle that every life is infinitely precious and every single person can make a profound difference in the life of another human being; helping one person at a time; one by one. Website:

About Coady International Institute – Coady International Institute represents StFX University’s commitment to social justice in action. Founded in 1959, and named for one of Canada’s great heroes – Rev. Dr. Moses Coady – the Institute educates development professional from around the world. Today it has an extensive network of more than 5,500 graduates and partners in 130 countries. Website:

Media contacts:

Coady International Institute
Richard Perry
Tel: 902-867-4933
Cell: 902-870-9662

Maria Fotopoulos
Tel: 514-385-3335 ext.266