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September 12, 2012

Coady Institute announces new Chair in Social Justice at StFX

  • 2012 Chair is Dr. Deborah Barndt of York University
  • Chair strengthens StFX commitment to social justice dialogue, scholarship and education
  • Dr. Barndt's first public event as Chair is Sept.13th in Antigonish 

Antigonish, NS – Dr. John Gaventa, Director of Coady International Institute and Vice-President of International Development at StFX University, announced today that Dr. Deborah Barndt of York University is the inaugural Coady Chair in Social Justice at StFX. Honouring the spirit of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady and the leaders of the Antigonish Movement, the Chair is an annual award that brings exceptional thought leaders to campus to share their experience and expertise with the university and local communities.

Dr. Barndt is a world-renowned educator, writer, activist and photographer. She currently teaches in York University's Faculty of Environmental Studies, which offers the Community Arts Practice Certificate. She has worked for more than 40 years throughout Canada, the United States and Latin America.

"We are thrilled that Deborah Barndt has agreed to join us this year as our first visiting Coady Chair in Social Justice," said Gaventa. "Her extensive work in the area of community art, development and food security helps communities understand issues that affect their daily lives."

The annual award means StFX will host public presentations, seminars and workshops that provide shared learning experiences for StFX students, faculty, Antigonish-area community members and citizen leaders from around the world who attend Coady Institute educational programs. 

Dr. Barndt will present at two free public events this week: 

Arts for Social Change
Thursday, Sept. 13th, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
Dennis Hall at Coady Institute

Dr. Barndt joins participants in this year's Diploma in Development Leadership program and local artists Paula Cameron, Fenn Martin, Sarah O'Toole, Deborah Jenkins, Cara Jones, Maureen St. Clair and Denise Davies. Using a variety of media, they will explore the theme: Art with a Message. This event is made possible with the generous support of the Lander and Graham-Pole Fund for Sustainable Development through the Arts and the Coady Chair in Social Justice at StFX. 

Fire in the Belly – Igniting Popular Education with Spirit, Song and Story
Friday, Sept. 14th, 12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Dennis Hall at Coady Institute  

Popular education, with deep roots in the Americas, offers adult education approaches that are global, inclusive and holistic. Dr. Barndt's address will honour elders through stories of projects she has been involved in: from local and global food movements to international exchanges of arts and education; from university initiatives to honour indigenous languages to training in community arts. The question: how can we infuse our educational work with passion, igniting the fire in our bellies. Link to Dr. Barndt's bio at York University.

Link to Painting Our Stories community arts project in Toronto.


Media contact: 
Richard Perry
Media and Communications Officer
Coady International Institute at StFX
Tel: (902) 867-4933
Cell: (902)870-9662
Email: rperry@stfx.ca