Promotional photo for the Courage My Friends podcast, a photo of a microphone with the "Courage My Friends" logo along the bottom of the photo.
Courage My Friends returns on May 30, 2022. Credit: Robinson Recalde / Unsplash

Covid! Capitalism! Climate!

Three storms have converged and we’re all caught in the vortex. What brought us to this point? Can we go back to normal? Do we even want to? The Tommy Douglas Institute and, with the support of the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation, are proud to present the second series of the Courage My Friends podcast, beginning May 30th. The Courage My Friends podcast will be hosted on rabble’s podcast network as part of Needs No Introduction. 

Started by George Brown College faculty almost 10 years ago, the Tommy Douglas Institute (TDI) was founded for a number of reasons; one of the most important was to push back against increasing neoliberal encroachment into post-secondary institutions by strengthening and building public spaces for critical engagement. And for eight years we did just that. Through panels, workshops and our main event, the annual TDI conference, we brought together educational communities and wider communities to dialogue, debate and engage with thinkers, activists and each other on issues of education, community and social justice transformation in the 21st century.

And then COVID hit. The challenge, by now a familiar one, was how to maintain the spirit of community and social engagement in our physically-distanced and remote new normal. We had to switch gears.

The Courage My Friends podcast became an opportunity born of necessity.

Produced together with long-time media partner, the podcast enabled us to focus on issues that have come under the pandemic spotlight, as well as others undeservedly left in the shadows.

Under the very broad umbrella of “COVID, Capitalism and Climate” and named for Tommy’s famous quote – one that has taken on increased significance during the pandemic – the Courage My Friends Podcast enabled us to expand our platform while increasing our reach.

Featuring guests from a range of professions, schools of thought and locations, we delved into issues of social democracy, economic and climate justice, rethinking cities, food justice and peoples’ health, from epidemic to pandemic, from the past to the present and from the Global South to the Global North. 

After a successful first run last year, we are now pleased to be back with our second series.

More than two years into the pandemic and the complexities of this unique moment continue to grow. Still in the thick of COVID, Capitalism, Climate, we could conceivably add Coups (or the attempt), Conflict and of course Colonial Legacies into the mix as well.

Series II features another impressive roster of guests, among them: author, activist and journalist Linda McQuaig; human rights activist and Executive Director of the FCJ Refugee Centre, Loly Rico; author, activist and Executive Director of Tri-Continental Institute for Social Research, Vijay Prashad; Bryanna Brown, climate activist with Indigenous Climate Action and originator of the “Land Back Movement”; climate organizer with Banking on a Better Future and Fridays for Future Toronto, Aliya Hirji; Ian Thomson, Manager of Policy, Oxfam Canada; Rachel Bryce of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers; Ashlee Cunsolo, founding Dean of the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies of the Labrador Institute of Memorial University.

And once again, we delve into a broad range of issues including: ecological grief and climate anxiety, inequality and billionaire wealth, mental health in the workplace, refugees fleeing borderless crises, cities and climate, and the standard of double-standards between the Global North and the Global South. 

We began this year’s podcast as we began the Tommy Douglas Institute, by welcoming back author, public intellectual and celebrated scholar of the Critical Pedagogy Movement, Henry Giroux. In Education, Critical Pedagogy and the Future of Learning in a Post-Pandemic World, Giroux discusses the impacts of decades of neoliberalism on education and critical thought (both inside and outside of educational spaces), the development of pandemic pedagogy and the urgent need for educational systems that are critical, political and transformative.  

Please join us for the second series of the Courage My Friends podcast, starting May 30.

In the words of the great Tommy Douglas: Courage my friends; ‘tis not too late to build a better world.

Resh Budhu

Resh Budhu, coordinator of the Tommy Douglas Institute and co-producer of the Courage My Friends podcast, has worked in social justice issues of gender equality, anti-racism, education and the arts. Resh...