rabble.ca is pleased to announce Olivia Robinson has been awarded the Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship.

Robinson, who will complete her master’s degree in journalism this spring at Carleton University in Ottawa, will be working on a series of articles on how libraries across the country are re-imagining these public spaces and contributing in new and innovated ways to improve the social fabric of their communities.

From hiring social workers to assisting homeless and vulnerable members of society, to librarians, armed with naloxone, who have saved the lives of those caught in the country’s opioid crisis, libraries are being transformed. The series will explore how public libraries are developing programming to further the Truth and Reconciliation Commission principles. The series will also look at how some libraries are actually growing food and developing seed lending libraries.

“I was thinking about journalism and the public good, and how journalism can have an impact on people,” Robinson said, explaining why she applied for the fellowship.

She is excited to be given the opportunity to expand on a topic she is very passionate about.

In addition to completing her graduate degree in journalism at Carleton, Robinson holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Queen’s University and a master’s in Writing for Children from the University of Winchester in the United Kingdom. Originally from Aurora, Ont., she plans to pursue a career in journalism with an emphasis on local news.

Named after the late former leader of the federal New Democratic Party who inspired people by example, the fellowship was created two years ago, in partnership with the Institute for Change Leaders. It was named in Layton’s honour, as he demonstrated that working together for social and economic justice is possible and achievable. It is a unique opportunity to strengthen media democracy in Canada, while offering mentorship and growth for new voices.

Look for Robinson’s series in the coming months.

If you like what you read from our Jack Layton Fellowship, please consider supporting the initiative in the future, either as an individual or organization. You can donate at: rabble.ca/donate