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Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.” — Jack Layton

August 22 marks nine years since Canada lost a great leader and friend. Jack Layton inspired people by example, demonstrating that working together for social and economic justice is possible and achievable.

It is therefore a fitting occasion for rabble.ca and the Institute for Change Leaders to proudly announce the fourth annual search for a recipient of the Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship. The fellowship supports emerging writers and journalists who are passionate and engaged in developing unique voices in social change reporting. The deadline for applications is October 30, 2020. Learn how to apply here

“Within our current media landscape, opportunities for social change reporting are rare, and opportunities for mentorship are even rarer. The Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship is a unique merger of the two, a chance for an emerging journalist to pursue the stories about economic, environmental and social justice under the guidance of rabble’s passionate and talented editorial staff. Above all, the Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship is a call to action; it is a reminder of the urgent need to speak truth to power during these difficult times.” Phillip Dwight Morgan 

“Fellowships like this are important because it allows you to expand on topics that aren’t otherwise covered in the media. The Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship gave me even more motivation to continue exploring and digging deeper bringing justice to those communities I was reporting on, giving voice to those who didn’t have a platform.” — Olivia Robinson 

As a young woman of colour, I rarely find room for these stories in mainstream media. Racism in the criminal justice system is a complex issue that deserves thorough research and reporting. As the 2020 fellow, I look forward to further exploring these issues, while shining a light on how Black Canadians in conflict with the law are treated in our criminal justice system.” — Lidia Abraha

The Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship is a unique and exciting opportunity to strengthen media democracy in Canada while affording excellent mentorship and growth for new voices in the Canadian media landscape. Encourage exciting, developing journalists in your community to apply! Find the details here.

Over the past three years, each of the selected Jack Layton Journalism for Change fellows has brought insight and passion to the role, amplifying underrepresented voices and stories. Their work has tackled themes such as systemic racial and economic inequality, and the vital role that public libraries play in strengthening social justice measures. Our most recent fellow, freelance journalist Lidia Abraha, focused on stories of community with an anti-oppressive lens, including some of the issues most urgently affecting racialized and marginalized communities, notably racism in the criminal justice and policing system. You can follow her work here

If you would like to support the development of a new generation of journalists who are critical thinkers and have an understanding of social justice journalism — if you want to carry on Jack’s legacy — please consider making a special donation to this fund. If your organization would like to become a sponsor, please do not hesitate to be in touch with [email protected] to discuss opportunities. 

In solidarity,

Olivia Chow, Institute for Change Leaders

PS: We are very proud to preserve Jack Layton’s legacy through our commitment to the Jack Layton Journalism for Change Fellowship. This fellowship is only possible through community support: through donations from individuals and from founding support from organizations including UNIFOR, USW District 6 and CUPE Ontario.