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Jak Layton

Upcoming Events

Free public event

Harm Reduction in Regent Park: Talk and Film Screening of THE STAIRS

Thursday March 15, 7pm
East Kerr Hall 127 (KHE 127)
Ryerson University

Lunch & Learn: What's Up With NAFTA, Jobs & Equity?

Tuesday March 20, 12-2 pm
Ted Rogers School, 55 Dundas St. W, Rm. 3 -129 (9th Floor)
Ryerson University


About the Jack Layton Chair

In 2012, Ryerson University established the Jack Layton Chair to honour Jack’s unique journey from Ryerson classroom to national inspiration. Jack Layton was a Professor in Ryerson’s Politics Department during the 1970s and 1980s.

As Ryerson Professor, Toronto City Councillor, Member of Parliament and Leader of the Federal NDP Jack Layton inspired students, a city and country to pursue progressive political change. Justice, fairness, inclusion, hope and love were his guiding principles for building a better city and country. 

The Jack Layton Chair will engage in a variety of activities in keeping with Jack’s wide-ranging interests and commitments. Throughout his career, Jack was a passionate advocate for a number of social issues, proposing new solutions for environmental sustainability, liveable cities, homelessness, violence against women, homophobia, labour rights, youth engagement, public health, and inclusive democracy. The mandate of the Jack Layton Chair will be to broaden understanding and political capacity in order to effect progressive social change. The Chair will also organize an annual Jack Layton lecture. Noted philosopher Charles Taylor was the inaugural speaker on September 20 2012 on the subject of Reimagining, Restoring and Reclaiming Democracy.

Jack Layton Chair held by

2012-2015       Dr. Myer Siemiatycki, Politics and Public Administration
2016-2017       Dr. Doreen Fumia, Sociology
2018-               Dr. Ken Moffatt, Social Work

Jack Layton Leadership School

RU campus communities

The Jack Layton Leadership School aims to build the leadership capacity of youth in NGOs and unions. Over three days we bring together students, community members and faculty to engage in social justice issues that includes: telling our stories and allowing them to move us to action, hearing from community members engaged in social justice organizing, joining indigenous, queer and anti-poverty social justice walks around Toronto and networking around social justice issues in our local and global communities. 

Learn to better organize by:

  • Articulating why our community is united and why we must act through story
  • Building relationships as the foundation of collective actions
  • Creating structure that distributes power and prioritizes leadership development
  • Strategizing to turn your resources into the power needed to achieve clear goals
  • Translating strategy into measurable, motivational and effective action



"This training has helped me think about campaigns in a whole new way, and to think that anything might be possible when we are well organized"

"Training to organize is giving us the tools we need to create a Canada we DO recognize"

"We already organize to build our communities, we've been doing it for years. It's time we started being smarter about it so we start dictating the agenda instead of responding to it"

“Understanding the fundamentals of organizing has and will be key in facilitating the change needed for a more progressive city”

For a recap of our 2015 Summer Leadership School, please see the video below.

Past Speakers:

Mike Layton
Olivia Chow
Muluba Habamyama
Tim McCaskell
Andrew Cash
Pablo Godoy (UFCW)
Anna Will
Truth Is (spoken word)
Dr. Jijian Voronka
Anu Radhar Verma
Pascale DiverlusAllison Bain
Carolyn Egan
Tiffany Ford
Jennifer Hollett
Kofi Hope
Sean Meagher
Krysta Williams
Adam Chaleff-Freudentgaler
Dr. Julie Tomiak
Dr. Winnie Ng
Dr. Anver Saloojee
Deena Ladd (WAC)
Cathy Crowe
Anthony Morgan
Sandy Hudson
Anna Willats

Social Justice Walks:

Downtown Toronto East with Gaetan Heroux
Queer Toronto Space with
Indigenous Walk with
Workers’ Action Centre
City Hall

Special Thanks:


USW logo United Steelworkers (USW), District 6
Ryerson U logo Dean of Arts, Ryerson University
Department of Sociology, Ryerson University


Jack Layton Lectures

22 October 2014: 3rd Annual Lecture
24 September 2013: 2nd Annual Lecture
20 September 2012: Annual Lecture

Jack Layton Book Club

The Ryerson Archives is home to books and mementos donated by Jack Layton’s family. Some 500 books will remain in circulation at the library. The book club discusses books from that collection. Discussions are informal and informative.

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