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The Jack Layton Chair seeks to advance Jack’s legacy of humanitarian leadership by promoting progressive social change and strengthening political capacity at Ryerson University. The Chair aims to help students to explore their sense of engagement in justice issues. The Chair is a collaborative partnership between the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Community Services.

As the Jack Layton Chair, Professor Ken Moffatt aims to build community-oriented engagement at Ryerson through a multi-disciplinary approach. He is particularly interested in politics, sociology, educational theory, social work, queer theory, and creative arts.

Professor Moffatt brings to this position his research expertise in the effects of neoliberalism and new managerialism on policy and education; community-based, culturally-focused social interventions; mechanisms of power contributing to social inclusion and exclusion; as well as critical reflective practice and pedagogy.

Past Chairs

History of the Chair

In 2012, Ryerson University established the Jack Layton Chair to honour Jack’s unique journey from a Ryerson classroom to a national inspiration. Jack Layton was a Professor in Ryerson’s Politics Department during the 1970s and 1980s. As a Ryerson Professor, Toronto City Councillor, Member of Parliament, and Leader of the Federal NDP, Jack inspired students, a city, and a country to pursue progressive political change. Justice, fairness, inclusion, hope, and love were his guiding principles for building a better world.

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 is to broaden understanding and political capacity in order to effect progressive social change.

Jack Layton Book Club, opens in new window

Jack Layton Lecture Series

October 22, 2014: 3rd Annual Lecture

September 24, 2013: 2nd Annual Lecture

September 20, 2012: 1st Annual Lecture