June Callwood Lectures

The annual June Callwood Lecture honours the life, work and legacy of journalist, author and social activist June Callwood (1924-2007). It provides a platform for the exploration and discussion of contemporary social justice issues.

You can support the annual June Callwood Lecture with a gift to the June Callwood Endowment Fund through the Toronto Public Library Foundation.

Past Lectures

2019: Albert Woodfox

Albert Woodfox served more than four decades in solitary confinement-in a 6-foot by 9-foot cell, 23 hours a day, in notorious Angola prison in Louisiana-all for a crime he did not commit. Dedicated to reforming the inhumanity of solitary confinement in the U.S. and around the world, Woodfox shares Solitary, his memoir of transformation and hope. In conversation with Robyn Maynard.

Watch the lecture by Albert Woodfox

2018: Tim Hague Sr.

Winner of the inaugural Amazing Race Canada, Tim Hague Sr. shares the story of how he went from being diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's to becoming one of the foremost international advocates for Parkinson's awareness. He speaks on his own journey and new book, Perseverance, which is part memoir, part guide to how we can all learn to persevere in the face of life-changing challenges.

Watch the lecture by Tim Hague Sr.

2017: Ahmad Danny Ramadan

Ahmad Danny Ramadan's history of working with organizations in the Middle East and his personal experience as a Syrian refugee have made him passionate about social justice and LGBTQ refugees' rights. His latest book, The Clothesline Swing, is his first novel in English and takes the reader through the aftermath of Arab Spring.

Watch the lecture by Ahmad Danny Ramada

2016: Clara Hughes

Olympian Clara Hughes on her past struggles with depression and stigma associated with mental illness.

Watch the lecture by Clara Hughes

2015: David Suzuki

David Suzuki, award-winning geneticist, environmentalist and broadcaster, on "Letters to My Grandchildren: Reflections from an Elder".

Watch the lecture by David Suzuki

2014: Maude Barlow

Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians on "Is Water a Human Right or a Tradable Commodity?"

Watch the lecture by Maude Barlow

2013: Mark Tewksbury

Mark Tewksbury, athlete and humanitarian, on "Straight Talk from a Gay Jock: Stories from a Reluctant Activist in Sport".

Watch the lecture by Mark Tewksbury

2012: Stephen Lewis

Stephen Lewis, former politician and diplomat, on "The Power of Advocacy: Fighting for Social Justice".

Watch the lecture by Stephen Lewis