Journalist Chris Hedges to speak at George Brown

The Pulitzer Prize winner will be the keynote speaker at Tommy Douglas Institute conference at GBC

Award-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 Tommy Douglas Institute's conference at George Brown College. Photo courtesy of Chris Hedges.

Award-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 Tommy Douglas Institute’s conference at George Brown College on May 21. Photo courtesy of Chris Hedges.

“Chris Hedges has distinguished himself as a fearless and outspoken educator, public intellectual and advocate for human rights and justice,” said Resh Budhu, professor for the community worker program, about Hedges being chosen as the 2015 Tommy Douglas Institute’s keynote speaker.

“Through multiple books, articles, speeches, public dialogues and activism, he exemplifies what it is to speak truth to power. In this sense, he really reminds us of Tommy Douglas,” said Budhu.

This connection is clear in the biographical description of Tommy Douglas, who is known as “the father of universal healthcare in Canada, a political progressive and a life-long champion of social justice for all Canadians,” according to the institute.

Oddly reminiscent of the description of Chris Hedges, the description of Tommy Douglas as a person refers to “his courage in challenging oppression and standing in solidarity with marginalized peoples and his ability to inscribe politics with hope and humanitarianism, exemplify the best of who we can be as Canadians and as global citizens.”

Similar to this Canadian icon, Hedges, a U.S citizen, has been recognized for his work in terms of social justice and human rights. In 2002, Hedges received the Amnesty International Global Award for Human Rights Journalism. That same year, Hedges was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the New York Times’ coverage of global terrorism.

In 2009 and again in 2011, the Los Angeles Press Club (LAPC) honored Hedges’ original columns in Truthdig by naming the author the Online Journalist of the Year. In 2010, Hedges was the recipient the Best Online Column award from the LAPC for his Truthdig essay “One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists.” Hedges is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute in New York City, a non-profit media center dedicated to strengthening the independent press and advancing social justice and civil rights.

In addition to being a reporter, Hedges is also an author. He has written 12 books, many of which have become bestsellers. One of these books, published in 2003, entitled “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Hedges has also taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto.

Hedges is an accomplished public figure. This was obvious to the planning committee of the Tommy Douglas Institute who “felt his voice was very important for our students and communities to hear and critically engage with and that he would be an excellent addition to this years’ institute.”

According to Budhu, the co-ordinator of the Tommy Douglas Institute for the past three years, “what we’re hearing is that people are yearning for spaces where they can free their minds, their voices, and their dreams for a just society.”

[jbox title=”Register for the Tommy Douglas Institute”]People who are interested in being part of the Tommy Douglas Institute which is happening on Thursday, May 21 at 290 Adelaide St. E., 4th floor from 9:30am to 4 p.m. are encouraged to register early by filling out the application form atgeorgebrown.ca/TommyDouglasInstitute

Fees: $55 regular, $20 for GBC students and low-wage (but only with subsidy, subsidies are limited)

Contact Info: tdouglasinstitute@georgebrown.ca or voicemail 416-415-5000 ext 2555

Facebook page: facebook.com/TommyDouglasInstitute [/jbox]

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Journalist Chris Hedges to speak at George Brown