“It’s sort of like when a wave comes in and leaves shells on the beach, you know? And then another wave comes in and leaves more on the beach, and that’s the way movements are. They change the landscape, like waves do, and each wave builds on the next wave. This is a big wave now that we’re in. Martin Luther King said we have to create a beloved community, and that’s happening now, right? It’s happening.”
Judy Rebick is a well-known writer, journalist, speaker, commentator, activist, feminist and social justice expert. US-born and based in Toronto, she has been one of Canada’s leading progressive voices for decades. Judy writes, comments and lectures on issues of globalization, democracy, media, politics, gender equality, co-operation and sustainable change. In the last years she has focused primarily on global solidarity and community, online activism, grassroots movement and the transformation of power.
Rebick’s views and strong voice were partly formed by the raw experience of traveling across the world on her own as a young woman. She worked in New York for a few years before establishing herself in Toronto. In the 1980’s she helped to lead the movement to legalize abortion in Canada (physically defending Dr. Henry Morgentaler himself from a protest attack in 1983). Over the years she has designed and helped implement employment equity programs, anti-racist trainings and leadership seminars. She played a key role in the New Politics Initiative, a movement that worked to refocus the New Democratic Party as an activist party.
During the 1990’s Rebick hosted two national TV shows on CBC. She was the co-host of a prime time debate show called Face Off from 1994 to 1998 and a women’s discussion show, Straight From the Hip, until 2000. She has been a columnist with London Free Press, Elm Street Magazine and CBC Online. In 2001 she helped launch rabble.ca, a well-respected multi-media independent news and discussion site, which she published from 2001 to 2005. She is a regular current affairs commentator on CBC radio’s well-loved Q morning show.
Judy Rebick has written several books, contributes articles and commentaries to a host of newspapers and magazines, and is a frequent radio and television commentator. Her books include Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution; Imagine Democracy; Politically Speaking; and Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political. Her most recent, an ebook called Occupy This! examines the Occupy movement from a historical perspective.
Rebick held the CAW Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University from its creation in 2002 until 2010. She is the former president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women, Canada’s largest women’s group, and is an advisory board member of Fair Vote Canada.
Highly skilled in debate and unafraid to take on challenges for the advancement of equality and social justice, Judy is a sought-after keynote speaker on themes of social media and citizen journalism, transforming education, transforming power, civic engagement and equality issues for women.
She strongly believes that solutions to our global problems will come from bottom-up movements and that empowered ordinary people in their communities are better equipped than elites to be creative and truly effective in changing things for the better.
Visit her blog:
“Occupy This,” an in-depth interview with Judy Rebick (The Public, 1 hour)
On her book “Transforming Power” (TVO, 12 min)
On the G20 and the Montreal Student uprisings (4 min)