Fall course – Activism: Building a Better World

This course is for:

  • people who are actively working for social change and would like to explore, learn and reflect upon the different aspects of their work and how to do things better,
  • also for those who are looking for a comprehensive introduction to the field.

It is now offered as an independent community-based course at a sliding scale cost.

The course will run from Oct 11 through November 15, 2011, on Tuesday evenings 7:00-9:00 pm (five sessions, Oct 25 is an off week). It will be held at the Glebe Community Centre (Third Ave at Lyon).


Here is a link to the booklet that was prepared after the course ended, covering much of what we covered as a class…



Course facilitator: Greg Macdougall

This course is to help participants develop a strategic approach and understanding to dealing with various issues/situations in their communities and the larger world. We will explore the problems and opportunities that come up in groups working to bring about change. For over ten years I’ve been involved in community activism/organizing/raising awareness about issues, and the framework of this course is based on the understandings I’ve developed during that time.

That said, this course is not just about my perspective or me teaching you what’s important. It’s about creating a space where people can explore what’s important to them — contributing their knowledge and experience — and where I can assist by offering some structure/direction/things to think about.

If you are interested in my approach to education please check this report from a workshop I led on ‘edge-u-cation’ (includes a video of me talking a bit about how education actually works). I have a background in education, including a degree in teaching, and I feel that this combined with my experience in different grassroots groups and initiatives will contribute to the overall value for participants in this course.

Some of the questions that will be addressed:

  • What issues are important to you, and why? How can you develop a deeper understanding around them?
  • How can you best take action? How can you ensure that action is both rewarding and contributes to your personal growth, while still making a positive difference?
  • What makes some groups more effective than others? Is a group’s approach and perspective in alignment with your own? How can you best fit in a group’s work?
  • How do we keep a clear ‘larger-picture’ vision in focus while working on the concrete ‘on-the-ground’ steps towards that vision?  


Special guest:

Joan Kuyek, long-time activist and organizer, and author of the new book ‘Community Organizing: A Holistic Approach‘, will be joining us for the third class, on Nov 1st.

The book is suggested reading for the course (available at Octopus Books) – and you can also check out the book’s online resource section.




Advance registration is required, and there is an upper limit of 12 participants.

Please contact me to register or if you have any questions.

I am offering this course on a sliding scale cost. I would ask that at the end of the first class, if you decide to continue on, that you make an up-front deposit (suggested $10-30 or PWYC) — and then at the end of the course, decide the full amount you wish to pay, based on a combination of the value you received and what you are able to afford. *Note: The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board priced the course (for a 6-week session) at $101.

If you do decide to be a part of this, I look forward to meeting and working with you over the coming weeks. And again, please contact me if there’s anything you’d like to know before you make a decision.

 – Greg



“I have known and worked with Greg Macdougall for 3 years. I have also been fortunate to have been in educational workshops he has facilitated and can attest, first hand, to his commitment to an education process that espouses life-long learning, is empowering, and truly transformative. Greg creates an atmosphere of sharing based on respect and models this in his teaching. If you ever have a chance, don’t waste it. Sign up– have your ideas be heard as you listen to others.”
Sylvia Smith, teacher at Elizabeth Wyn Wood, coordinator of Project of Heart, nominee: Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History.

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