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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

Doreen Fumia
Doreen Fumia 


Dr. Fumia’s career was notable for her commitment to combining her scholarship with her activism. She taught, conducted research and was active in community organizing in pursuit of equity issues. As a long-time Co-chair of the community council at the Triangle Program, a TDSB publicly funded school program for LGBTT2SQ+, the former Jack Layton Chair (Ryerson), the RFA Equity Issues Chair and VP internal and the Co-Chair on the Equity Committee at the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), Dr. Fumia worked to make education a more diverse and hospitable experience for students, staff and faculty. Her recent research projects include using photography (photovoice) as a way to tell stories of aging lesbians and those living in rural communities. Dr. Fumia's areas of expertise include anti-poverty organizing, precarious employment, lesbians & aging, and equity in education.

Myer Siemiatycki


Myer Siemiatycki is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, which he served as Chair from 1991 to 1996.  He received his B.A. from McGill University, his M.A. from University of Sussex (UK), and his Ph.D. from York University (Canada).

A member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, Myer was the founding Director (2004-2008) of the Interdisciplinary MA program in Immigration and Settlement Studies.

In 2012, Dr. Siemiatycki was appointed as the first Jack Layton Chair, a position he held until 2015.

Myer is a frequent media commentator on political matters. His career achievements include: Distinguished Educator Award, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (1992); Ryerson Popular Professor Citation, Maclean's Guide to Canadian Universities (2003 thru 2006 inclusive): Research Domain Leader, the Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration & Settlement (2001-06), Ryerson University Faculty Service Award. Active in the Ryerson community, Myer has contributed to organizing such campus events as the Ryerson Union Fair, and Ryerson Holocaust Education Programming.

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.