The University of Winnipeg is proud to host the inaugural Blaikie Knowles Woodsworth Lecture on Thursday, March 2 at 6:00 p.m. in Eckhardt Gramatté Hall.
Named in honour of Bill Blaikie, who was a UWinnipeg alumnus, United Church Minister, and MP and MLA for the New Democratic Party, this lecture series will emphasize the importance of faith, spirituality, and compassion as underpinnings of social democracy. The lecture is part of the Douglas Coldwell Layton Foundation for Social Democracy Lecture Series, which is taking place in major universities across Canada to inspire a new generation of community leaders and will feature dynamic experts in Canadian social democratic thought and organizing.
In 2007, Blaikie received an Honorary Doctorate in Divinity from UWinnipeg and was appointed as the University’s Director of the Knowles-Woodsworth Centre for Theology and Public Policy. Blaikie was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Divinity from Victoria University (Toronto) in 2009, was sworn in to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 2003, and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2020. The University of Winnipeg community mourned the loss of Bill Blaikie on September 24, 2022, and flew campus flags at half mast in his honour on October 4, 2022.
The guest lecturer for the first Blaikie Knowles Woodsworth Lecture is Dr. Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. Dr. Dorrien is a leading historian of the social gospel movement and will be presenting From Bland and Woodsworth to Knowles and Blaikie: Intersections of Cooperative Commonwealth Faith and Politics.
His lecture will tie together English-Christian socialism, social gospel in the United States, and the CCF/NDP story from then to now. The word intersections will do triple historical duty in addition to its usual meaning today concerning racial, gender, and sexual justice, the rights of First Nations’ Peoples, and the post-modern swirl of reinventing politics under and against neoliberalism.
Wab Kinew, Leader of the Manitoba NDP and Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, will also be guest speaking during the event.
Doors for this event will open at 5:30 p.m. and the lecture will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by a reception in Convocation and Leatherdale Halls at 7:30 p.m.