Spending a whole day standing in front of a room occupied by 18 whip-smart women who count among the best legal minds in the country can be an intimidating experience — even if you’re not in court. But delivering a workshop earlier this month to female faculty of York University’s Osgoode Hall law school (and a couple of equally impressive colleagues from other departments) repeatedly reinforced for me the capacity of Informed Opinions to make a difference.
The professors who participated in the workshop were intellectually stimulating, professionally inspiring, and clearly capable of offering insight and analysis on a wide variety of important issues. A few had written and published op eds previously. They expressed a desire to weigh in on everything from poverty reduction, free speech and public education to tax loopholes, copyright protection and prenatal sex selection.
Within four days of our session, one had offered context to a current news story by submitting a letter to the editor, and two others had crafted their intelligent analyses into draft op eds. You can read the first of these, by Stephanie Ben-Ishai, in today’s Globe and Mail online.
She offers illuminating context for Canadians’ personal indebtedness, the factors that are most likely to tip someone into bankruptcy, and what we should do to address the fall-out.