Skip to main content Skip to local navigation

Wanda MacNevin, Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws Social Worker, Activist, Author

Wanda MacNevin, Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws Social Worker, Activist, Author

Wanda MacNevin − Social Worker, Activist, Author - Will Receive Honorary Doctor of Laws at Spring Convocation

Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies II – Tuesday, June 20, 10:30am

For over 40 years Wanda MacNevin has been a leader, activist and author in the Jane-Finch community and has built crucial collaborations with York University. Her career in the field of social work was nurtured early by York’s Bridging Program for Women, offering academic courses for women to upgrade their writing and speaking skills and exploring

university studies.

In 1976, Ms. MacNevin was a founding board member of the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre. She became the first staff person of the Centre and over time developed many community programs. From 1991 until 2003, she became the first Community Health Worker for the new Black Creek Community Health Centre, developing programs and services predominately for teen mothers and seniors. Returning to the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre in 2003 as the Program Manager, she eventually became the Director of Community Programs. One of her most cherished contributions was the development of the Women Moving Forward program for young women who had been teen mothers, established in 2005 with $1.234 million in foundation funding.

She has served on the Women Abuse Council of Toronto, on local community boards, was a government-appointed member of Metro Toronto Housing Authority, and a founding member of Jane-Finch Toronto Strong Neighbourhood Strategy Task Force.

Ms. MacNevin’s many recognitions include the “Woman of the Year” award from Jewish Women International, and the Diamond Jubilee Medal commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne and recognizing Wanda’s contributions to Canada. Her first book, From the Edge, describes her experiences as a single mother and community organizer, highlighting the role of community in her own development. She also wrote If Only I Knew: Stories of Teen Moms. She is currently working on a book about the history and development of the Jane-Finch community. Her interviews with people in the community can be found in the Toronto Public Library’s “Black Creek Living History Project”.

To read more about Wanda and her message to graduates visit: