Coady International Institute: An Often Forgotten Gem


Let's remember the global impact inspired by Coady

Welcome to your new home, or welcome back for those returning students! It’s hard to believe that the humid hazy days and the sweet summer nights and have come and gone, it’s now back to student life.  

But student life is not a bad thing, new classes, new profs, my inner academia nerd is coming out. Student life isn’t just about endless assignments, the late-night cramming for exams or the last-minute submission for the term paper which should have been started weeks ago. 

It’s also about growing as a person through the education you receive and hopefully wanting to make a positive difference in others' lives. 

Speaking of making a positive difference in others’ lives, there’s an institute right here on this campus that works day in and day out to make this possible. The Coady International Institute tucked away behind Cameron Hall, sits a place that is blooming with life and endless possibilities. 

Photo: Kenneth Doiron

Photo: Kenneth Doiron

For first year students you might not have any idea what I'm talking about, and the same goes for upper year students. Don’t worry, I’m not here to shame anyone from being uninformed, quite the opposite. 

Over the past four months I’ve been privileged enough to have an internship there working in the women’s center. In those four months I’ve been able to get a glimpse of all the dedicated hard work that its staff members pour their energy into.   

The Coady’s mission is to instill leadership, “In collaboration with partners in Canada and the global south, the Institute is committed to reducing poverty and transforming societies by strengthening local economies, by building resilient communities, and by promoting social accountability and good governance.”

I don’t have the words to properly express just how astonishing the staff members of the Coady are. I was amazed every day at the work they put into making sure that the students they work with have the best experience possible, both on campus and off campus. 

I encourage more students to seek out the people that work there to find out all the work that they do. Who knows, it might be along the lines of what you’d like to do someday. 

In last the four months I have watched 5 cohorts of both women and men come from vastly different countries and walks of life. But, everyone had the same like-minded goals of building their own leadership skills for each of the different sectors that they work in and making positive impacts within their own communities. 

Photo: Kenneth Doiron

Photo: Kenneth Doiron

From July- December there are 41 students at Coady from 19 different countries, who will be here studying and working towards receiving a diploma in Development Leadership. 

All of this happening, and it’s happening right here on campus. It’s a shame that not enough work goes into telling the new students about the Coady during frosh week, and the weeks after, once you’ve settled in. 

The students who are currently studying at the institute are some of the smartest, kindest, and loving individuals that I have met in my life thus far. They have so much to offer, with every word they have to say to you, you will find yourself in awe of their brilliance. 

 I want to put this to every student at X, which is asking a lot, to make more of an effort of making the Coady apart of their undergrad experience. 
Whether that be, walking through the halls of the building, researching more in depth to find out about the work that goes on, or by saying hello to some of the students who will be studying with us until December. 
By doing this, you will find yourself realizing how special this little community is. We may be little, but we’re making a huge impact in the world, in many more ways than you think. 


StFX University and Coady International Name 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice


Skilled Leader and Coady Graduate from South Africa Returns to Share Experience


Mfalatsane Pricillah (“Sadi”) Motsuenyane, former Chief Director of Sustainable Livelihoods with the Department of Social Development for the Government of South Africa, has been named the 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice. A member of Coady’s Advisory body and a graduate of Coady’s Asset-based and Citizen-led Development (ABCD) and Livelihoods and Markets certificates, Motsuenyane has a longstanding relationship with StFX University and Coady International Institute.

“It is an honour to welcome Sadi as the 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice,” Dr. June Webber, St. Francis Xavier University Vice President and head of Coady International Institute and Extension Department says. "Sadi’s longstanding history of community leadership and development through apartheid to post-apartheid reconstruction and development in South Africa will be an invaluable source of learning and inspiration for all at StFX, Coady, and in the greater community.”

In a manner that is consistent with the principles of the Antigonish Movement, Motsuenyane has been helping people in her own country study their social and economic situation. This has allowed residents to improve their livelihoods collectively, to earn more income, and to take more control of the local economy. By facilitating restorative justice dialogues in strife-torn communities, Motsuenyane has created a platform for collective discovery, recovery, and utilization of human and material assets with newly found mutual dignity and respect. 

“Social justice, equity, and the rights of South Africans has been central to my community development work during the years of fighting for the end of Apartheid in South Africa,” Motsuentane says.

Born on a farm into a family of entrepreneurs and community developers, Motsuenyane now has more than 50 years of community development experience.

“My community development work has been influenced largely by my family’s livelihood strategies which were strongly asset-based, and later in my career by the Coady International Institute’s asset-based community development approach, inspired by the late Dr. Rev. Moses Coady.”

Motsuenyane holds a Master’s in Public Administration and Development Management from the University of Stellenbosch. Her previous work experience includes roles with Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Agricultural Research Council, and Agricor. Since her retirement in December 2017, she has been completing her PhD at the University of the Western Cape, including her thesis titled, “Exploring the impact of asset-based thinking as an alternative approach to unleash the generative capacity of social grants in South Africa.”

The Coady Chair in Social Justice was created in 2012 to honour the spirit of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady and the leaders of the Antigonish Movement by bridging local and global concerns, involving the community, and encouraging an interdisciplinary approach to issues. The Chair is an important means to deepen StFX’s commitment to its service to society's mission, to develop students’ understanding and sense of social responsibility, and to support Coady as a centre for global citizen leadership and social justice at StFX. Key elements of the Chair’s tenure include public presentations, classroom seminars, and workshops that bring students, faculty, community members and citizen-leaders together for shared learning.

The 2018 Coady Chair in Social Justice will reside on the campus of StFX from September 17 – November 16, 2018.