MIRIAM EDELSON

Writer, Activist, Mother

MIRIAM EDELSON  
m.edelson(at)sympatico(dot)ca

Miriam Edelson has three published books, as well as many articles about topics from motherhood, grief, and mental health to the rise of the extreme right. She lives in Toronto with her partner Andy and has a daughter, Emma, two step-daughters, four grandchildren, and a son, Jake, who died just before the age of fourteen due to complications arising from his severe neurological disability. She can often be found by a serene lake in the Gatineau Hills, Quebec.

PUBLICATIONS

The Swirl in My Burl: A Memoir in Essays. Adelaide Publishing. Autumn 2022.

Battle Cries: Justice for Kids with Special Needs. Sumach Press (now Scholars Press), Autumn 2005.

My Journey with Jake: A Memoir of Parenting and Disability. Between The Lines, March 2000.

“Mental Health in the Workplace:  Unions’ Role in Identifying and Combatting Psychosocial Hazards”.  Unpublished doctoral thesis. University of Toronto.  2016.

“Time for civil society to organize against alt-right in Canada after #Freedom Convoy”. NOW Magazine. February 19, 2022.

“Freedom Convoy and the link between misogyny and white supremacy”. NOW Magazine. February 6, 2022.

“Mother and Child”. Montreal Serai. April 2022.

“Pay Up or Else” Narrative Northeast. February, 2022.    

“How Unions Defend their Members from Psychosocial Hazards”. Academic Matters. Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. 2022.

“In Praise of Older Men”.  Dissonance Magazine. July 2021.

“Art in the Maelstrom of Mothering”. Drunk Monkeys Journal. Winter 2021 and Yellow Arrow Publishing, EMERGE: Coming Into View, September 2021.

“How The Maple Leafs and Donald Trump Changed My Life”.  Adanna Literary Journal: Women and Politics.  Issue # 10.  2021.

“The Alt-Right and Me”. The Dillydoun Review and Writer’s Digest. 2021. 

“Our Children Do Not Belong To Us”. Santa Fe Writers Project. Issue 26, 2021.

“Revolution Up Close: Forward Ever, Backward Never in Grenada. Our Times. Spring 2021.

“A Stand of Conifers”. Halcyon Days. Issue 18.1. 2020.

“Paddling Toward Peace”. Dreamers Magazine. Fall 2020.

“Driving Miss Emma”.  Palabras Journal and Modern Literature Journal.  July 2020.

“Automatic Pilot”.  Aaduna Journal.  June 2020.

“Fifteen Years After My Son Died, I Still Find Ways to Celebrate His Life”. Globe and Mail. June 2020. 

“My Father’s Hands”.  Wire Dream Magazine 8th Collection. Spring 2020.

“My dinner with an anti-Semite in Patagonia”.  Collective Unrest Journal. September 2019.

“She Came to Stay”. Wilderness House Literary Review 14/3. Fall 2019.

“Capturing Hope from a Deep Cavern of Shame”.  CBC Radio. June 2018.

“Confronting Racism in the Canadian Labour Movement: An Intergenerational Assessment” in Equity: The Path to Union Renewal. eds. Patricia Baker and Janice Foley. UBC Press. 2008. 

“Mental Health Issues and the Duty to Accommodate”. Our Times. January-February 2004. 

“Protecting Kids like Luca and Jake”. The Toronto Star. January 10, 2001. 

“What’s Criminal isn’t Latimer, It’s Cuts to Children’s Services”. The Globe and Mail. June 22, 2000.

“An Open Letter to Robert Latimer on the Occasion of his Trial”. November 5, 1997. CBC Radio This Morning. Reprinted in Our Ontario. December, 1997. 

“Children’s Aid Society Workers and the Infant Mortality Task Force”. CBC Radio Commentary. April, 1997. 

“There’s No Free Lunch – Even for a Dying Child”, Facts and Argument, Globe and Mail. April 18, 1997. 

“When Parenting Gets Political: Speaking Out for Kids with Disabilities”. Herizons. Winter, 1996. 

“Excuse me, this is Canada”, Facts and Arguments, Globe and Mail. September 20, 1995. Reprinted with permission in The Bioethics Bulletin. The Bioethics Centre, Edmonton Alberta, December 1995 and Canadian Jewish Outlook, April 1996. 

“Thistletown Showdown: Lessons from a Community Campaign”, Our Times. Aug/Sept 1995.

“My Son Jake”, Toronto Star. February 23, 1995. Reprinted with permission in Our Times. May- June 1995 and The Guardian. Hospital Employees Union, B.C. June 1995. 

“The Latimer Appeal: Health care decision-makers should put themselves in parents’ shoes”, CBC Radio Commentary. February 24, 1995. 

“The Boys Just Don’t Get It: Family Responsibilities and the Labour Movement”, Our Times. October, 1994. 

“Labour and Community Living: New Coalitions for Change”, with Bob White, Entourage. Winter 1992-93. 

“Challenging Unions: Feminist Process and Democracy in the Labour Movement”. Feminist Perspectives series, Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women. Winter, 1987. 

“Breaking Down the Barriers: Women and the Nature of Union Work.” Our Generation. Autumn, 1982. 

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Equity Officer | Ontario Public Service Employees Union | 1994 – 2012

Equity-related duties including harassment cases, mediation and organization of marginalized groups within the membership.

Director of Communications | CAW – Canada (now UNIFOR). 1991 – 1994

Responsible for media relations and publications for the union. Supervised three staff members.

Executive Director National Radio Producers Association – CBC  1988 – 1991 

Key staff and negotiator for small union at CBC Radio. Provided individual strategic advice and led research and collective bargaining for the Association.

EDUCATION

Ed.D in Social Justice Education. OISE/University of Toronto, 2016. “Mental Health in the Workplace: Unions’ Role in Identifying and Combating Psychosocial Hazards”.

M.A. in Political Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, 1984. Graduated with Distinction.  

Honours B.A. in Political Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, 1980.

Certificate in Alternate Dispute Resolution/Mediation, York University, Toronto, 1999.

Certificate in Family Mediation, School of Social Work, University of Toronto, 1999.

CELTA English as a Second Language teaching certificate. LSC Toronto. April 2011.

PROJECTS/ AWARDS/ RECOGNITION

Finalist in the Pen 2 Paper nonfiction contest, the Women on Writing contest, the Fiction Literary Review and Writers Digest nonfiction contest 2021.

2004 Canada Council Literary Grant. Ontario Arts Council Literary Grant. Toronto Arts Council Literary Grant.

Golden Pan Award. Parent Action Network. In recognition of community activism and advocacy on behalf of families and children. May, 2001.

1999 Canada Council Literary Grant.  Ontario Arts Council Literary Grants.

“No Justice No Peace: Songs of the 1996 OPSEU Strike”, Executive producer of audio cassette for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union. 

“Jake’s Life”, Associate producer for film by Laura Sky, Sky Works Charitable Foundation, December 1995. 

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