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Tom Carter

Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service


Giving voice to the marginalized has been the life’s work of Tom Carter. The Canada Research Chair in Urban Change and Adaptation has focused on the issue of housing not only as an academic, but as a volunteer with scores of community-based groups.

This year’s recipient of the Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service believes that academics should play a role in community.

To that end, Carter has spent the last 20 years contributing countless hours to grass-roots community groups and organizations dedicated to inner-city revitalization and addressing the needs of housing and other issues faced by the poor, Aboriginal people, new immigrants, and the inner city in general.

He has lent his expertise by serving on the boards and committees of many community based groups and is currently a member of the Canadian Housing & Renewal Association, Manitoba Hydro Relocation Advisory Committee, Prairie Metropolis Board of Governors, University of Winnipeg Community Renewal Corporation, Westminster Housing Society Board, Winnipeg Housing and Renewal Corporation, and Winnipeg Inner City Housing Coalition.

Many of these activities converge in the $1.4-million government-funded research project Winnipeg Inner-City Research Alliance (WIRA) which Carter launched, in partnership with community organizations, at the Institute of Urban Studies in 1999. Its mandate has been to partner community groups with established researchers to undertake action-oriented research that meets community needs.

Carter chaired CUexpo 2005, Community-University Research Partnerships: Leaders in Urban Change—an international conference held September 2005.

“I can think of no one who embodies the idea of community more than Tom and who has made as long and deep a commitment to community organizations, who has so selflessly given of his time on their behalf, and who has achieved international stature for doing so,” says Bill Rannie, Chair of the Department of Geography.

Carter has received the Marsha Hanen Award for Excellence in Creating Community Awareness (2003) and the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), and is currently Chair of the Metropolis Project’s Edmonton-based Prairie Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration. He is also a participant, at the invitation of the City of Winnipeg, in an international project to facilitate the provision of community-based clinics for AIDS-HIV sufferers in Kampla, Uganda.