Kim Samuel is Chair of The Samuel Centre for Social Connectedness, President of The Samuel Family Foundation, Professor of Practice at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development and Policy Advisor to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI). Ms. Samuel is a pioneer in the field of social connectedness and its significance to inclusive policy and program development on a global scale. She is also a prominent speaker, commentator, and author featured regularly in various media and scholarly sources. See below for a list of her articles.
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A Tribute to Saoirse Kennedy-Hill (8/9/2019) - In this piece for Medium, Kim pays homage to this friend and teacher and reflects on the important impacts she made on the world. In speaking out about her personal struggles against depression and sexual assault, Saoirse was bearing a burden in order to help reduce shame and stigma for others. She revealed what is perhaps the most necessary and under-appreciated pathway to healing: Solidarity. On Refugee Rights Day, it’s Time for Canada to Step Up. (4/4/2019) - By Kim Samuel and Jessica Farber
On this Refugee Rights Day, one thing is clear: we need to grow our commitment. In this post, Kim Samuel and Jessica Farber call for Canadians to take action to uphold the dignity and humanity of forced migrants.
Realizing the Human Right to Belong (3/9/2019) - In her latest Medium piece, Kim Samuel calls for a “revolution in values” in which community, connection, and belonging are considered foremost in the defense of human rights. Hikikomori: Japan’s Name for a Global Crisis (9/25/2018) - Hikikomori appears to be a unique cultural phenomenon in Japan, by which individuals completely withdraw from society, but Kim reflects in her latest article on how this is perhaps not so unique. Safety in Belonging (6/27/2018) - In her latest article, Kim reflects on the factors that may drive an individual to join a violent extremist group. Drawing from examples that have failed and succeeded, Kim advocates for approaches to combatting extremism that rest not on an 'us-versus-them' mentality, but are grounded in respect, recognition and youth empowerment. Helping Every Student be ‘Whole’ (5/17/2018) - In her latest article, Kim Samuel argues that universities have a responsibility to develop the whole student. She highlights the isolating effects of social media and smartphones on student well-being. In response, universities must be more proactive in helping students unplug and connect with the material and their surrounding community. Making our Metrics Count (3/18/2018) - In her latest article, Kim Samuel highlights why the core metrics we track must encompass much more than economic growth. If we continue to prioritize production over purpose, commercial activity over connection, we lose sight of what really makes life worth living. If we value community, inclusion and social connectedness, for example, we need to develop indicators and policy drivers that reflect these values. Social Inclusion and Environmental Sustainability: We Stand or Sink Together (2/1/2018) - In her latest article, Kim Samuel highlights environmental challenges facing cities today, the impact on vulnerable populations, and the importance of data in driving solutions. She also promotes the new Urban and Environmental Social Inclusion Index, developed by Dr. Angel Hsu and Data-Driven Yale. Why We Need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Sexual Violence (1/25/2018) - In Walrus Magazine, Kim Samuel shines light on the inadequacies of the criminal justice system in addressing sexual violence, arguing that we can no longer allow victims to be isolated in their suffering. Further, she makes the case for restorative justice as a means to address the issue and bridge the gap between justice and healing. Preventing Homelessness Goes Beyond Affordable Housing (1/11/2018) - Next, in a series of articles co-written by Kim Samuel and students from her McGill University seminar, Kim and co-authors Jessica Farber and Celine Thomas express concern for the homeless amidst this devastatingly cold winter. They argue that crisis-based responses must be accompanied by prevention strategies designed to build community for all. After earthquakes and hurricanes, the question is: What do we value? (11/1/2017) - In her latest Huffington Post article, Kim Samuel reflects on responses to recent natural disasters, arguing that no matter who the victims are, or where they live, they must be valued equally. She encourages all of us to note the systemic devaluation of communities that has occurred and the critical need for society to change course. #MeToo Should Be Everyone’s Issue (10/20/2017) - Kim Samuel's latest Huffington Post article expresses resounding solidarity with all the women who are bravely coming forward as part of the #MeToo movement and with other victims of sexual harassment. She encourages everyone to truly convey to women everywhere, "I believe in you", and calls for actions against this behaviour in our society. We Shouldn’t Need to be “Successful” to Belong (9/26/2017) - Kim Samuel's latest Huffington Post article addresses the legacy of the refugee experience, arguing that newcomers and Dreamers and anyone who calls their adopted country “home” should not be made to feel that they must prove themselves above and beyond expectations for every other citizen. Creating More Caring University Classrooms (8/3/2017) - In March 2017, Kim Samuel joined top thought leaders at a meeting convened by the Brookings Center for Universal Education to explore "meaningful education in times of uncertainty". In this outcome article, Kim draws on her experience teaching at McGill to make the case for why caring classroom principles must be applied at the post-secondary level. The Fire This Time (7/4/2017) - Kim Samuel's latest Huffington Post article addresses the tragic high-rise fire at Grenfell Tower in London, England, and the consequences of segregating the "haves" from "have nots". “One of Us” Has to Be All of Us (6/16/2017) - Kim Samuel's latest Huffington Post article marks the first anniversary of former British parliamentarian Jo Cox's death as neighbours across the UK come together for one of the most ambitious and joyful street parties in modern memory. To Reach Peace, We Must Teach Peace (5/21/2017) - On the eve of important dialogue in Israel concerning prospects for peace in the Middle East, Kim Samuel's latest Huffington Post article addresses the essential role of education both in times of conflict and in times of peace. The Caring Classroom: Promoting Community-Centered Learning on Campus (4/11/2017) - In the first of a series of articles co-written by Kim Samuel and her students, Kim and co-author Jeremy Monk reflect on the deep struggles and challenges facing many university students, and on the importance of building community both in and outside the university classroom. International Women’s Day 2017: Women Serve, Women Solve, Women Lead (3/8/2017) - Happy International Women's Day! We are pleased to share Kim Samuel's newest Huffington Post article, "International Women's Day 2017: Women Serve, Women Solve, Women Lead", that celebrates inspiring women who are building social connectedness around the world. Conflict and Connectedness in the Middle East (2/15/2017) - Kim's Samuel's newest Huffington Post article, "Conflict and Connectedness in the Middle East" reflects on the importance and need for compassion, for the pursuit of common ground & for finally overcoming the cycle of isolation that Israelis and Palestinians have experienced for decades. How to Build Social Connectedness? Get Creative (2/15/2017) - Kim's Samuel's latest Huffington Post article, "How to Build Social Connectedness? Get Creative" highlights the power of creativity to inspire, empower, and build belonging especially during this time in which hatred and exclusion are being heard increasingly around the world. “Where Is the Love? Building Belonging in an Age of Divisiveness” (2/2/2017) - Kim's Samuel's latest Huffington Post article, "Where is the Love? Building Belonging in an Age of Diviseness" encourages us that even in a time of heightened insecurity and mistrust, we can, together, summon the courage to welcome those who are different from us into our lives. Breaking Bread and Building Connection (12/13/2016) - With the holiday season upon us, Kim's Samuel's latest Huffington Post article "Breaking Bread and Building Connection" reflects on how the act of sharing food and partaking in a meal together can foster a greater sense of social connectedness. Kim notes that food may nourish your body, but community will nourish your soul. Roses in Concrete: Helping Isolated Boys and Men (11/17/2016) - Inspired by Tupac Shakur’s powerful poem, “The rose that grew from concrete”, Kim Samuel's latest Huffington Post article draws on the theme of the unsung hero. She suggests that as a society, we need to confront the archetypal notion that males must only struggle alone. From Common Core to Common Care: Helping School Communities Thrive (9/12/2016) - We are happy to share Kim Samuel’s latest article on the Huffington Post “From Common Core to Common Care: Helping School Communities Thrive". In this article, Kim builds on her last post exploring how negative school environments can be fertile ground for the social isolation of students, by considering the impact on teachers as well. A New 3 R’s for Back-to-School: Respect, Recognition and Reciprocity (8/31/2016) - As the rush of back-to-school takes hold, we are pleased to share Kim Samuel’s article on Huffington Post, "A New 3 R’s for Back-to-School: Respect, Recognition and Reciprocity”. It provides a timely reminder of the many ways in which social isolation can impact students at every stage of their education. Confronting Attawapiskat’s PTSD: The Painful Trauma of Spiritual Disconnection (4/26/2016) - With recent attention on alarming rates of youth suicide in Indigenous communities, Kim Samuel provides an important analysis. Kim highlights three essential elements including that actions must be directed by Indigenous peoples, be built on community strengths and support critical community capacity. Moving from #BringbackOurGirls to #ValueOurGirls (4/14/2016) - In this powerful Huffington Post piece, "Moving from #BringbackOurGirls to #ValueOurGirls”, Kim Samuel exposes deeply troubling realities facing women and girls who are victims of violent conflict— systemic discrimination and isolation. Using Social Connectedness to Unlock Sustainable Development (3/10/2016) - In her new article in the Huffington Post, "Using Social Connectedness to Unlock Sustainable Development", Kim Samuel offers new insight and encouragement in the wake of global agreement on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Urban Condition is the Human Condition (2/11/2016) - We are pleased to share Kim Samuel's new article in the Huffington Post, "The Urban Condition is the Human Condition". In this piece, Kim highlights the inter-relationship between two pressing global challenges - social isolation and rapid urbanization. Finding the Wisdom, Courage, and Compassion to See That The Other Is Us (1/4/2016) - Published on Christmas Day, Kim Samuel's latest article includes a special message as we look to the New Year. “Finding the Wisdom, Courage, and Compassion to See That The Other Is Us”, illustrates that even within the darkest moments, our connectedness to one another illuminates a pathway of hope for us all. Celebrate Global Dignity Day with Empathy, Inclusion, and Action (10/15/2015) - In recognition of Global Dignity Day, which is being celebrated on October 21st, Kim Samuel has written the Huffington Post article, Celebrate Global Dignity Day with Empathy, Inclusion, and Action, which highlights the importance of dignity and belonging. The Beautiful Game and the Goal of Belonging (9/16/2015) - Kim Samuel’s latest article in the Huffington Post, The Beautiful Game and the Goal of Belonging, centres on the Homeless World Cup, which is being held in Amsterdam this week. Now in its 13th year, this event builds critical connections, exemplifying the importance and impact of dignity and inclusion to all interactions and relationships in our lives. Showing Up Sooner: A Lesson for Caregivers (7/4/2015) - "Looking after a loved one, day in and day out, can feel profoundly isolating, like being alone, at the bottom of a well, where light and hope can’t reach." Kim Samuel shares tales of Alzheimer's and caregiving at MariaShriver.com. Combating Caregiver Isolation: Respect, Recognition and Reciprocity (5/29/2015) - Kim Samuel writes on the challenge of caregiving for someone you love, which she describes as both a time of near constant togetherness and a time of profound isolation for the caregiver — as devastating to them as the affliction is to the person being cared for. Living Long Shouldn’t Mean Living Lonely (4/23/2015) - In her latest article, Kim Samuel writes on the vulnerability of older persons and the loneliness many experience on a daily basis. As she argues, beyond the painful toll on individuals, communities lose out too when older adults are disempowered, disregarded, and disengaged. She calls for a change in perspective in three key respects. Fighting Isolation Via Paintbrush, Page, Song and Stage (4/18/2015) - Kim Samuel writes on the importance of nurturing our imaginations and creative spirit as a means of establishing a sense of belonging with others. As she argues, in moments of isolation and disconnection, creativity can be our salvation.