Inner City Social Work Celebrates Margaret Tobin
The Inner City Social Work Program (ICSWP) would like to thank the family of Margaret Tobin for gifting some of her artifacts, in honour of Kim Clare, to the William Norrie Centre for display.
Margaret Tobin, former associate professor and counsellor at the University of Manitoba who was committed to the ideals of the ICSWP, with heavy focus on supporting single parents, First Nations peoples, and accessibility services for students.
Margaret passed away in 2014, but the work she has done continues to impact students and the broader community. She co-founded a non-audition community choir, posthumously renamed Margaret’s Choir, that has created a safe, welcoming environment for all who want to sing. A single parent bursary was also created for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Social Work Program or at the Inner City ACCESS Program under her name.
“My mom felt a deep connection to not only the social work community but the community at large. She would have been delighted to see her donation bringing people together in such a meaningful way,” says Margaret’s daughter, Minna Goulet.
A celebration took place at the William Norrie Centre to honour the gifts from Margaret. One of the artifacts, “The Grandmother Masks,” was created by Elder Mae Louise, who works with Inner City Social Work Program staff and students on occasion. Elder Mae Louise was in attendance and explained to Minna and friends that Margaret had purchased the piece from her over 30 years ago.
“The Grandmother Masks” depicts grandmothers on a tree and represents women because ‘all of us are extensions of the Earth Mother, grandmothers were the leaders, were powerful and led the people’ explains Elder Mae Louise, “When women are empowered, our people are empowered”.
“The celebration was a full-circle event”, describes Yvonne Pompana, director, ICSWP. “From connecting the designer of the artifact, Elder Mae Louise, with Margaret’s daughter and friends, it was a very special gathering and I’m sure the celebration will stay long in the hearts and memories of those who were present,” says Pompana.
The Inner City Social Work Program is grateful for Margaret’s many gifts and contributions she and her family have made to the program. “The energy Margaret brought to the University reminds us to honour the spirit, finding our voice and our laughter,” Eveline Milliken, associate professor, faculty of social work.