Canadians and the World: Julia Goulden

We were thrilled when we received a call from Canada’s History magazine asking if they could interview someone for their Canadians and the World segment. We immediately put them in touch with Julia Goulden, one of CoDev’s co-founders. We really appreciate their interest in our work and the role it has played over almost three decades in building partnerships for global justice.

Visit the Canada’s History website to listen to the audio of Julia Goulden’s interview.

In the February-March 2012 issue of Canada’s History, Joanna Dawson and Beverley Tallon enlightened us about seven Canadians who have made a difference (see page 59). As part of our Canadians and the World online extensions, we introduce you to: Julia Goulden.

Special education teacher Julia Goulden founded CoDevelopment Canada in 1985 after seeing a stirring photograph in a daily newspaper. The photo, which showed a group of female teachers raising their arms against a crowd of police, moved Goulden to foster a partnership between the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and an organization of teachers in Peru.

This was CoDev’s first project and 26 years later, CoDevelopment Canada has far exceeded Goulden’s initial expectations. “Initially it was a very small organization that basically worked in the education sector. Over the 26 years, we’ve really engaged other unions. It’s just grown that more people are involved, more organizations see themselves in solidarity with us,” explained Goulden. “That was always the goal from the beginning. Over the years, it has progressively grown larger and has evolved.”

Today, CoDev partners with 17 Canadian organizations in a range of Latin American countries. CoDev supports such initiatives as gender equality in Central American education, labour rights in the Maquila garment industry, and grass-roots human rights initiatives for Colombian public sector workers.

After 25 years of service with CoDevelopment Canada, Julia Goulden stepped down from CoDev’s board in 2010. Julia recently spoke with Katherine Dow, Editorial Intern at Canada’s History Magazine about her work with CoDev.

–Katherine Dow

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