Key Acquisitions: Jane Finch Community Research

Donation of the Wanda MacNevin collection complements the Libraries’ role as co-investigator on “Ethical, Accessible Research Data Management for the Jane Finch Community,” a project funded by a SSHRC Connections Grant. Wanda MacNevin moved to the Jane-Finch community in the 1970s as a single mother. Concerned by the community’srapid growth and lack of social services, she was a founding director and the first employee of the Jane-Finch Centre in 1976. MacNevin developed programs for teenage mothers, seniors, and resident groups while program manager at Black Creek Community Health Centre. She became the Program Manager of the Jane/Finch Centre in 2003
and retired as the Centre’s Director of Community Programs in 2016. MacNevin was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by York University in June 2017 for her life’s work as a social worker and activist.

Wanda MacNevin was devoted to preserving the heritage of the community and its residents, many of whom were poor and recent immigrants. Her collection of meeting minutes, scholarly articles, government reports, ephemera, and books became the basis for her recent book, By Us! For Us! Activism in Jane-Finch, A Working-Class Community. It tells a story of courage and activism that confronted racism, neglect, and political decisions, which resulted in economic marginalization and lack of infrastructure. She donated her collection to York University Libraries in 2022 so that it could be shared with faculty, students, and especially the residents of the Jane-Finch community.

The project was awarded a SSHRC Connection Grant in 2019 on “Ethical, Accessible Research Data Management for the Jane Finch Community.”

Originally published in the York University Libraries Impact Report (2021-2023).


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