Journalist, author and activist known as “Canada’s Conscience,” national icon June Callwood was one of the founders of Casey House. Casey House is named after her son.
Carrying with her the memories of an adverse and impoverished childhood, combined with her fierce intelligence and immense compassion, Callwood inspired all of Canada for more than six decades through her words and actions.
One of the most exceptional and respected voices in Canada, Callwood was a proud career journalist and writer. Achieving acclaim and a loyal following for her thousands of articles and columns for national newspapers and magazines, Callwood was the host of several television programs and authored dozens of books, always related to the many issues of social justice about which she was passionate.
Callwood was not content to simply write about the injustices she came across as a journalist: she felt compelled to help. Her activism spanned a myriad of causes, from poverty and illnesses including HIV/AIDS, to racism, homophobia, censorship and women and children in crisis. She had a knack for exposing the tears in Canada’s social fabric, and envisioning ways to mend them. Among the dozens of charities Callwood helped to create are Nellie’s, (one of Canada’s first shelters for women in crisis), Jessie’s Centre for Teenagers (now the June Callwood Centre for Women and Families), and Casey House, Canada’s first HIV/AIDS hospice.