It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of John Flynn. John was a student in the School of Social Work at the University of Ottawa who obtained his bachelor’s degree in 2016. He earned a master’s in social work and human rights at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden in 2018
Motivated by a commitment to social justice, John was involved in numerous causes at the University of Ottawa. He was a founding member of the FemAnVi (Feminist Anti-Violence) Research Collective. He was also a coordinator and researcher in the action-research project PROUD (Participatory Research in Ottawa, Understanding D rugs). John combined his concern for equity and social justice with his passion for art. He put his creativity to good use by inviting the Lab (an Outaouais centre for intervention and prevention in substance use) to collaborate in what became a permanent art exhibit in the School of Social Work. He also organized a music concert for older persons, in which they played a major production role. In one of his uOttawa courses, he spontaneously organized a fundraising effort to assist a person invited to the course whose living situation was precarious. John was also a member of the board of the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE-ACFTS), initially as the member responsible for liaising with students in social work and later as the treasurer and president of the student committee. Many people described John as always warm, humble, wise, intelligent, and honest. John had a deep love of life, coupled with affection and generosity towards others, whether friends or strangers. He was able to see beauty everywhere, and he strove to ensure that the beauty inherent in each person was reflected in the eyes of all.
John Vincent Flynn Memorial Bursary
The John Vincent Flynn Memorial Bursary honors John’s legacy and perpetuate his engagement and leadership. We have established the John Vincent Flynn Memorial Bursary, which was created in September 2019, to commemorate the life of John Vincent Flynn and highlight his contributions to the University and to the community.