16 January, 2017

Obituary: Prof. David V.J. Bell

York University, in Toronto, has its flag at half mast today in memory of Prof. David V. J. Bell who passed away last week after a battle with a sudden illness (see obituary here). 

David Bell was a political science and linguistics professor at York University in Toronto, having served as Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES), as well as of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. He authored/co-editor of a number of books including, "Resistance and Revolution" (1973) Boston, Houghton Mifflin; "The Roots of Disunity: A Study of Canadian Political Culture" (1992) Toronto, Oxford University Press; "Local Places: In the Age of the Global City" (1996), co-edited with Keil and Wekerle, Montreal, Black Rose Books; "Political Ecology: Global and Local" (1998) co-edited with Fawcett, Keil, and Penz, New York, Routledge; "Introduction to Sustainable Development" (2009) co-edited with Cheung, Oxford, Elos. He was editor of the International Journal of Sustainable Development.  He also wrote and hosted of a series of radio broadcasts (91.1FM Toronto) entitled, "Sustainability: Canadian and Global Perspectives".

But David will be remembered for his commitment to sustainability issues in both academia and in the community at large. His list of achievements and recognitions are long.  To name a few, he founded of the York Centre for Applied Sustainability (YCAS), and co-founded of the International Sustainability Indicators Network (ISIN).  He Co-chaired the National Education for Sustainable Development Expert Council (NESDEC), and Chaired the Toward Sustainability in York Region Advisory Group. And, after retirement remained Chair of Learning for a Sustainable Future (www.lsf-lst.ca) and Co-chaired of the Education Alliance for a Sustainable Ontario (EASO).

In 2007, the City of Toronto awarded him with the Green Toronto Award for Leadership in Sustainability. Most recently, in 2016, the Black Business and Professional Association presented him with the prestigious Harry Jerome President’s Award that recognizes excellence in the African-Canadian community.

On a personal level, David chaired my master defense. And, during my master studies at FES, I had the good fortune of helping him, as a graduate assistant, proof read, "Political Ecology." David was a role model, and most of all, a good friend. He will be missed.

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