It is with a deep sense of grief that we convey the devastating news of Prof. Aziz Choudry’s passing. We are still in a state of shock and trying to comprehend the enormity of this loss. Aziz had many dear friends, comrades, colleagues and family around the world. We know that all are stunned and are trying to process his passing. We are thinking of you all and hold everyone close to our hearts. We ask you to reach out to all who knew him and support each other emotionally in this difficult time.
Aziz arrived from McGill University to join us as a full-time staff member of our Centre in February this year after a number of years as a visiting professor with our Faculty. He enjoyed a longstanding scholarly relation with all of the staff and expressed a profound affinity with our work.
Aziz was the quintessential scholar-activist and was deeply sensitive to injustices wherever they occurred. He made significant global contributions to social movement learning, knowledge production in community organisations, activist archives, immigrant workers’ education, anti-racist/anti-colonial education and related fields. He will also be remembered for his unstinting and selfless devotion to the students he supervised and taught as well as the many academics and movement activists he mentored throughout the world. He was also an untiring international solidarity activist supporting indigenous, Palestinian and anticolonial struggles. Aziz helped activist work around opposing surveillance and repression, unfair trade, and supported activism around food sovereignty and climate justice. He was a strong advocate of education as a public good and championed the struggle for a decommodified and decolonial academy.
Prof. Choudry wrote prolifically and is the author and co-editor of the following ten books between 2009 and 2020: Organize! Building from the Local for Global Justice (2012); Activists and the Surveillance State: Learning from Repression (2019); Learning from the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production (2010); Learning Activism: The Intellectual Life of Contemporary Social Movements (2015); Unfree Labour? Struggles of Migrant and Immigrant Workers in Canada (2016); Fight Back: Workplace Justice for Immigrants (2009); NGOization: Complicity, Contradictions and Prospects (2013); The University and Social Justice: Struggle Across the Globe (2020); Just Work? Migrant Workers’ Struggle Today (2016) and Reflections on Knowledge, Learning and Social Movements: History’s Schools (2018).
Aziz’s praxis and vision for a kinder and humane world will always inspire and remain with us.