Moses Coady is a unique Canadian example for his work creating a social movement that combined adult education with support for disadvantaged workers. The Antigonish Movement evolved from the pioneering work of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady and Rev.Jimmy Tompkins in the 1920s. The local community development movement originated as a response to the poverty afflicting farmers, fishers, miners, and other disadvantaged groups in Eastern Canada. Dr. Coady and his associates used a practical and successful strategy of adult education and group action that began with the immediate economic needs of the local people.
The philosophic principles of the Antigonish Movement were well established as guidelines for the work of the Movement beginning in the 1930s. However, it was a decade later that they were articulated. The Antigonish Movement emphasized respect for the individual and belief that a participatory group process based on adult education and socioeconomic cooperation is the most effective and beneficial means to affect social change for the better.