Network News


What made you interested in signing up for CBRC membership?

Dalhousie University has grounded its strategic research clusters in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and understands that the achievement of these goals is dependent on the collaborative actions of many.  Connection to community is critical if we are to move the dial on the large-scale challenges that face our world.  This is clearly expressed in the fact that SDG 17 is focused solely on partnerships for the achievement of global sustainability.  While Dalhousie has concentrated/identified expertise in several of the SDGs (e.g., 14 – Life Below Water, 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy, etc.), partnership development is a priority across all faculties and campuses. 

Dalhousie is excited to join the Community Based Research Canada network because the diversity of membership presents the opportunity to share with and learn from a rich base of community-based research experience and expertise.  Best practices gained from experiential learning are critical in strengthening approaches to problem solving.  

The opportunities and challenges currently faced by society are too large for any one university, one sector or even one country to tackle alone.

What does your institution contribute to community-university partnerships?

While Dalhousie does not have a formal structure in place to focus on community-university partnerships, it recognizes the importance of these partnerships in ensuring the relevance of research undertaken in many faculties and departments.  We actively support and celebrate the mobilization of knowledge developed in our labs and classrooms to community stakeholders who can put it into action and maximize its benefit.  As the largest and most research-intensive institution in the Atlantic region, Dalhousie plays a significant role in driving the region’s intellectual, social and economic development.  Functioning as a community leader and hub to bring people together, our constant pursuit of innovative solutions to complex problems helps us to inspire great things. 

Dalhousie is proud to be more vibrant and connected than ever. To create a future where everyone can thrive, we must learn from the knowledge and skills of the communities that shape us.  In 2019, Dalhousie is committed to implementing an Indigenous Strategy and African Nova Scotian Strategy, and to supporting the diverse individuals and communities who find their place at Dalhousie.

What has been your institution’s experience in community-university partnerships and what plans do you have for the future?

Dalhousie has many researchers who are deeply committed to working with and in service to the community.  They recognize that the perspectives and insights of members of the community are invaluable in formulating a deep understanding of challenges faced and are invigorated by the opportunity to use their expertise to bring about tangible change.  Two notable examples come from the Faculties of Health and Law. 

Dr. Ingrid Waldron is an Associate Professor at Dalhousie’s School of Nursing.  Using Nova Scotia as a case study and colonialism as the overarching theory, Dr. Waldron works with Indigenous and Black communities, examining the legacy of environmental racism and its health impacts.  Her recently-published book, There’s Something in the Water: Environmental Racism in Indigenous and Black Communities, unpacks how environmental racism operates as a mechanism of erasure enabled by the intersecting dynamics of white supremacy, power, state-sanctioned racial violence, neoliberalism and racial capitalism in white settler societies.  Her work illustrates the ways in which the effects of environmental racism are compounded by other forms of oppression to further dehumanize and harm communities already dealing with pre-existing vulnerabilities.  Dr. Waldron’s book attracted the attention of actress Ellen Page and became the impetus for the eponymous documentary film that will be featured at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.  

Professor Jennifer Llewellyn from Dalhousie’s Schulich School of Law is a world leader in the area of Restorative Justice and, because of her deep commitment to and success in building transformative connections with government, community and academic partners in Canada and around the world, she is the recipient of the 2018 SSHRC Impact Award for Connection. Professor Llewellyn argues that justice is fundamentally about establishing, promoting, and protecting just relations – those in which all parties enjoy equal respect, care and concern, and dignity.  In her community-based research, she has consistently demonstrated that justice processes must be designed to reflect relationality to create conditions required for just relationships.  Her work is focused fundamentally on building community and university collaborations for the application of restorative approaches.  A true public intellectual, Professor Llewellyn is focused on engaging the world beyond the academy; she has an innate willingness, capacity, and commitment to address some of the most challenging social issues and to facilitate the empowerment of those most affected.  Professor Llewellyn has contributed to meaningful criminal justice reform in Canada and around the world.

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New Institutional Member – McMaster University shares about their CBR initiatives

McMaster’s Office of Community Engagement was formed in 2016 to develop new community-university partnerships. In January 2019 McMaster began piloting a Community Based Research Coordinator role, which facilitates and supports research at McMaster with connection and benefit to Hamilton communities through the Research Shop, supporting connections between faculty members and community groups, and liaising between partners and regional and national CBR networks. Becoming a member of CBRC was a natural way to build connections with other CBR partners across Canada. One early way that we have been able to support CBR in Hamilton was by co-organizing a report launch and knowledge mobilization event of a project led by Dr. Suzanne Mills entitled “Mapping the Void: Two-Spirit and LGBTIQ+ Experiences in Hamilton.”

Please feel free to have a look at the McMaster Office of Community Engagement’s new website!

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New Institutional Member – NORDIK Institute shares about their CBR initiatives

NORDIK Institute, affiliated with Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, was established in 2006, growing out of the university’s Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) program following significant demand for local research. Since its inception, NORDIK has served as a mechanism for university-community partnerships. NORDIK is dedicated to the practice of cross-cultural learning, holistic community development, and building Northern Ontario’s research capacity. Its research is grounded in the community resilience framework based on the four pillars of cultural vitality, social equity, environmental sustainability, and economic growth and diversity. A recognized leader in community economic development, NORDIK Institute has collaborated with non-profit, private and institutional partners across both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.

NORDIK Institute’s team has been well recognized both locally and internationally. Its associates maintain an active research and community service program. Building on the past involvement in previous C2U Expos, the team at NORDIK is excited to expand its involvement with Community Based Research Canada.

NORDIK’s team includes:

Prof. Sean Meades, Director of NORDIK Institute.

Sean is a Lecturer in the Department of Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) at Algoma University and a PhD candidate in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at York University. His research focuses on political economy of language policy, discourse analysis, cultural and heritage policy, land-use planning and community economic development in northern, rural and Indigenous communities. Meades’ community involvement has included work with the LGBT2SQ community, anti-racism and Anishinaabe solidarity causes, cultural policy, and urban sustainability. He is currently the chair of FutureSSM’s Arts and Culture Action Team and serves on a number of Committees of Council for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

Dr. Jude Ortiz, Research Coordinator of NORDIK Institute and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Community Economic and Social Development. She holds a BFA (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University), B.Ed. (Windsor), and PhD (Univesity of the West of England). With a strong background in the arts and community development, her research interests include the intersection of culture and the arts with community resilience; complex adaptive systems in regional identity transformations; and social enterprise and social entrepreneurship.  

Krista Bissiallon, Project Manager/Researcher

Krista is Anishinaabe kwe from Bawating (Sault Ste. Marie, ON) with roots in Mississauga First Nation. In addition to being a researcher with NORDIK Institute, she is co-founder of Young Leaders Circle. Krista has a B.A. (Hons) in Community Economic and Social Development and continues to live and work in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Since graduating, Krista has worked in various avenues of community development with a strong focus on supporting young people doing change work in her community. Krista is inspired by the good work of leaders creating systems change, and she brings her passion for people, learning, social justice and community development to her own practices.

Lisa Meschino, Manager of Operations and Communications.

Lisa holds a B.A. (Hons) in philosophy (York University), an M.A. in philosophy (University of Toronto), and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience (University of Waterloo). As a postdoctoral fellow at University of Waterloo, her research focused on community arts programs, culture change, and dementia care. As a community-engaged artist and researcher, she is committed to creative arts education, arts-based health initiatives, and social models of care.

Tamanna Rimi, Research Assistant.

Tamanna is currently completing her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University (ISU). She has a M.S. in Economics (Tufts University), Economics (University of Dhaka), and B.S.S. in Economics (University of Dhaka).

Sadaf Kazi, Research Assistant.

Sadaf has her B.A. (Hons) in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting. Since moving to Canada and Sault Ste. Marie, she has been an active volunteer with the Rotary Club and its community-driven activities.

Dr. Gayle Broad, Research Associate

Gayle is Associate Professor Emerita in the Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) program at Algoma University and inaugural Director at NORDIK Institute (2006-2017). Gayle’s research interests include the social economy particularly in Northern, rural and Indigenous communities; and research methodologies for participatory practice.

Dr. Linda Savory Gordon, Research Associate

B.A.(Queen’s); M.S.W.(McGill); PhD (Bristol) R.S.W.

Linda is Associate Professor Emerita in the Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) program at Algoma University. For the past 13 years, she had dedicated herself to volunteering and conducting research to support the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains (CAPT), a grassroots initiative bringing together Indigenous and Settler communities.

Dr. Sheila Gruner, Associate Professor, Community Economic and Social Development

Sheila holds a B.A. Hons. (Guelph), M.E.S. (York); PhD (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto). She has been instrumental supporting organizations working for the defense of political, cultural, and territorial rights of Indigenous and Black communities in relation to the Colombia peace accord process.

Dr. Laura Wyper, Assistant Professor, Community Economic and Social Development

Laura holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery (Laurentian University), a B.Ed. (Trent University), a M.A. in Adult Education and Community Development (OISE/UT), and a PhD in Adult Education and Community Development with a specialization in Comparative, International and Development Education from (OISE/UT). Living on a small hobby farm outside Sault Ste. Marie, she is able put into ‘praxis’ some of the ecological and food sovereignty practices she teaches at Algoma University.

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Graduate Diploma in Community-Engaged Research & Evaluation at McMaster University

This Graduate Diploma offers students the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in community-engaged research and evaluation, and to contribute to community and agency learning, effectiveness, and change.  It is 16-month, part-time, course-based program offered by the McMaster school of social work. The deadline to apply is October 1, 2019. To learn more, visit their website.

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Journal Article from Lakehead University

Lakehead University recently published an article titled, “A multi-faceted community intervention is associated with knowledge and standards
of workplace mental health”. Click here to read it.

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The Journal of Participatory Research Methods calling for LOIs

The Journal of Participatory Research Methods will give participatory researchers an outlet for explaining and sharing those practices and for learning from others who are doing community-engaged work. The deadline for LOIs is August 15, 2019. Read more here.

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Gateways Journal Profile

Gateways Journal maintains significant growth in article downloads and strong evidence of engagement from scholars and communities. This profile demonstrates the genuine public demand for important and innovative community-centred research. Read it here.

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New CBRC Board Member

CBRC welcomes Steven Hermans to the CBRC Board of Directors! Steven is the Partnership Development Officer in the Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation, at the University of Toronto. Read his bio here.

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