by Maeve Lydon, CFICE Aligning Institutions for Community Impact Community Co-Lead 

Our Community First: Impacts of Community Engagement (CFICE) policy and action work over the next three years (2016-2019) will focus on strengthening both Canadian communities and the national community-campus engagement (CCE) movement in Canada. We continue to address  the overall question of CFICE, which has guided its work to date: How can community campus partnerships be designed and implemented to maximize the value created for non-profit, community-based organizations?

CFICE’s work is also designed to weave into and leverage CUExpo 2017, the biannual Canadian conference coming up from May 1-5, 2017 in Vancouver, exploring community-college-university partnerships as catalysts for social innovation. CUExpo 2017’s theme is “For the Common Good” and states that it will celebrate and showcase community-campus partnerships – local, national and global – which advance social, health, environmental, educational and collective strategies supporting transformation for the common good.

There is obvious synergy between CFICE and CUExpo 2017. Hosted by Simon Fraser University, this gathering promises to be a major opportunity to build on national and global momentum and expertise, and to create a long lasting-platform for campus engagement in Canada. Check out the Call for Proposals and contact the CUEXPO team if you have any questions.

CUExpo 2017 will strive to include an equal number of both campus and community-based participants. Registration closes on Sunday, November 13, 2016.

Collage of pictures depicting conference-goers.

© CUExpo 2017

CFICE and CUEXPO 2017 – Background

The alignment between CFICE and CUExpo stems from significant action in Canada over the past 9 years in building the community-campus engagement movement. CFICE is focused on the creation of a ‘Community-First’ approach to community-campus partnership and engagement in Canada to support environmental and societal well being.

The Aligning Institutions for Community Impact Working Group (AICI-WG) of CFICE is committed to connecting CUExpo2017 to our three priority activities-focused on institutional transformation for Phase II of the project.

  1.  Creating a ‘Community-First’ Canadian classification system/planning matrix for community-campus engagement
  2. Mapping and connecting Canadian university engagement initiatives and offices in Canada to support a community of practice and policy change
  3. Mobilizing new Canadian funding opportunities for ‘Community-First’ research, capacity building and engagement initiatives.

Aligning CFICE and CUExpo2017 is also a natural outcome of the CFICE team’s legacy and leadership. This action research network continues to be a major catalyst and driver in Canada for community- campus partnerships and enabling national-global policies and networks.

Planning for May 2017

Besides CFICE, both entities – CBRCanada and the UNESCO Chair for CBR are on the Coordinating Committee for CUExpo2017 and anticipate this event being a major catalyst for the Canadian and global community-campus engagement movement.

CBRC has also been the lead coordinator for the CUExpo’s since 2008 (held in Waterloo, ON in 2011, Cornerbrook, Newfoundland in 2013, Ottawa, ON in 2015). Global networks such as the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (UK), Campus Engage (Ireland) and the Living Knowledge Network (Europe) are also on the Coordinating Committee and will have a strong presence at CUExpo 2017.

With the support of the Community Foundations of Canada, the CUExpo2017 SFU Team have also been working to ensure that supports will be in place to involve a strong contingent of community-based participants and students in attendance. CUEXPO 2017 is also recognizing the opportunity to create a legacy on Canada’s 150th colonial anniversary within the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call for Action to address the legacy of cultural genocide resulting from the ongoing aftermath residential schools on the Indigenous peoples of Canada— who have over 10,000 thousands years of occupation and history on the land.

The four thematic areas for CUExpo 2017 submissions includes: Community Campus Project LifeCyclesThe Engagement ProcessComprehensive Community-Campus Engagement, and Community Campus Partnership without Borders. With a number of contribution formats are possible, including: oral presentation, poster, roundtable, performance, team enquiry, skill building, and creative works.

Please contact me if you have any questions about the AICI Working Group and/ or CUExpo 2017.  You can also directly contact CUEXPO if you have any Conference questions.