The CPN includes more than 250 local businesses, agencies and institutions. In each edition we highlight a CPN member and the work they do to support diversity in their organization and in the community.
The UVic Faculty of Social Sciences (SOSC) first joined the CPN in the fall of 2015. Since that time, the SOSC has been an active member of the CPN and contributed to a number of community engagement initiatives. The SOSC supports a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment for students through its partnership with a range of organizations, businesses and government agencies – including the CPN- to cultivate community-engaged research and learning projects that foster a more welcoming and inclusive Greater Victoria.
One example of this partnership can be seen with the students, faculty and staff who worked with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria and the CPN to broaden development of the interactive Newcomers map.
In 2015, ICA and the UVic Institute for Studies and Innovation in Community-University Engagement (formerly ISICUE) collaborated on key research to support development of the Greater Victoria Local Immigration Partnership (GVLIP). The collaboration included creation of an interactive map outlining regional services offered by CPN members in support of newcomer integration and inclusion.
Beginning in 2016, SOSC has offered coordination and support for community-engaged learning in the Faculty of Social Sciences. This initiative connects the energy and ideas of students and encourages them to learn and develop through involvement with initiatives such as the Newcomers Map. The UVic Geography Community Mapping class oversees development of the Newcomers Map- an example of student centred projects linked into their curriculum. Each semester, a group of students are guided by UVic Teaching Team of Teresa Dawson, Ken Josephson and Rhianna Nagel with support from ICA. This past summer, students from the class developed key stories of several CPN members that were then shared on the map.
As part of the project, the students met with representatives from the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Royal BC Museum and the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque. Stories were developed and integrated into the map. By being involved in this process, the students gained new knowledge, insight and growth. One example is student Colin Saint-Vil. Colin and his student team worked directly with the Masjid Al-Iman Mosque. Colin interviewed the Imam, and was so impressed with the experience, that he then participated directly in several community activities hosted at the Mosque. As a result of these experiences, Colin decided to work with the local newcomer community. He was also inspired to further explore his own family’s history and experiences as immigrants from Haiti.
Going forward, the SOSC continues to be a vital part of the CPN. The SOSC can provide research and academic tools to broaden understanding and engagement in the community. Both the CPN and the SOSC are excited to continue this meaningful collaboration!
If you would like more information about how your organization can access the academic and research services of the SOSC, please contact Rhianna Nagel- the SOSC’s Community Engaged Learning Coordinator at email: email@example.com