Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours - Kitchen Party Community Based Research

Potts, Karen and Epstein, Gabe (2013) Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours - Kitchen Party Community Based Research. In: CU Expo 2013, June 12-15, 2013, Corner Brook, NL, Canada. (Submitted)

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Neighbourhood or locality development has always been a cornerstone of community development (Rothman, 1974). The usual initiators of community development projects – municipal governments, social planning councils or community associations – are now being joined by academics and researchers, interested in using their skills, expertise and resources to contribute to neighbourhood vitality. This is the case with the Community Tables: Engaging Neighbours project, co-initiated by the United Way of Greater Victoria and the University of Victoria’s Office of Community Based Research. This proposed presentation by members of the Gorge Tillicum Community Table will share their work from inception, through structured facilitation, to its move toward local autonomy and sustainability. Key learnings to be shared include: • strategies for successfully tying into existing local, citizen leadership for building local relationships, credibility and sustainability; • the importance of involving interested academics who, in addition to their academic roles, were able to participate primarily as neighbourhood residents; • an understanding that sometimes successful initiatives come more from synergy and serendipity – a good idea combining with the right mix of neighbours at the right moment – rather than from all the best structured, carefully facilitated planning; • the value associated with collaboration with local institutions, such as the public library, as long as control remains in the hands of the citizen residents; and, • the value-added from scholarship, leadership, and inspiration of academic visionaries and writers – including sharing success stories and principles of organizing. (In our case, specifically Jim Diers and John McKnight, Neighbourhood Power and Asset Based Community Development models were pivotal.) Presenters will also be happy to share information and insights from some of the actual neighbourhood initiatives taken on by the Gorge Tillicum Community Table to date, including Lights on the Gorge and the Tillicum School Community Garden.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Item ID: 1773
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > CU Expo 2013
Date: 13 June 2013
Date Type: Completion
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