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Creating a better future for communities through research

2009 - 1st Quarter

Jan 12, 2009

To all our Centre Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the fifth edition of the "Community Basis" newsletter! This is one of our ways to communicate news and innovation in community based research locally, nationally, and internationally to our network, colleagues and friends.

Since our last e-news communication we have been involved in many exciting new projects, community engagements, conferences, and travels within Canada and abroad. To top off the usual CCBR activity, we wrapped up our 25th anniversary celebrations with a forum on research inspired Social Innovation and Community Change. Along with some brief updates about what's new at the Centre, this issue of Community Basis will feature a selected project and three articles written by CCBR staff. The first article is from Centre Researcher Alida Abbott reflecting on cultural linguistic communities and mental health. The second featured article takes a front row perspective from Community Researcher, Chevy X King on the Barbershop project and a third article are reflections from Jonathan Lomotey's trip to Africa. But first, some news from our Centre...


Social Innovation Symposium: SOLD OUT!

Tickets for the Social InnovatCaption Contention and Community Change were sold out weeks before this event which took place December 8th at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and was attended by more than 100 people! The forum, based on research inspired social innovation and change was sponsored by the Centre for Community Based Research, Social Innovation GenerationMapping the first panel: Passion & Vision (SIG) at the University of Waterloo, the City of Kitchener, the Region of Waterloo and The Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI). The event featured community organization displays, panel discussions, and dialogue about how we can enhance social innovation and community change in Waterloo Region. Symposium guests heard about research-inspired innovations from Waterloo Region and had opportunities to talk with leaders from outside the Region who reflected with us about our community change work. The success of this event has inspired calls for continuing with more of the same type of forums in Waterloo Region.

Caption Content

Allan Strong & Alida Abbott

Photo Captions, clockwise from top right corner: Photo 1:Andrew Taylor, Theron Kramer, Rich Janzen, John Lord, and Joanna Ochocka. Photo 2: Mapping Passion and Vision. Photo 3: Symposium participants. Photo 4: Passion and Vision panelists:  Allan Strong, Alida Abbott.

25th Anniversary: Celebrating twenty five years as an innovator in community based research

We started off our 25th anniversary celebration in the late fall of 2007. ThCaption Contente year-long plus celebrations started off in October, with the official unveiling of our new name, Centre for Community Based Research, a new website, and a keynote address from Dr. Lesley Cooper, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work at Wilfrid Laurier University. To connect the past, present and leading into the next quarter century of social innovation and research, we hosted a gala dinner in January, where we were joined by over 150 people associated with us over the years: friends, board members, staff, volunteers and students in an evening featuring exquisite food and dancing.

Spring was a time to make international connections and celebrate the future of CCBR with the Waterloo launch of the University Community Partnership for Social Action Research Network (UCP-SARnet) at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) here in Waterloo. CCBR is a leading UCP-SARnet partner. Over 60 people attended the event which launched a web platform, hosted by IGLOO, designed to link academics, students and community members pursuing community-based research anywhere in the world. The launch featured a survey of community based research being conducted in Waterloo Region. Read more about UCP-SARnet in the following article.

Our year of celebrating CCBR's place as innovators in community based research was drawing to a close with the Symposium on Social Innovation. Three organizations in the Region of Waterloo, the Centre for Community Based Research, and Social Innovation Generation at the University of Waterloo began organizing the forum on research inspired social innovation and change in June. Tickets for this event wCaption Contentere SOLD OUT weeks before the December 8thevent. We had a waiting list of over 32 people hoping for cancellations or openings so that they could attend. Joanna Ochocka said she was "excited because we celebrated all best innovative projects in Waterloo Region that were inspired by research, most of them by CCBR research". To read more about the Social Innovation Symposium check this E-news bulletin.

Our year-long plus celebrations come full circle in January and February 2009. We started the New Year with an updated Values Statement which we worked on all through 2008. The values statement will also be accompanied by a visual representation of our values. For a link to our Centre Values click here. Sadly the celebrations come to an end with our AGM scheduled for February 18th, 2009.

UCP-SARnet/CIGI event

At a symposium at the First International Conference on Community Psychology in Puerto Rico, 2006 it was noted that global issues are increasingly taking the forefront and require solutions through multicultural dialogue and action research. That symposium facilitated by Marek Wosinski (Arizona State University, USA and Warsaw School of Psychology, Poland)spurred interest in searching for solutions to this communications dilemma, and with inspiration from numerous other conferences  the  momentum for a project was initiated. The University Community Partnership for Social Action Research Network (UCP-SARnet), co-founded by CCBR, is an  innovative UCP-SARnet project for the development of a platform for dialogue and the promotion of participatory action research.The organization was developed in a collaborative fashion and continues to invite participation in the emerging network of faculty, students and community activists worldwide. Designed to share perspectives, to find new ideas or solutions to local community issues, you might just find inspiration for involvement in the global community. For more on UCP-SARnet…

CCBR was happy to host Dr. Marek Wosinski's talk about UCP-SARnet's history, status quo and plans to the staff of CCBR, representatives from Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo, CIGI and local community organizations.

Following that presentation, a few days later in December, Joanna Ochocka facilitated discussions with other world-wide online network partners during a CIGI / IGLOO symposium.  UCP-SARnet was selected as one of the projects sponsored by CIGI and it migrated to a new upgraded portal operated by IGLOOSee here

Trip to Africa

Jonathan Lomotey, a researcher from the Centre for Community Based Research made a month-long trip to Africa between September and October, 2008. The purpose of this trip was two-fold: To gather data in an Evaluation of Right To Play's Live Safe Play Safe (LSPS) project in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Ghana, and to facilitate a training workshop for REPAS, (Réseau de Recherche Participative en Afrique au Sud Du Sahar), a CCBR partner organization.

The Live Safe Play Safe Evaluation Project

The purpose of Live Safe Play Safe (LSPS) evaluation was to examine the implementation and outcomes of the LSPS project. The LSPS project is an innovative sport and games-based program for health promotion and HIV / AIDS education and prevention among children and communities affected by war, poverty and disease. The project aims at promoting health, building life skills, and fostering peace among youth and children in communities. To read more...

Training workshop for REPAS

CCBR/REPAS workshop, Pekine, Dakar: The final leg of the trip to African took Jonathan to PekineCCBR/REPAS Partnership - Pekine, Dakar, Senegal , a suburb of Dakar, Senegal where CCBR is exploring a partnership with Réseau de Recherche Participative en Afrique au Sud Du Sahar (REPAS). The purpose of the visit was to organize a training workshop in participatory action research methods for members of REPAS, and further explore partnerships opportunities with the organization. The workshop was jointly-facilitated by Jonathan Lomotey and Lamine Kane, the leader of community based research in Africa and the spokesperson for REPAS. To Read more...

CUExpo 2011

Waterloo Region has been chosen as the next site of the Community-University Exposition (CUExpo), tentatively scheduled for May 2011. CCBR is spearheading the conference organization, holding three meetings since October, 2008. CCBR staff and other interested community members are now at the point of forming working groups to move from the initial phases of conference development, the purpose, goals and objectives, to taking action in making CUExpo 2011 happen! Everyone is welcome to join the planning committees. If you are interested or want more information please connect with Joanna Ochocka.

New and Recent Projects

CCBR continues to manage over 30 community based research projects at any one time. A number of new projects were developed at the end of 2008, contributing to and enriching our diverse theme areas. Please see our project database for a full listing of projects. New projects are described below:


Bridges to Success

A CCBR team is conducting a formative evaluation of United Way of Toronto's 4-year pilot program entitled Bridges to Success (B2S) program. Launched in September 2006, this pilot initiative supports youth to improve their academic achievement and to successfully navigate the transition to post secondary education. This school-community partnership program provides tutoring, mentoring, volunteering, leadership and incentives to students of the 2006 grade nine cohort attending North Albion Collegiate Institute (NACI). Research team members Ana Bobesiu Yasir Dildar and Andrew Taylor will focus on the purpose of the project to evaluate the program's accomplishments for the period of September 2006-August 2008, and develop recommendation for the future of the program and its potential for replicability.

Exploring the Community Impact of Alleged Hate-Motivated Crimes

The Centre  has been chosen to conduct research into the impact of alleged hate motivated crimes on a community as a whole. Recent events involving visible minorities in the Waterloo Region and in Georgina Township, a community north of Toronto,  prompted interest in hate motivated crimes. The study will focus on particular communities impacted by particular hate incidents and is not an attempt to examine the public opinion regarding hate crime in general. The CCBR research team members are Jonathan Lomotey, Rich Janzen, Yasir Dildar and Sarah Marsh.


Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy Evaluation

CCBR is conducting an evaluation of the Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy. The Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy first arose from concerns surrounding the growing concentration of neighbourhood poverty in Toronto's inner suburbs, where few services and infrastructure were in existence for local populations. The goals of the Strategy is to strengthen Toronto's high need and under-serviced inner suburban neighbourhoods. It aims to do this through a combination of initiatives, some of which include targeted funding, neighbourhood engagement, and the creation of service hubs in locations where they currently do not exist. Currently, United Way of Toronto has identified 13 targeted neighbourhoods. The CCBR research team members are: Andrew Taylor and Sarah Lord.

Staff Updates

The Centre was bustling during the fall, with several people joining the CCBR team to provide their knowledge, skills and expertise in various research projects, while others are moving in new directions on to different jobs or returning to school. We have been fortunate to welcome many new excellent people to the CCBR family.


We would like to welcome 4 new researchers to CCBR and our research teams. Jocelyn Booton, MSW  has moved from Tennessee to the Waterloo Region. Jocelyn has worked in the community mental health field and evaluation before moving here. She is working on the Boys and Girls Club of Canada projects,  the Recovery-Focused Organizational Change Initiatives in 6 mental health agencies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in addition to CURA (Community- University Research Alliance- Taking Culture Seriously in Community Mental Health).

Norah Love is pursuing her master's degree in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University. Norah has chosen to do her practicum with CCBR, working on the Tikinagan project. Her interests are school-based prevention programs especially for adolescents.

Uzma Bhutto, a graduate student in the Masters in Public Health (MPH) program at the University of Waterloo New staff: Cindy Nault, Norah Love and Uzma Bhuttois doing her practicum for KDCHC and working on the CURA demonstration project "Taking Mental Health Seriously in Cultural-linguistic Communities".

Cindy Nault is a graduate student in Wilfrid Laurier University's MSW Aboriginal Field of Study and is working on the Tikinagan project at CCBR.Cindy has journeyed here all the way from Flying Dust First Nation Reserve in northern Saskatchewan where she has been doing community development and community health work for the past 25 years. Cindy's interests are research, policy and the criminal justice system in relation to aboriginal issues.

Student Research Assistants Christine Leis, Leah Misener two University of Waterloo undergraduates along with Kianosh Keyvani,  a Wilfrid Laurier University MSW graduate student, are all involved with the Community Based Research Ethics Needs Assessment Feasibility Study project. 

Saying goodbye to a dear friend: Remembering Sylvia CornellCaption Content

Sylvia Cornell passed away at St Mary's Hospital in Kitchener on December 20, 2008. She was a CCBR staff member between 1998-1999 hired to conduct interviews and assist with the analysis of the data for the interviews.

She worked on the "Shifting the Paradigm in Community Mental Health" research project. Since then Sylvia has been a loyal friend of the Centre participating in our various celebrations and events and sending Christmas cards to us every year. Three years ago she informed us about her struggle with breast cancer. We have stayed in contact until her last days. She reflected, and profoundly so, that her struggle with mental health was much more difficult than her struggle with cancer. At Sylvia's funeral service, her words were communicated in the eulogy -- "People are sympathetic and supportive to those who have cancer; it is opposite when the experience is related to mental health challenges". Sylvia was a skilled researcher, a dear friend and an amazing poet. We will always remember her!

Spring Arrives!
Now the winter's o'er.
I bask in the warming sun -
Open every door!
Blossoms on the trees
Bursting forth in rich green hue...
Gently wafts the breeze.

Words can drop like pearls,
Or they can be harsh and strong -
Hurtful they unfurl.

- Sylvia Cornell


New Publications

Immigrant Parenting: A New Framework of Understanding.

Centre researchers Joanna Ochocka and Rich Janzen recently published an article in the Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies.


This article presents a new orienting framework for understanding immigrant parenting. The framework was developed and tested through a qualitative research study that involved 50 focus group interviews with immigrant parents who have resided in Canada for less than 3 years. The article begins by reviewing the existing parenting models found in academic literature and noting the limitations of these models. Next it describes the components of our constructed framework for understanding immigrant parenting. The article ends with the presentation of research results based on a large focus group data with 317 newcomer parents to Canada. 

Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies, Vol 6 (1), 2008. To read the full article it is available online at

Young Canadians care about Facebook privacy:

Centre Researcher, Emily Christofides,  conducted a study, Young Canadians care about Facebook privacy, which asked  undergraduate students which information they were likely to post on Facebook.The Facebook study highlights contrasts between privacy and popularity (originally published by Shannon Proudfoot, the National Post, Canwest News Service Published: Sunday, December 14, 2008). To read the full article, click here.

Featured Project

In each issue of Community Basis we will profile a current project to give our readers an idea of the type of work we engage in here at CCBR. In this issue we profile the "Pathways Autism Project ", an examination of the various supports and services available for ASD children and families in the region of Waterloo, Guelph and Wellington County. To read more click here.

Featured Articles

In each volume of e-news, we present research articles, theoretical perspectives, interviews, editorials, or other written pieces related to the work we do and the social issues we are concerned with. In this issue we have three articles. 

First we have the Barbershop Project, written by Community researcher for the project: Chevy X King.Click here for the full article.

The second feature article is by Alida Abbott: Reflections of a CURA Demonstration Project being undertaken by The Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre- "Strengthening Mental Health in Cultural Linguistic Communities". Read Alida's article.


The third of this Volume five series is the reflection on his Trip to Africa by Jonathan Lomotey. Read Jonathan's articles here:


Live safe play safe:  or  CCBR/REPAS workshop

My Heart Reaches Out

When my heart is full of sadness
and a weariness of the spirit
Overwhelms me
My being turns to another time
and another place
Where friends were waiting
For a phone call
that whisks me away
unto shared days
or conversations
that lead to laughter

When my heart
Reaches out to find
A sunny day of the spirit
Then of a sudden
The darkness of my days
will slowly wither away
Leaving the joy
of a morning walk
or neighbours that bring
their morning laughter
To fill my day
And quiet moments
sometimes shared in silence
surmount the dreariness
of a dark day.

- Ed Hughes