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Creating a better future for communities through research

2009 - 2nd Quarter

Jun 12, 2009

To all our Centre Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the sixth 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 and community events. The Centre has been busy and with Spring and Summer upon us, many of our researchers will be presenting at a variety of conferences, within Canada and abroad over the next few months.

To top off the usual CCBR activity, we have been busy collaborating and engaging in numerous meetings for the planning stages of CUExpo 2011, (The Community University Partnership Conference) which will be hosted by CCBR and held in May 2011 in the Waterloo Region.

Along with some brief updates about what's new at the Centre, this issue of Community Basis features two selected projects in which we are engaged. Our first featured project is the "The Waterloo Region Persistent Homelessness Project", presented by Centre Researcher Sarah Lord. Our second featured project is the much anticipated Local Immigrant Partnership Council (LIPC). Centre Researcher Yasir Dildar provides the details on this new innovative work. Our featured article is entitled "Doing Research in First Nations Communities" and is written by student researcher, Norah Love. But first some news from our Centre...

Project Database

We have expanded our searchable database for all projects, and associated publications and presentations to now include even more information about CCBR's work. To check out the database please click here.

Centre Values

Over the winter months, CCBR staff and our hard-working Board of Directors revisited our Centre Values - the set of statements that provides meaning, context and a mandate for all the work we do. As part of our 25th year celebrations, we thought it would be useful to examine if the value statements still resonated with the work and identity of the organization. The short answer was "yes", the values were still highly relevant and meaningful to us. However, we felt that some of the language needed to be updated, revitalized and made more current. In the end we came up with a modified set of values that will continue to position and inform the important work we do in our communities. We have also attempted to place the values within the historical context of CCBR. All the values now appear alongside photographs of events, people, and communities that have been connected to CCBR over the past 25 years. Below is an example:

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CCBR will hostFourth International Community-University Exposition in 2011

The Centre for Community Based Research will host the Fourth International Community-University Exposition in May, 2011. CUexpo2011 is a Canadian-led, international conference designed to showcase the exemplars in Community-University partnerships worldwide, and together to introduce creative ways of strengthening our local communities. Complex social issues require global perspectives to inform local action. The event will explore strengthening the "C" in Community - University Research Partnerships and bring global perspectives to local action.

We will be inviting proposal submissions for presentations or workshops in the future, and are encouraging volunteers for coordination of the conference.  It is our hope that many people from many backgrounds will come to learn about exciting community-campus research and action initiatives from across Canada and internationally.

Community-University partnerships are an effective way to stimulate innovative solutions for the pressing concerns within our communities. The potential for such solutions is maximized when diverse partners come together to re-imagine the relationship between the academy and the community, and in the process create new possibilities. Conference objectives include:


  • Engaging diverse segments of both the community and the university in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada and around the world to achieve the objectives below.


  • Leaving a legacy of new and stronger global networks with a renewed understanding of the potential of community-university partnerships as a means for social action.

For more information please contact: Linda Norton via email at: or by telephone: 519 741-1318 x223. is under construction. Stay posted for the launch.

Social Innovation Symposium

In our last E-news bulletin we reported on the success of the December 8th Research Inspired Social Innovation and Social Change Symposium. Since December a small dedicated group has continued to meet.

A follow up to the December 8th event was arranged in March to explore the interest expressed at the symposium to continue with this type of event in the future.  A group of 24 people gathered to review the Summary Report of the Forum on Research-Inspired Social Innovation, andcontribute to a discussion facilitatedby John Lordby exploring themes and setting the tone for future conversations.

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Key themes in the dialogue were varied from acknowledging that: "…we all wear different hats in our work" and "need to be conscious of the 'other', people who may not be part of the main issues or key organizations". Because of these first two themes it was clear that there is a "benefit of stating our research assumptions clearly". Other themessurfacedabout how research can both document and facilitate change and thatscaling-up social changecan be a challenge. We need to seek ways we can build mechanisms for expanding ideas which hold promise. The second part of the March meeting focused on looking towards future conversations and directions, themes and structures so that we may to continue to inspire and learn from each other as the next steps are planned.

A second meeting at the end of April was hosted by Cheryl Rose and SIG Waterloo with John Lord continuing in the role of facilitator. The purpose of April's meeting was action-based, with a focus on creating ways to hold educational events and activities so that as a group we can continue the momentum started in December to inspire more research-inspired social innovation and community change.

The April action planning group explored the 'who, what, how, why and when' of the proposed educational and inspirational activities. One outcome from the meeting was to describe this group as an emerging 'Community of practice'. The purpose of this community of practice would be:

To engage people in an informal network interested in research-inspired social innovation and community change in ongoing conversations and learning opportunities that can lead to social action and change.

The group will continue to explore and develop some of their proposed objectives such as building knowledge and understanding of research-inspired social innovation. The working group is dedicated to finding ways to continue with the initial inspirational through the sharing of successful methodologies, and action-based applications, the creation of new local learning networks, and in providing forums for people to get their questions answered.

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 databasefor a full listing of projects. New projects are described below:

Province-wide Theatre and Leadership Project

The main activity of this Theatre and Leadership project will be the development and delivery of 14 locally-tailored theatre and leadership development events acrossOntario. The three components of the Theatre and Leadership project are: 1) a 15-minute theatre presentation; 2) cross-stakeholder training in reciprocal collaboration and culturally effective mental health service delivery; 3) organizational change and action. As a CURA demonstration project, this project is meant to provoke discussions about culturally effective mental health practice among practitioners, settlement workers, and cultural-linguistic community members through the theatre presentation and trainings in order to affect institutional change through the elimination of systemic barriers in the mental health service system across Ontario. This project will run from May 2009 until June 2010. (Project Team: Jocelyn Booton and Joanna Ochocka).

Local Immigrant Partnership Council (LIPC)

March 2009-February 2010

To further the work and to respond to the need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach in developing strategies to address the challenges and systemic barriers faced by new immigrants, Citizenship and Immigration Canada in partnership with Ontario Ministry of Citizenship has approved funds for the Region of Waterloo to develop a Local Immigrant Partnership Council (LIPC). The purpose of the LIPC is to develop a comprehensive local immigration partnership and to develop a comprehensive and collaborative settlement and integration strategy.The first year is a planning phase dedicated to developing an inclusive council which will include a detailed Action Plan. The collaborative strategies that will come out of this one year LIPC consultation will provide the groundwork for our community to create a more comprehensive response to immigrant settlement and integration.The project runs from March 2009- February 2010. (Project Team: Theron Kramer, Rich Janzen, Yasir Dildar, Peggy Hastings-Weston and Rania Gamal). (click for more info)

Mental Health Risk Assessment in Community Organizations

In partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Peel Region, we are examining how "risk" (e.g., of violence) is being defined, assessed, and managed across the spectrum of interconnected programs that make up mental health and justice services. The overall purpose of this project is to identify promising practices for risk assessment and management, and related policy. This includes a strong recognition that "greater risk is in part a consequence of a limited capacity of organizations to serve those who need the most support and that risk reduction can be achieved through improvements to mental health service planning.This project runs from February 2009-June 2009. (Project Team:Jason NewberryandTroyRieck)

Staff Updates

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The Centre has been very busy over the winter months, 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 extend a very warm welcome toLinda Norton, who joined CCBR as our new Administrative Manager. Lindajoined the admin team in April 2009. Linda comes to us with an extensive background in both public and private sector administration, printing and publishing, and event planning.We are very excited to have her on board with us.Caption Content

We also welcome 2 new researchers to CCBR and our centre research projects.Troy Rieck joined the team in February 2009, after completing his MA in Organizational Psychology at the University of Guelph. While completing his MA, he worked as a business consultant, which allowed him to become an expert in job analysis and develop various skills related to interviewing, training and development, research methods and assessment, and performance management. He intends to further develop these skills while using them in support of community initiatives and program evaluation/development.

Chris McEvoy also joined the team in February 2009 as a recent graduate of the Community Psychology Masters program at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is working on projects for The United Way of Cambridge and The United Way of Toronto. Also engaged in community development work in Hamilton, Chris is passionate about community capacity building, increasing access to recreation activities for youth, as well as systemic policy issues that affect people living in poverty.

Beth Anne Ferguson joined us for student practicum placement through the University of Western Ontario. Beth Anne has been working on projects associated with mental health and justice diversion and risk assessment in mental health organizations.

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Student Research Assistant Rania Gamal, who is a participant in the Waterloo Region Social Work Bridge Training Program, joined CCBR in March 2009 and is involved with settlement and immigrant employment issues and cultural diversity through work with the WRIEN, LIPC and CURA projects.

Featured Projects

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 are pleased to profile two projects! Our first project is The Waterloo Region Persistent Homelessness Project: Evaluating a series of Pilot Support Programs. To read more about this project click here.


Our second featured project is the much anticipated LocalImmigrant Partnership Council (LIPC). The purpose of this initiative is to enhance existing partnerships to establish a comprehensive Local Immigration Partnership Council in Waterloo Region. Through the coordination and work of this partnership, a collaborative strategy that includes solutions for successful settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees in the Waterloo Region will be developed.

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To read more about this project clickhere.

Featured Article

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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 one article, entitled "Doing Research in First Nations Communities". To read the full article click here. (Foto caption: Two members of the CCBR Research Team, Andrew Taylor & Cindy Nault).


New Publications

Our researchers continue to publish and disseminate findings and issues associated with our research projects.  Here is a list of our most recent publications.

Janzen, R., Walton-Roberts, M., & Ochocka, J. (submitted). Chapter 6: Waterloo Region. In J. Biles & C. Andrew (Eds.) Immigration, integration and inclusion in Ontario Cities. Montreal PQ: McGill-Queen's University Press.

Nelson, G., Janzen, R., Ochocka, J. & Trainor, J. (in press). Participatory Action Research and Evaluation with Mental Health Self-help Groups and Organizations: A Theoretical Framework. In L. Brown & S. Wituk (Eds.), Mental Health Self-Help: Consumer and Family Driven Initiatives. New York: Springer.

Newberry, D.J. & Strong A.D. (in press). Beyond Mental Health Maintenance: An Evaluation Framework Driven by Recovery-Focused Outcomes. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health (Special Issue, Fall 2009).

Simich, L., Maiter, S. & Ochocka, J. (in press). From social liminality to cultural negotiation: Transformative processes in immigrant wellbeing. Anthropology and Medicine Journal.

Janzen, R., Ochocka, J., Jacobson, N., Maiter, S., Simich, L., Westhues, A., Fleras, A. & the Taking Culture Seriously Partners (submitted). Synthesizing Culture and Power in Community Mental Health: An Emerging Framework. Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health.

Simich, L., Maiter, S., Moorlag, E. & Ochocka, J. (2009). Taking culture seriously: Ethno linguistic community perspectives on mental health. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 32 (3), 208-214.