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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

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Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

CUMU Learning and Sharing Virtual Series - 'Storytelling in Community Engagement': December 2

Please join the Civic and Community Engagement Office for the webinar "Storytelling in Community Engagement," presented by Helga Lister from the University of Pretoria, on Thursday, December 2, at 2:00 pm.

In 2021, the University of Pretoria in South Africa initiated a storytelling project aimed at amplifying citizens’ voices and ensuring that the firsthand experiences of community members would reach those in positions of power, to influence and adjust policies so that they are truly person-centered. The UNICEF-One Health for Change project involved the disciplines of occupational therapy, family medicine (COPC Research Unit), information science, interior architecture, School of the Arts, and theology (Centre for Contextual Ministry). Using the participatory action research process as a guiding framework, the students collected stories from the community members throughout their service learning as well as facilitated the conceptual development of the social hubs. Information science students are currently converting the stories into digital e-books. This multi-stakeholder, interdisciplinary, and interprofessional community engagement project has continuously adapted to the ever-changing environment, feedback loops, and challenges that have arisen, including shifting students between blocks which influences handover, understanding of the need, community ownership, COVID regulations, availability of resources, and communication limitations. However, the passion of all coordinators in the various programmes and the importance of the work being done, as well as the awareness of initiative requirements, enabled the project to achieve much in the hearts and minds of all involved. Lessons learned include the benefits of partnerships and university-wide community engagement coordination, which can be implemented in other settings as well. This is an ongoing project. They are hoping that in 2022, the co-creation of hubs across the community will enable storytelling to be re-ignited as a community value, thus enabling societal change through shared connections.


Immediately following will be "Be Equipped:Tools for Difficult Conversations," presented by Maya Thomas Fernandez from Dallas College. Learn ways to remain calm during a difficult conversation. Words to use and words to avoid will be discussed. Come with an open mind to learn in this quick 10-minute powerful presentation!

Next is "Envisioning Equity," presented by Holly Burchett and Cuevas Peacock from Baylor University. Envisioning Equity, created during the fall of 2020, is a program designed to encourage learning from local and national leaders in a variety of fields that impact education, health, criminal justice, and economic development. To this date, the program has been implemented through a virtual platform; however, plans are in place to provide in-person programming this year.

Next is "Case Competitions and Engaging Students in an Institutional Climate Agenda," presented by Jen Britton of Drexel University. As Drexel has launched an effort to build a comprehensive climate and sustainability strategy, it has created opportunities for students to be part of the work of both problem solving and creating a vision of a climate-friendly campus culture. One of these opportunities is a case competition in which they invited students to participate on interdisciplinary teams to generate creative solutions to a challenge in a short amount of time. These high-impact experiences have given students—including incoming first-year students—peer networking opportunities as well as a way to get invested in shaping Drexel’s identity in climate problem solving. In this presentation, they'll share how they designed their competition challenges and what students have had to say about their experiences.

The final discussion is "University of Nebraska Omaha Service Learning Faculty Fellows: Increasing Bidirectional Connections," presented by Mitzi Ritzman from the University of Nebraska Omaha. This presentation will describe how the University of Nebraska Omaha Service-Learning Faculty Fellows increase bidirectional connections between colleges, Service Learning Academy, and community engagement efforts; explain ways in which the Faculty Fellows serve as peer facilitators to increase experiential learning and community engagement opportunities within each academic college; and list methods used to recruit diverse new faculty to service learning.

This five-part event is presented by the CUMU Learning and Sharing Virtual Series and is free to members of the Buffalo State community. Please register online for this event and any others in the series as you would like.

Submitted by: Naomi W. Hall
Also appeared:
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Thursday, December 2, 2021