At the Department of Community Partnerships and Engagement, we are boundary spanners, advocators and language translators committed to building ethically reciprocal and responsive relationships with the community and across the University. We drive local social change agendas in tandem with the community; working with our stakeholders to pause, center values, and rethink systems and structures with a decolonized lens. We dig deep to address any power imbalances and, hence, foster a truly collaborative relationship.
The Community Partnerships & Engagement Department at U of T Scarborough is the first arm at the University of Toronto intentionally dedicating to fostering community connections. It is committed to cultivating relationships between the campus and local organizations and residents in the Eastern GTA.
The Community Partnerships & Engagement portfolio was established in 2012––spanning community engagement, access pathways, and internal and external relationship development. The department was formally inaugurated in 2018.
With our roots firmly planted in the neighbourhoods we are embedded in, we support the community in navigating the institution, building access opportunities, and engaging with stakeholders at the University.
Internally, we partner with staff, faculty and librarians across the university to translate language, center community narratives and perspectives, and mobilize resources and opportunities for the socio-ecomonic empowerment of our region.
Our collective future
Over 10 years ago, U of T Scarborough co-developed a partnership and engagement approach with the community in Kingston Galloway-Orton (KGO). This dialogue resulted in a partnership & engagement framework, co-created by collective voices on campus and in community to facilitate the kinds of partnerships that are grounded in values, that take time to be nurtured, heard and sustained, and that address power dynamics and support the navigation of internal U of T Scarborough systems.
Entailing three fundamental stages: 1) Building a Foundation, 2) Engagement, and 3) Revisit, Rethink and Evolve, the framework exemplifies the fluidity and interconnectedness of meaningful partnerships.
Our unique and impactful reciprocal-learning partnership approach has tremendous potential for transformational change, locally, and profound implications for community/university work across the country and globe.