What makes U of T Scarborough’s approach unique?
Not Overly Predictive
We focus on the process and allow for fluidity of the process/relationship/community to drive the direction of the community partnership
Reciprocity & Listening
We don't study the community like an organism in a Petri dish, we c-create solutions through the exchanging of knowledge with the community; we value community knowledge and experiences and understand that learning happens both ways. We listen to understand, not to respond, this allows us to connect the dots and identify partnership opportunities.
Know the History
We take the time to understand and learn the history of the communities with which we partner. Faculty, staff and students live in these communities and therefore have a great appreciation and understanding of the dynamics.
We are actively involved on community tables and have built relationships with our community partners. We don’t show up only we need something, we have conversations when there are no asks on the table and develop strong reciprocal relationships.
Not Top Down
We do not parachute in, extract data and then leave, we co-create and engage in community participatory-action based and community-based research
Learn from Doing
We allow the process to work for us, we learn from what we are doing, from what the community is doing and together with community partners create the appropriate initiatives that benefit both the community and campus
Realizing Your Relevancy
We support and encourage both internal and external partners to look beyond borders and across disciplines and sectors for partnership connections
Invested in People
We have invested in staff positions that help to navigate community development from the institutional perspective. These administrative positions are linked to the campus’ strategic affairs office, allowing for an institutional understanding, culture and perspective to be considered