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Community-Engaged Research and the Climate Crisis: Key Insights and Best Practices

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Climate crisis is already unfolding across BC: heat domes, wildfires, and floods have had devastating impacts on communities throughout the province, both urban and rural. These impacts – like other social and environmental injustices – are unevenly distributed, often exacerbating existing harms to Indigenous peoples, communities of colour, and the underhoused or socially vulnerable.

Community-engaged research offers powerful methods for understanding these impacts, increasing the capacity of under-resourced communities to plan for and live through them, and amplifying the stories and visions of change coming from those living through the climate crisis. But there is a tension between the pace and scale of community-engaged research. On one hand CER requires that relationships be built with care, patience, and close attention to context. On the other hand, the urgency of the global climate crisis requires that we act decisively and collectively. How, then, can we do community-engaged research at the speed of the climate emergency? What role can community-engaged research play in creating change that is both globally impactful and sensitive to local realities?

Given the critical need to address these questions and others, the Symposium on Community Engaged Research in the Climate Crisis on October 20th, 2022 brought together community organizers, movement and youth leaders, Elders, media makers/ storytellers, researchers, and other practitioners of climate justice to share practices, stories, and lessons for responsive and community-engaged climate research. The goal of the one-day event was to foster discussion and connection among initiatives centered on three themes: Indigenous sovereignty, storytelling and youth-driven research and engagement for climate justice. We sought to galvanize a community of practice that can increase the visibility and impact of community-engaged climate research, and foster new collaborative relationships. The knowledge and recommendations shared through these conversations will also inform the research agendas of the CCJ and CERi, identifying future areas of focus, best practices of research, and new potential partnerships.
This is a publication of the SFU Community-engaged Research Initiative (CERi).
CERi is based out of the 312 Main co-working space in downtown Vancouver, CERi is focused on extending community-engaged research to provincial, national and international communities. Our aim is to act as an infrastructure that advocates for community-engaged research rooted in values of reciprocity, collaboration, equity, justice and social transformation.
ISBN: 978-1-77287-103-6
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Copyright is held by Simon Fraser University.
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climate-symposium-report-final2023.pdf 86.06 MB

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