With fall 2021 upon us, it is time for CBRCanada to look back and look forward as we continue to serve as the national platform for all things needed in community engaged research. Looking back, in the context of COVID-19 the buzz words for community-based researchers, indeed for all society, have been ‘pivot, adjust’ to working online and yes, ‘you are muted.’ As we look forward, while there is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, a fourth wave of COVD-19 requires more patience as we continue to take care of each other.
Indeed, we feel that over the last 18 months, CBRCanada has done well to develop innovative ways to connect the CBRCanada’s family in a Zoom world. Here CBRCanada has modestly attempted to model the values and efforts of so many Canadians across the country exemplified during the pandemic. Through our webinar and on-line discussion series, Community of Practice meetings, and the national awards gala in May to celebrate the amazing community-based research happening from to coast to coast to coast, we brought more than 600 people together to learn and cheer on one another.
Like so many other individuals and organizations across Canada the membership of CBRCanada was deeply saddened by the discovery of Indigenous children remains first at the Kamloops residential school and then at other residential school sites across Canada. We know the trauma and grief remains fresh in Indigenous communities and CBRCanada will continue to strive to work with and learn from Indigenous colleagues who are part of our growing network. We are very thankful for the teachings we have received from The Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centre (a member of CBRCanada) as well as the webinar series speakers and Indigenous researchers.
During COVID there was also more learning about ant-racism in the context of Black Lives Matter and anti-racist events in the US and Canada. There is so much work to do around Equity Diversity and Inclusion and we believe that community-based research methodologies, deeply rooted to equity and power sharing, may be one modest piece of the puzzle for holding and learning from the difficult conversations that need to take place in a caring and supportive manner. Indeed, community engaged research also has promise in the context of Indigenous led research; a path forward for Indigenous communities to take the reins of their own research, teaching and knowledge dissemination in culturally sensitive ways.
As the clock strikes fall, at CBRCanada we are rolling up our sleeves to offer more and varied new programming this year. We are also excited to welcome six new members to the CBRCanada family. The new collaborations and new members that continue to grow, make us excited to look forward to a meaningful and positive year ahead.
For now, we wish you all the best this fall. Let’s work together to make the fall of 2021 worth remembering in ensuring that community-based research is welcome, helpful, and healing.
Joanna and Stephen