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Social Impact Hub now has a collaborative space at Durham College

Durham College is excited to share that we now have a collaborative space for our research centre, the Social Impact Hub! Located on the second floor of the new Centre for Innovation and Research (CIR), the Hub space enables faculty, students and community partners to gather in person to delve into socially innovative projects.

Launched virtually in June 2021, the Social Impact Hub supports applied research projects and experiential learning opportunities that engage community agencies and persons with lived experiences in developing innovative solutions to important social justice issues identified by community partners.

The Hub supports four three-year projects funded by the College and Community Social Innovation Fund and many other initiatives, including some in their developmental stages. In May 2022, with funding from a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Connections Grant, we held our first collaborative half-day event, engaging with stakeholders virtually to share local challenges identified by community agencies and to discuss how to collaborate moving forward. Event details and recordings are available online: Collective Impact: Shared Vision for Social Innovation

A key goal of the Hub is to engage and empower students to bring the skills developed in their curricular programs to our projects and to further hone these skills as integral members of project teams. Through their work on project activities, students are mentored by faculty members and community agency representatives. They also learn first-hand from those the project strives to benefit – people with lived experience. The Hub supports various community-based research projects exploring topics such as increasing access to housing, supporting parents with cognitive challenges, increasing financial literacy for low-income community members, using virtual reality to enhance the training of public service personnel, and identifying ways to improve social competency in preschool children.

As a Hub supporting and spearheading community-based research initiatives, we have developed strong working relationships with many agencies that are deeply involved in creating, designing, enhancing, executing, sharing and helping to ensure the impact of the research activities. We have collaborated with a number of agencies, including The Regional Municipality of Durham, City of Oshawa, Durham District School Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Durham, Ontario Tech University, Children’s Aid Society of Durham, Lake Ridge Community Support Services, EarlyOn Centres of Durham Region, Starfish Parent Support Program, Lakeridge Health, Durham Community Legal Clinic and Oshawa Public Libraries, to name a few.

We are excited to share this new collaborative space with our stakeholders while using the area to develop new projects and partnerships and host events, including an annual speaker series, workshops and training sessions.

We invite you to learn more about our projects and activities on our website and engage with us on our social media channels.

Twitter: @dc_socialimpact

Instagram: @dcsocialimpacthub

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