First and foremost, we hope you are well, staying healthy and connected with the ones you love while self-isolating.
Recent weeks have been hard on all of us emotionally and mentally as we cope and adjust to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Personal lives are being changed dramatically as we all stay physically distanced from each other, connecting virtually (if so lucky), with many people being adversely impacted financially. The unsung heroes of yesterday (frontline medical staff, grocery store clerks, truck drivers etc.) are the recognized heroes of today.
CRB Canada member organizations, universities, and colleges are working around the clock to reimagine the day to day during to the COVID-19 pandemic while also stepping up even more to support communities with whom they work. It has become very apparent that those who are most at-risk at the best of times, are even more vulnerable at the worst of times; a time like now.
This is truly a time for compassion on both large and small scales and the value of community-campus engagement seems more critical than ever. In the short term, we need to work together to identify immediate community needs and use our networks to be a voice that ensures resources get to where they really need to be. In the immediate/long term, there will be an ongoing challenge to develop community-based research projects that can positively impact the communities most in need. Indeed, in these unprecedented times there will be major call to action to monitor, evaluate and promote social change in the post-pandemic world.
And what can CBR Canada offer in this time of uncertainty? We are committed to stepping up our game by providing more of the capacity-building, knowledge sharing, and convening functions for which we are well known. For example, one new opportunity to look forward to is a live panel discussion/sharing experiences and actions on community research responses to COVID-19. This initiative is in the final planning stages so please let us know if you have an interest in being part of the panel.
Please also find in this newsletter information about current initiatives to consider, upcoming webinars to join, and the link to the CBR Canada draft strategic plan survey to provide your critical feedback. We also ask that you keep in touch and communicate with us – this is your network and your national voice.
With humility, we hope that CBR Canada and its member organizations will be part of an ongoing national and international dialogue and information sharing about how we can all live and survive in a post-pandemic world. We are hopeful that this moment of time offers a chance for a new beginning; a renewed spirit of imagination for a just world where humans and nature thrive in harmony.
Dreaming of the future may feel like a luxury we can’t afford just now, but it may be the very thing we need most.
In these uncertain times,
Joanna and Steve