Social fabric is woven from shared values, experiences, behaviours and desires. A vibrant social fabric is one that protects the uniqueness of every individual, reflects a diverse population, supports and provides opportunities for all, and offers meaningful shared experiences that add value and joy to life.
Carleton’s faculty, students, alumni and partners are involved in myriad projects to identify, serve, promote and support the core issues that contribute to a vibrant social fabric, including arts and culture, equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), Indigenous initiatives and reconciliation, migration and diaspora, and philanthropy.
Join us today in making lasting change that will enhance the vibrancy of our shared social fabric.
The arts have a unique ability to instill feelings of hope, wonder and joy, connect individuals across cultures and backgrounds, and contribute to individual and collective well-being.
Here at Carleton, we understand this well. Our people live it every day – people like Mara Brown, director of the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (CDCC), who works tirelessly to bolster arts and culture activities, programs and communities both on and off campus.
Through the CDCC, Brown and her team convene faculty, staff, students, community members, artists and performers for the purpose of learning, co-creation, performance and artistic expression.
"We have collectively felt a void in the absence of consistent, in-person arts and culture experiences [during the pandemic]. The silver lining through these trying times is that the value of the arts – to community building, personal expression, and mental health and well-being – has never been clearer."
- Mara Brown, director of the CDCC (pictured right)
Our collective social experience is more vibrant when it incorporates and respects diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and lived experiences.
At Carleton, we strive to make education, and consequently our world, more equitable, diverse and inclusive. Our community believes it is our collective responsibility to work together to create space and opportunity for all.
This notion hits close to home for Dr. Manjeet Birk, academic-activist and instructor in the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies.
In the classroom, Birk pushes her students to think critically about how racism and colonialism have been reproduced in social systems such as healthcare, education and government.
And through an upcoming research project, Birk will measure the effectiveness of EDI policies and action plans at Ottawa postsecondary institutions to determine if they have made an impact on the lives of the people they were designed to help.
"If I can teach my students about injustice and then support them to tangibly think through creative solutions that can disrupt day to day work, they can build a better Canada."
- Manjeet Birk, academic-activist and instructor (pictured left)
As we move toward a respectful, integrated future for our country, taking meaningful action toward reconciliation, understanding Indigenous ways of knowing and making efforts to learn together are key.
Our people – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – deeply value this mission and work together to create tangible change.
In 2019, Dr. Christopher Cox, associate professor of Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies, began working with the Yukon Native Language Centre to revitalize 8 threatened Indigenous languages in Canada’s North – restoring the intergenerational cycle of language learning in Yukon First Nations.
Cox is working closely with Tina Jules, director of the Yukon Native Language Centre, who says all Yukon First Nations’ languages are in a critical state and need immediate support.
“The overall vision is that one day our babies will be born into their language, and the intergenerational process of learning, teaching and becoming fluent is in place again. The cycle is restored in our homes and in our communities. That’s what we’re striving for, and why an initiative like this is so important.”
- Tina Jules, director of the Yukon Native Language Centre and community partner working with Dr. Cox (pictured right)
There has been a stark increase in international migration over the past several decades – whether from planned immigration or forced migration due to war, political unrest and other conflicts. In Ottawa alone, new Canadians represent about 25% of the population. And globally, there is upwards of 84 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries.
Researchers at Carleton are eager to explore the social, cultural, political and economic implications of international migration.
Dr. James Milner, associate professor of political science, is a passionate leader in this space. He leads a large, multi-partner collaboration called The Local Engagement Refugee Research Network (LERRN), which aims to better understand the role of civil society in responding to the needs of refugees in the global south.
LERRN has set up working groups in Kenya, Tanzania, Lebanon and Jordan, to ensure that partners within the global south have more of a say in the research agenda.
“LERRN believes that refugee participation is essential. Refugee participation means that those affected by policy are able to inform policies and programming that are more responsive to the needs of refugees and that are more likely to lead to the type of change that we want to realize.”
- James Milner, associate professor of political science (pictured left)
Philanthropy plays a vital role in society. Nonprofit organizations, donors and volunteers work collaboratively to serve and support our most vulnerable populations, provide healthcare, housing and education, enrich our lives through art and sports, protect our environment and advocate for social change.
At Carleton, our people are committed to better understanding and amplifying the efforts of fellow nonprofit institutions, community organizations and service providers. People like Dr. Paloma Raggo, assistant professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration, who is leading a major five-year research project that will change our knowledge about the charitable sector in Canada.
Through weekly surveys, the Charity Insights Canada Project—Projet Canada Perspectives des Organismes de Bienfaisance (CICP-PCPOB) will collect and share accurate, relevant, and timely information about the Canadian charitable sector – which will in turn assist policymakers in making evidence-based policy decisions, develop data capacity for practitioners, and expand knowledge of Canada’s charitable sector for all stakeholders, including the general public.
"This project is historic in the way that it has brought together a diverse group of foundations to co-invest in a shared cause. That level of collective effort is unique and underscores the importance of this work to our sector and the value it can bring to communities across the country"
- Paloma Raggo, assistant professor of Public Policy and Administration
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