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#Noted: Friday Round Up


DECEMBER 4, 2020 Edition

#systemschange, #lgbtq, #bipoc, #antiracism, #equity, #opendialogue, #foodsecurity, #covid19, #socialinnovation, #socialcapital

Dalhousie University

Below are three stories from Dalhousie we missed from late in October. All are linked on this page: https://www.dal.ca/news/2020/10.html. It is definitely a hopeful sign to see academia contributing meaningfully to the systems change discourse with work around the importance of identity, good, respectful dialogue and food security. 


Marlo MacKay – October 28, 2020

Launch of a new initiative by Jacquie Gahagan, a professor of health promotion in the Faculty of Health.

“The Nova Scotia LGBT Seniors Archive stems from conversations with community members about the need to preserve our histories,” says Dr. Gahagan. “This project is also in keeping with Nova Scotia’s action plan for an aging population in that it will build capacity among older adults and the broader community to connect and coalesce in the development of an archive aimed at raising awareness and appreciating the contributions of diverse members of our older LGBT communities.”


October 30, 2020

Report is part of the Reimagine NS project. Learn more at dal.ca/reimagineNS

The Cultivate and Consume team focused its efforts on examining food security in Nova Scotia and, in particular, what the global pandemic did to the province’s ability to secure food that’s abundant, accessible, safe, nutritious, reliable and culturally fulfilling. The team explores some of the weaknesses COVID-19 has exposed in the province’s food system and offers insights to ensure preparedness in the event of any future disruptions.

Kathleen Kevany, an associate professor of sustainable food systems and director of Dal’s Rural Research Collaborative, says, “Our team examined ideas around how we might make Nova Scotia more food secure. How might food be made more abundant, accessible, safe, sustainable, nutritious, reliable and culturally fulfilling? Nova Scotia has high levels of food insecurity. This contrasts dramatically with our capacity as producers of food with regions rich in soils, and with access to ocean resources, and our innovation in food processing and skills in reaching out to global markets.

“The importance of local production became more clear with COVID-19. We may be growing more attuned to the impact of vulnerabilities in the food-supply system. We also may be more alert to the impact of food waste – its environmental impacts and economic costs. This pandemic challenges us to get good at being more self-sufficient in food production and processing right here in Nova Scotia.”


Genevieve MacIntyre – October 27, 2020

“I just want everyone to reap the benefits of safe intellectual space, but in order to build that, white people need to deepen their understanding of how race operates so that they don’t demand the emotionally draining free labour from the QTBIPOC in their lives at all times,” says Dr. Ajay Parasram, a Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences assistant professor who is also a founding fellow at the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance.

Safe Space for White Questions is designed to be respectful and free of judgement. The drop-in sessions, which he co-hosts with Alex Khasnabish (associate professor in Mount Saint Vincent University’s Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology), encourage friendly and considerate conversation aimed at helping people better understand the impact of existing racial structures.

Social Capital 

FYE classes complete Social Capital assignment

October 29, 2020 Cowley College

What do you think of the idea of a social network as an ‘investment’ equivalent to financial capital? Is it a useful term to explain to a business-oriented society the essential importance of relationships? Or does it perpetuate a problematic system by ascribing a transactional quality to relationships?

How social capital can help deal with the pandemic better

Santhosh Babu  | Published on November 04, 2020

“ …to really understand what lies beneath, we might have to peer deeply into the social fabric of the society to understand the success and failures we have had in dealing with the pandemic.

One of the factors that could influence the lower mortality rate or lower number of infections could be the social capital embedded in that society.” This opinion piece cites Daniel Aldrich, a public policy professor from Harvard. 

““People with strong social networks experience faster recoveries and have access to needed information, tools, and assistance. Communities and neighbourhoods with little social capital may find themselves unable to keep up with their counterparts with these deep networks,” to quote from the book Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery by Daniel P Aldrich.”


David Glass challenges appropriation of Native imagery, culture in sports

Kathryn Styer Martinez St. Paul November 6, 2020

“David Glass, whose Ojibwa name is Zhawanuinini, has been fighting for the dignity and rights of Indigenous communities for decades. He is an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and currently lives in Stillwater, Minn., with his wife. 

He has been working with the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media for more than 30 years.

In 1992 when the Buffalo Bills played the Washington Football Team, then under a different name, Glass was part of a group of at least 1,500 people who protested outside the stadium on a wintry January day.

Since then Glass, 69, has been lobbying professional and local sports teams to drop racist and offensive names and to stop using depictions of Indigenous people as mascots.”

Social Innovation

Social Innovation Language and Narratives in Edmonton, Alberta: An Intersectional Approach

“This project seeks to build on existing research regarding the current challenges in social innovation work in Alberta, as articulated in Alberta Social Innovation (ABSI) Connect’s 2016 Report on the Future of Social Innovation.

To accomplish this, the intern will interview people in Edmonton who are from multiple marginalized identities (e.g. racialized, identifying as a gender or sexual minority, working class, disabled, etc.) who do work that’s considered as social innovation work through Frances Westley’s definition of social innovation, but may not have the same visibility or recognition as those who do social innovation work in mainstream networks.”

ABSI is a colleague organization through the Centre for Social Innovation / Social Innovation Canada.

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