Community Engagement Day provides a simple, one-day opportunity for the McGill community to interact with campus and Montréal organizations that encourage and strengthen social and environmental sustainability both on campus and in the greater Montréal area. Community Engagement Day #2 (2013) built upon the success of the 2012 event, with greater administrative precedence and accountability. As a result, 600 registrants (225 of which were first-year students) connected with 41 local projects.
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McGill is in a unique and well-suited position to contribute to local and regional communities in many ways. Through innovative practices, strategic partnerships and capacity building, we promote the development of inclusive, sustainable, and equitable environments within our communities.
An initiative of the Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) Office of McGill University, Community Engagement Day (CED) aims to have the McGill community volunteering and participating in group activities for one day. CED is unique as a truly cross-campus event, providing the opportunity for students of all faculties and years, staff of all departments, and faculty from all different backgrounds to come together and ignite change in the way they work, study and live in.
Associated projects are developed in order to meet the immediate needs of the Montréal community organizations, and participants are encouraged to reflect upon the societal issues and challenges that make these organizations necessary.
Community Engagement Day (CED) is an experiment in how to celebrate, develop and document the culture of engagement and both social and environmental sustainability at McGill University. One of the main goals of the event is to create and strengthen partnerships between the McGill community and Montréal in terms of centralizing and making visible the community engagement initiatives on campus, and promote opportunities for those interested in participating. The coordinators of the event have made it a priority to showcase existing sustainability initiatives on and off campus, such as: Edible Campus, Midnight Kitchen, the McGill Farmer’s Market, Gorilla Composting, Campus Crops, the Plate Club and Rethink McGill.
Community Engagement Day #1 (2012)
Community Engagement Day 2012 fulfilled its objective of acting as an entry point and lighthouse for a broader course of community engagement at McGill. 340 McGill Registrants joined 64 community groups and over 1 000 people (including McGill participants, group leaders and community activists). 49.2% of the registrants for were first-year McGill students.
Resources from the SPF were used to provide a salary for two coordinators and an intern, to develop publicity and a website, as well as materials, transportation and room rentals for the official day.
While the first edition was a success, there was less support given to administrative tasks that would have guaranteed a more consistent and sound budgetary planning and reporting process.
Community Engagement Day #2 (2013)
The goal of the 2013 edition of Community Engagement Day was to build upon the accomplishments of the first year; on the administrative side to improve the organization, and accountability of the event; while increasing the networking, activities, impact and meaningful learning offered on the actual day.
Resources from the SPF were used to procure food, room rentals, materials and transportation on the actual day, as well as development of publicity materials and the provision of a salary for the intern coordinator.
The CED event wishes to become a model for innovative, equitable, sustainable, and financially viable community-university partnerships. By encouraging McGill participants to recognize their place of privilege within the city, it is the hope that community engagement will become a tool to understand the importance of equity and diversity both within and beyond McGill.
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