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Being Kind: How Much Does Sociability Matter?

Part of Pandemonium: Urban Studies and Recovering from COVID-19, a lecture series presented by SFU Urban Studies in collaboration with SFU Public Square and financially supported by the Initiative in Sustainable Urban Development.

When Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry implored British Columbians to “be kind” at the onset of the pandemic, the message seemed disconnected from the urgent matter of our health. As the pandemic has worn on, driving new wedges of inequality, exclusion and vulnerability in between many of us, and deepening pre-existing conditions of social isolation and loneliness, the wisdom of kindness has become apparent.

Looking at the successes and failures of other cities in the face of the pandemic, too, we can see the impact of kindness and its absence as part of the equation. Does being kind represent a lasting lesson for how to improve our cities in the long-term, in multiple and diverse directions?

This panel discussion addresses the social as well as physical qualities of our homes and intimate communities as a big part of the story of coming through a pandemic intact. We address the connections between social cohesion and public health and ask what it will take to insert principles and practices of kindness and sociability in urban policy, moving forward from the pandemic. 

Moderator

Meg Holden
Professor and Director, SFU Urban Studies

Meg Holden is professor of Urban Studies and Geography at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Meg teaches courses in urban sustainable development, urban ethics, urban planning and policy, and urban theory. She received her Ph.D. in public and urban policy from the New School for Social Research and a M.Sc. and B.Sc.(Hons) in geography. Meg's research and professional work examines how cities and urbanites change in relation to demands, plans, actions, and new concepts related to sustainable development and community wellbeing. Meg is a research associate of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and the Korean Community Wellbeing Institute. She also serves on the editorial board of Applied Research in Quality of Life and the Springer book series on community wellbeing and quality of life.

Speakers

Michelle Hoar
Director, Hey Neighbour Collective

Michelle Hoar is Project Director for the Hey Neighbour Collective, a multi-stakeholder systems change project aimed at building community and social resilience in multi-unit housing, housed at SFU’s Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue.

Previous to Hey Neighbour, she was the co-founder of The Tyee, leading the business operations of one of Canada’s most highly-regarded independent media companies from 2003 through 2016. From 2016 to 2017 she managed The Tyee’s Housing Fix, a special solutions-journalism and civic engagement project focused on Canada’s housing crises.

Michelle is the mother of two young daughters, a renter since age 19, and an avid community gardener and cyclist. One of her favourite hobbies is talking to strangers.
 

Kate Mulligan
Director of Policy and Communications, Alliance for Healthy Communities, Ontario and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto

Dr. Kate Mulligan is an Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the Director of Policy and Communications at the Alliance for Healthier Communities, and a member of the Toronto Board of Health. She works toward healthier cities and communities through research, mentorship and action on healthy public policy, political ecologies of health and wellbeing, climate and health equity, and upstream health systems interventions. Kate oversaw Canada’s first social prescribing project, implemented in community health centres across Ontario, which demonstrated reduced loneliness and improved health outcomes.

Follow Kate on Twitter @KateMMulligan.
 

Anthonia Ogundele
Ethos Lab

As a trained planner and resilience professional, Anthonia Ogundele has a passion for cities and engaging communities. She was a member of the North East False Creek Stewardship Committee, igniting the re-imaging on Hogan’s Alley. In 2016 she turned a storefront facing closet into the Cheeky Proletariat, located on Carrall street, which is an accessible and inclusive space for the free expression of all people.

She recently left her role at Vancity Credit Union, as the Manager of Environmental Sustainability, Business Continuity and Emergency Planning to become the Founder of the Ethọ́s Lab, a social enterprise leveraging the cooperative model to develop an online collaborative platform and creative co-working spaces for youth ages 12-18, that foster Culture and STEM focused Exploration. 

Through Ethọ́s Lab she is hoping to inspire a legacy of Black leadership as well as answer the question: "What might place/Space making look like when you centre the Humanity of the Black experience?"
 

Jennifer Johnstone
President & CEO, Central City Foundation

Jennifer Johnstone is President & CEO of Central City Foundation (CCF), an organization that has been working to improve lives in Vancouver’s inner-city since 1907. By building strong relationships with community organizations and investing in community-led solutions that help people in need improve their lives, CCF is making a difference in our community. Jennifer’s background is in non-profit management and community resource development. Over the past 30 years, she has held key leadership positions with organizations including Vancity Community Foundation, Battered Women’s Support Services, Vancouver Status of Women, and Ballet British Columbia as well as maintaining a practice as a trusted advisor to a wide-variety of charitable organizations in BC. Jennifer is a founding member of the Social Purpose Real Estate Collaborative, sits on the national Board of the Association Fundraising Professionals and serves as a volunteer Board member for several local organizations.
 

Helen Pineo
Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, University College London

Dr Helen Pineo MRTPI is an urban planner and academic who specialises in healthy and sustainable urban development. She is currently a Lecturer in Sustainable & Healthy Built Environments in the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment at University College London. Her research focuses on urban design, planning and governance in relation to urban health and sustainability. Helen has investigated the development and use of urban health metrics. She developed the THRIVES Framework (Towards Healthy uRbanism: InclusiVe, Equitable, Sustainable) which provides a new way to conceptualise the health and wellbeing impacts of urban design and planning.

Prior to entering academe in 2018, she worked as an urban planner for over a decade on new developments and planning policy, in the UK and internationally. She has worked at the Building Research Establishment, Local Government Association and in national and local government in the areas of sustainable urbanisation, health, climate change and low carbon energy. Since 2015 she has been a Design Council Built Environment Expert. She is a chartered member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and she holds numerous expert advisory roles in government and industry.

 

Joan Wandolo
Ethos Lab

Joan Wandolo is a social justice and youth advocate with a passion for community building and intersectional feminism. With a Degree in Human Geography from Simon Fraser University she is fascinated by human impact on all environments, especially digital, and how we different identities shape and move the world around us. With Ethos Lab Joan is most excited about engagement around ways to enhance lived experiences for all youth in ever-changing spaces while centering the humanity of Black youth identities and experiences.

WHEN

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

5:00 PM

WHERE

Online Event
A link and password to join the event will be sent to registrants via Eventbrite.

ACCESSIBILITY, TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY

Registration and password

A password to access this webinar will be sent to all registrants via email in the days and hours preceeding the event.

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using online meeting technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password protect the meeting
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.

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