Tara Flynn


Coordinator, Civic and Community Engagement

I work closely with civic and community partners (mostly Burnaby-based) to ensure positive engagement and event creation. In developing partnerships, I’m guided by values like inclusion, diversity, equity, and knowledge creation, to name a few. One of my main tasks is to act as a co-chair of the Burnaby Festival of Learning, where I work to bring SFU’s community engagement vision and values alive for community members to enjoy, participate in, and benefit from.

Why community engagement matters to me:

In relationship with others we are awarded a unique gift­­ – the gratification of learning something new about others while learning or rediscovering something about ourselves.

Community engagement opens up an opportunity to share diverse perspectives, learn through an individual’s story, and contribute toward the greater good when we feel moved to do so. A profound result of community engagement is the collective (and sometimes subtle) knowing that you have just experienced something transformative with others – joy, wonder, amazement, sadness, bewilderment ­– the spectrum of human emotion and our capacity for multiplicity within these experiences is endless. In moments of true presence with others, we can mediate our tendency to think our way through problems, and we give space to feel into the experience of creating solutions with others, making for a far richer outcome.

It is vital to the positive development of a community to actively choose knowledge and learning alongside empathy, cooperation and presence. Community engagement matters to me because it is so effective at co-creating initiatives and solutions to complex challenges, to my heart and mind, there is nothing quite as unifying as this shared understanding and experience with others. 


Tara was recently featured in SFU's "People of SFU" campaign on SFU News. Check it out here.

Email: tara_flynn@sfu.ca
Telephone: 778.782.9814