Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings Street

SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Selected Press

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement is involved with producing public talks, community partnerships, accessible education opportunities and SFU student placements with community organizations.


A Green New Deal for Housing

A Tyee series, in which Geoff Dembicki speaks with more than 20 housing and climate experts about an ambitious plan that could address both crises at once: a Green New Deal for housing.

How Rethinking Affordable Homes Connects with the Climate Fight
The Tyee - November 30, 2020
First in a five-part series exploring the case for a Green New Deal for housing.

Why Canada’s Climate Advocates Are Excited by Biden’s Housing Plans
The Tyee - December 3, 2020
The president-elect aims to build 1.5 million green, affordable units. It’s a galvanizing idea. Second in a series.

What If New Density Had to Be All Affordable? This City Did It
The Tyee - December 10, 2020
Cambridge is as pricey as Vancouver. But its housing crisis response is now much bolder.

Focus on Housing and Jobs or the Climate Fight ‘Goes Nowhere’
The Tyee - December 15, 2020
How low-income Brooklynites with a green vision vanquished a developer ‘Goliath.’

Indigenous Housing Solutions, Built on Empowerment
The Tyee - December 18, 2020
First Nations designers of sustainable shelter want colonialism torn down.

Vancouver Foundation's evolution set stage for its quick response to COVID-19 pandemic
The Georgia Straight - November 25, 2020
Only a week after the World Health Organization declared on March 11 that the COVID-19 outbreak was a pandemic, the Vancouver Foundation sprang into action, launching the Community Response Fund. Am Johal acted in an advisory capacity to the Vancouver Foundation, making recommendations related to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund.

Affordable Housing series in Vancouver

A Tyee series that looks at affordable housing here in Vancouver.

Indigenous Housing Has Been In Crisis. Things Are Getting Better
The Tyee - May 21, 2020
Deanna Pointe’s family was shattered by the Sixties Scoop. Now she heads a three-generation family in East Vancouver.

Evicted: Renting Families Lose Home after Home after Home
The Tyee - May 18, 2020
In Metro Vancouver, it’s tough to put down roots. Will new rent laws and speculation taxes help?

Shut Out: How Families Have Fallen Off the Housing Ladder
The Tyee - May 14, 2020
Owning a home was once the Canadian dream. In Vancouver, it’s out of reach for most.

No Escape: The Human Cost of Making Social Housing Scarce
The Tyee - May 11, 2020
Rental discrimination and a big BC Housing backlog are leaving desperate single moms out in the cold.

Canada’s Housing System Is Cracking under the Crisis
The Tyee - April 23, 2020
Renters are asking why they should pay their landlords, while landlords fear losing their own housing.


30 years of engaging communities across SFU's Vancouver campus
Business in Vancouver - December 9, 2019
A story from Business in Vancouver that highlights the work of SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, featuring an interview with director Am Johal.    

Vancouver housing stories

A Tyee series by students from SFU's Semester in Dialogue on finding home and housing in the region

Why ‘Where Is Home?’ Is a Scary Question for Many Young Vancouverites 
The Tyee - July 1, 2019
Let’s reframe it, and ask about a feeling, not four walls.

I Came for School, and Spent Much of My Education Fighting to Live Here
The Tyee - July 2, 2019
An international student reflects on the struggle to find — and afford — a place to live.

I Commute from the Suburbs. Is Anyone Thinking of Folks Like Me?
The Tyee - July 3, 2019
We need affordable housing options, too.

Vancouver’s ‘Race Estate’ Market Has Hurt Many of Us
The Tyee - July 4, 2019
Blame capitalism, not me. As a young Chinese-Canadian, I’m a victim of the housing crisis too.

Just Married! And Moving in with the In-Laws...
The Tyee - July 5, 2019
When the housing crisis kills the romance.

Libby Davies's memoir Outside In tells a grassroots story of her journey from the Downtown Eastside to Ottawa
The Georgia Straight - May 1, 2019
After nearly four decades in public service, the former MP for Vancouver East shares candid memories of a life dedicated to social justice

Robots in the workplace boost careers of populist politicians like Trump, says author Gwynne Dyer
The Georgia Straight - Mar 13, 2019
Gwynne Dyer says people who lose their jobs because of automation for the angry base for Donald Trump and other demagogues around the world. Gwynne spoke at SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts on March 6, 2019.

On the Trail of the Climate
New York Review of Books - Feb 21, 2019
A review of Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale (MIT Press 2018) by Matt Hern and Am Johal with Joe Sacco. SFU Library access here.

Review of Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale by Matt Hern, Am Johal, & Joe Sacco (MIT Press)
The Capilano Review - Feb 11, 2019
"Part travelogue, part theoretical intervention, part graphic narrative..."

Who Has the Right to Art?
Canadian Art - Jan 31, 2019
An introduction to Vancouver’s perpetual housing and unaffordability crisis, featuring commentary by Am Johal.


Housing crisis worse: Former UN special rapporteur Miloon Kothari revisits Vancouver
Policy Note - Dec 1, 2017
As the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing from 2000 to 2008, Miloon Kothari has observed the failure of market-based approaches to addressing housing crises.

Short SFU documentary takes viewers inside the Downtown Eastside's response to the fentanyl crisis
The Georgia Straight - Sep 7, 2017
SFU Woodward’s has released a compelling documentary about how the Downtown Eastside is coping with the fentanyl crisis.

Loved Ones Lost

A series produced in partnership with the Tyee Solutions Society and SFUs Vancity Office of Community Engagement

    Loved Ones Lost: ‘I Want This Time to Teach You’ 
    The Tyee - May 26, 2017
    An addicted daughter’s words became her mother’s work. Last in a series.

    Loved Ones Lost: Death of a Downtown Poet 
    The Tyee - May 19, 2017
    Mel Hennan drew a community to him with his art, activism and cheerful embrace of life.

    Loved Ones Lost: Tears for Marnie 
    The Tyee - May 15, 2017
    She survived racism, violence, and homelessness but not BC’s overdose crisis.

    Loved Ones Lost: An Oil Driller’s Struggle 
    The Tyee - May 5, 2017
    Ryan knew he was fortunate to have his family’s support. Then luck turned cruel. First in a series.

Join Us at (In)secure: The Future of Working, a Tyee Beyond the Headlines Event
The Tyee - May 1, 2017
SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement partner with The Tyee to present an engaging night of storytelling and dialogue about the changing nature of working in Canada. 

The SFU Vancouver campus boasts a thriving Indigenous presence, one they are proud to share
BeatRoute Magazine - Mar 9, 2017
William Lindsay and his colleague Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn, who are considered to be the go-to experts of the Indigenous Research Institute at SFU, have introduced a new approach of sharing academic research with the general public, specifically the Downtown Eastside.

SFU undergrad Samaah Jaffer helps promote understanding through community engagement
The Georgia Straight - Mar 1, 2017
SFU undergraduate student Samaah Jaffer is a journalist, intellectual, community organizer, advocate for democratic engagement, and outspoken critic of Islamophobia. 

Seeking an Antidote to BC's Overdose Crisis

A series produced in partnership with the Tyee Solutions Society and SFUs Vancity Office of Community Engagement

    In Throes of Overdose Crisis, a Community Unites to Fight Back
    The Tyee - Jan 25, 2017
    Meet the people on the front lines of a public health emergency, and the solutions they seek. 

    An Urgent Call on Overdose Crisis: Prescribe Drugs, End Prohibition
    The Tyee - Jan 26, 2017
    Simply put, ‘fentanyl is a product of our drug policies.

    The Overdose Crisis: We Know How to Save Lives, Doctors Say
    The Tyee - Jan 27, 2017
    From an Albertan reserve to Vancouver’s inner city, caregivers share solutions for turning the tide.

    Five Ways to Stop BC’s Overdose Drug Deaths Now
    The Tyee - Jan 28, 2017
    Stopping the drug war and improving housing access is key.

    Drug Users, Advocates Demand Faster Action on Overdose Crisis
    The Tyee - Feb 21, 2017
    Responses ramping up, but with more than 1,000 dead treatment options still limited.


Cartoonist draws inspiration from global conflicts
CBC News - Nov 2, 2016
Every picture tells a story and Joe Sacco's political comics tell the difficult stories photojournalists can't always capture. . . He's in Vancouver to speak about his work Wednesday evening at an event sponsored by Simon Fraser University.

SFU hosts public discussion on gentrification in Chinatown
The Peak - Oct 11, 2016
For many citizens, gentrification in Vancouver’s Chinatown is an ongoing concern. . . On October 5, many of those citizens gathered at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, for a panel discussion addressing the question: What is the Vision for Chinatown? The panel was presented by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and the Heritage Vancouver Society.

Vancouver summer camp empowers Syrian children to tell their own stories, however they want to tell them - Sep 20, 2016
In early August, 2016, Simon Fraser University masters student Shawk Alani worked with colleagues like photographer Nawar Tawami to organize "Capturing Our Stories," a photography summer school and exhibition, a series of workshops for Syrian children who have recently arrived in Vancouver.

Libby Davies still tries to beat back cynicism
The Georgia Straight - Sep 14, 2016
Nearly a year after leaving federal politics, Libby Davies is in a reflective mood. . . Libby Davies will discuss her political career at 7 p.m. next Wednesday (September 21) at SFU Woodward’s in the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

More than just refugees: Syrian kids tell their stories their way
CBC News - Sep 1, 2016
New photo exhibition puts focus on Syrian kids themselves rather than their story of migration.

With Cameras in Hand, Young Syrian Refugees Learn Storytelling
The Tyee - Aug 18, 2016
SFU photography workshop aims to help newcomers develop a voice.

'Against the Tide': Two Radical Legacies Remembered
The Tyee - Feb 20, 2016
Shipworkers' historic uprising, chronicled by Jim Green, earns Vancouver stage reading.

What does it mean to be a Muslim in Canada today?
Vancouver Observer - Feb 19, 2016
A dialogue, discussion and book launch hosted by Simon Fraser University Woodward's on Thursday, March 3 from 7-9 PM.

Four Highlights from Tyee's Evening with Andrew Nikiforuk
The Tyee - Feb 8, 2016
Andrew Nikiforuk surveyed the latest energy battleground for a packed Vancouver theatre.

The Life-Saving Movement to Reclaim Indigenous Language
The Tyee - Feb 4, 2016
Kwi Awt Stelmexw and SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement host a panel featuring Indigenous language activists sharing stories of language learning and community building.


Vancouver has an inequality problem
The Peak - Nov 9, 2015
SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and the Vancouver City Planning Commission hosted a panel discussion on the issue of “Social Inequality in the City.”

CTRL ALT DEL: Vancouver Talks Disrupting With Passion
BetaKit - Oct 27, 2015
How are you disrupting the status quo? That’s what the CTRL ALT DEL event at SFU Woodward’s in downtown Vancouver last Thursday was all about: discovering how Vancouver’s top tech entrepreneurs are changing their world.

What Makes an Engaged University?
The Tyee - Oct 19, 2015
To SFU 'engagement' chief Am Johal, it starts with getting neighbourly.

Best of Vancouver 2015: Best impresario of community engagement - Am Johal
The Georgia Straight - Sep 30, 2015
The Director of SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement, Am Johal, has been named the "best impresario of community engagement" as a part of the Georgia Straight's "Best of Vancouver 2015" list. 

Vancouver heritage conservation plan up for debate
CBC News - Mar 05, 2015
Vancouver's plan to update its heritage conservation program is prompting dialogue on architectural innovation and what should be considered a heritage building hosted by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and Heritage Vancouver Society.

Jim Green’s Legacy to Social Housing

A series produced in partnership with the Tyee Solutions Society and SFUs Vancity Office of Community Engagement

    Event: Social Housing Experts Look from Legacy to Future
    The Tyee - Feb 26, 2015
    Expect feisty debate at this Vancouver event honouring late councillor Jim Green.

    Inside Woodward’s, a Still-Contentious Social Housing Experiment
    The Tyee - Feb 25, 2015 
    The late Jim Green’s legacy project in Vancouver continues to generate buzz. Last in a series.

    ‘At My Age, All I Expect Is a Place to Live’
    The Tyee - Feb 24, 2015
    In Solheim Place, late councillor Jim Green helped create a Vancouver rarity. Second in a series.    

    At Four Sisters co-op, an affordable housing dream realized
    The Tyee - Feb 23, 2015
    A reflection on the legacy of the late Jim Green, former Vancouver councillor and an advocate for the city’s Downtown Eastside, who led the development of many housing projects.


Former senior U.S official Barnett Rubin will speak at SFU Woodward’s on future of Afghanistan
The Georgia Straight - Nov 19, 2014
An introduction of Barnett Rubin, who spoke at the GCA on November 19 acknowledging that Afghanistan is marred by ethnic conflicts, corruption, and poverty.


SFU Vancouver Speaker Series: A lecture by Dr. Gwynne Dyer
Vancouver Observer - Nov 18, 2013
Drawing on interviews with scientists, policy-makers and military strategists in a dozen different countries, Dr. Gwynne Dyer explores the grave geopolitical implications of large-scale (and probably rapid) climate change.

Renee Sarojini Saklikar draws large crowd to SFU Woodward’s for launch of new book of poems
The Georgia Straight - Nov 14, 2013
On November 13, 2013 in front of a capacity crowd at the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts at SFU Woodward's, Saklikar characterized the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 as "such an interrupted story".

Experts renew calls to solve foreign investment housing affordability puzzle
Metro News - Mar 17, 2013
Is Vancouver’s housing the second least affordable in the world because of foreign investment? This is one of the questions that will be discussed at a sold out forum organized by SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement featuring panelists Andy Yan, Tsur Somerville and Sandy Garrosino.


Kids in need can thrive in Limelight
The Vancouver Sun - Jan 30, 2012
Sisters Maureen Webb and Donalda Weaver latched onto the arts as a way to express themselves at a very young age. This experience motivated them to give back to the area with Project Limelight, a free arts program dedicated to children in the area that will offer four-month semesters of after-school workshops in acting, dancing, music, creative writing and more.