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Community Engagement and Research

Community based research resources.

Principled Community Engagement

Community engagement at McMaster University values the expert knowledge and passion that members of the community (both local and global) have about their communities and issues affecting them. It fosters ongoing collaboration between University and Community Partners on how to better understand and consider the issues identified as priorities by local and global communities. It performs research, teaching and service with community members and partners for the public good within the local or global community. 

Principles of Community Engagement

Co-Developed in 2016 with campus and community partners to inform principled community engagement based on trust and respect:

  • Respectful Relationships - the foundational principle that builds the sense of community
  • Reciprocity - working together for mutual benefit
  • Equity - principled community engagement strives to overcome barriers to equity
  • Continuity - the importance of considering the short long-term implications of community engaged work and having a plan for the work either ending or being passed on
  • Openness to Learning - working together by sharing our learning with our partners
  • Commitment to Act - sharing and acting on our knowledge to contribute to the greater social good

Community-informed education or research involves consultation with experts in the community and/or reference of locally-developed planning documents to identify current challenges and to advance local priorities. Information provided is used to help influence curriculum development, research objectives, or co-curricular programs while advancing community priorities, but without requiring ongoing co-creation and shared decision-making by the community that is inherent with community-engaged or partnered initiatives.

This video is an introduction to the principles through the lens of the student experience. It was designed to introduce students to each of the six principals before they engage with the community, either in person or virtually, to ensure that they are focused on meeting shared goals.

A guide to Experiential and Community Engaged Education at McMaster University.

This Toolkit, developed by the McMaster Office of Community Engagement in partnership with students in the CityLAB Semester in Residence program, is intended to support community engagement practitioners conducting virtual engagement programming online.

Practicing Inclusive Community Engagement

Think about why you want to get involved in community engagement. Maybe you want to make the world a better place? Maybe you think you have a great solution to a problem facing your friends and peers? Now think about yourself, as a single community member. You have lived experiences, academic experiences, opinions, and values. How many communities do you belong to? 

By definition, the “community” is multi-faceted, complex, and ever evolving. As you identified in yourself, your fellow community members are diverse and complicated. When engaging in community engagement, it is necessary to acknowledge how our perspective shapes the biases and privilege we hold within our worldviews. The following resources are meant to be points of inspiration for you to expand your viewpoints, to ask yourself whether or not you are the right person to be leading a project, and to consider whether your community work is indeed inclusive of and accessible to the various individuals you wish to serve.

Current opportunities for civic engagement through the City of Hamilton.

A guide for universities, higher education institutions, and the academic sector.

This guide highlights the writing and editing style for McMaster University's print publications, websites, promotional and other content for internal and external audiences, including notes on inclusive language. 

This guide highlights the importance of inclusive language, and includes explanations with people-first language and pronoun use.

A comprehensive guidebook to support those in educational roles in applying Accessible Education principles across teaching and learning contexts to enhance access for all.

Site includes an Accessible Event Planning Checklist, a guide that highlights the writing and editing style for McMaster University's print publications, websites, promotional and other content for internal and external audiences, including notes on inclusive language. 

Gapminder is an independent educational non-profit fighting global misconceptions.

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