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Evolving towards a community centred approach to CSL initiatives

audio recording


The PROMISING PRACTICES Tele-learning Series welcomed a panel to discuss the ongoing development of their community-campus partnerships within the Kitchener-Waterloo region, a rather unique place as it includes two universities, Laurier and Waterloo, as well as one large college, Conestoga College. Our guests included:

  • Paul Davock, Founding Director of the Centre for CSL at Wilfrid Laurier University,
  • Anita Abraham, CSL Coordinator at Laurier, and
  • Jane Hennig, Executive Director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Volunteer Action Centre and a member of the Laurier CSL Centre's Advisory Committee

INTRODUCTION TO THE INTERVIEW (See below for link to podcast)

Our topic focused upon the evolving relationship over time between the Laurier CSL program and voluntary organizations in the broader community. When reflecting upon the beginnings of this CSL program, Jane from the Volunteer Action Centre remembered wishing that there had been more intial consultation,especially as the popularity meant that growth was very, very quick. However, even with some concerns, she felt a sense of excitement at the potential for CSL to offer many benefits to the community. Paul spoke of the opportunities associated with significantly expanding a small CSL program that has already existed for many years. He also remembered realizing the paradox of the CSL Centre's intentions to benefit the community through a program model structured inappropriately for the community partners. We join this conversation with Paul offering thoughts on how, in hindsight, he might have proceeded differently from the start.