Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) starts from the ground-up. This is why community-based research is vital in working toward these 2030 goals, as outlined by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement has teamed up with the Centre for Community-Based Research (CCBR) to create resources on localizing the SDGs for grassroots communities, small start-ups, and community-based organizations. The Centre recognizes the value in taking multisector approaches to peace through interdisciplinary collaboration, even on a small scale.
The last four University of Waterloo Global Impact Reports have featured at least one story on a Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement participant. The journey of Cassie Myers, Founder and CEO of Grebel Peace Incubator participant Lunaria Solutions, was highlighted in 2022 issue for her team’s work on using data to advance diversity, equity and inclusion. Incubator participants are not afraid of tackling complex, international problems, and the Centre provides them the network and support to help them refine their solutions and expand their influence. Lunaria joins the lineup of Incubator participants and alumni that make waves beyond their immediate context, creating far-reaching change in pursuit of a more equitable, peaceful future.
When the COVID-19 pandemic drove people around the world to shelter in their homes, building closures prompted reflection about what it means to be a church when the congregation is unable to gather. Systems mapping research developed in summer 2021 by Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) and the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement reveals that faith-based relationships extend well beyond the structures that house them.
April 30 marked the culmination of the 2021-2022 Peace Innovators Scholarship and Mentoring program. Eleven students celebrated their community projects at the Peace Innovators Showcase with friends, family, and supporters held in the Grebel Gallery. The Peace Innovators program is a joint partnership between Kindred Credit Union, The Ripple Effect Education (TREE), and the Centre for Peace Advancement that, for the past five years, has equipped grade 11 and 12 students from across Ontario with skills to tackle a local problem they’re passionate about. The first in-person showcase in more than two years, this event culminated the incredible year-long efforts of these youth leaders, passionate about peace and justice.
Last week, the University of Waterloo Map the System team demonstrated their systems thinking skills on a national stage. Map the System is a global pitch competition that asks students to apply systems thinking to complex social and environmental challenges. The winning team at the Waterloo campus final, made up of Calyssa Burke, Yawei (Selina) Han, Alex Petric, Janet Song Cornett-Ching, and Ayesha Zerin Tasnim, focused on understanding the root causes of the problem of housing inadequacy in Northern BC. With the support of their Professor, Simron Singh, Centre Director Paul Heidebrecht, and community partners, the team represented Waterloo at the virtual Map the System Canada finals held from May 11-13. The Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement is championing systems thinking on the Waterloo campus, empowering students to think about important issues in new ways.
Between April and August 2022, the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement welcomes Victoria Lumax to the team as Interim Coordinator. Less than one month into her new role, Lumax’s confidence and expertise have enabled her to hit the ground running as she supports the Centre’s many initiatives and stakeholders. Having previously worked as the Centre’s Communications Assistant, Lumax is a testament to the potential of the Centre’s network to advance careers in an impactful way.
As part of a thriving innovation ecosystem, the Grebel Peace Incubator at the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge beyond academia. Access to Mitacs funding and a diverse, collaborative network of innovators allows participants like Majid Mirza, Sean Campbell, and Brendan Wylie-Toal to pursue entrepreneurship and education at the same time, helping them bring their initiatives to market more efficiently and effectively.
On Thursday, April 7th, 2022, the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement hosted the University of Waterloo’s Map the System campus finals for the fourth time, welcoming undergraduate and graduate students from all faculties to explore some of the world’s most pressing issues using systems-thinking methodologies. More than 60 students from 23 teams entered the competition this year, addressing social or environmental issues through the wider contexts in which they arise.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine commenced on February 24,2022, the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement community has watched the devastating conflict unfold with concern. In response, Centre community membershave engaged in peacebuilding efforts through advocacy, relief efforts, scholarship and dialogue.
“What does it mean to be a good housing provider?” and “How does unstable access to housing impact communities?” are just a few of the questions Grebel Peace Incubator participant, Union: Sustainable Development Co-operative (Union Co-operative) seeks to address. This spring, Union Co-operative invites members to engage more deeply in affordable housing discussions through a new series of online and in-person events, bringing co-operation into this co-operative!