For one year starting in March 2021, Emily Charron will be joining the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement as the Coordinator. It takes a special person to keep track of everything going on in the Centre’s community on top of promoting peace and personal growth. Fortunately, Charron is just the person to fill Michelle Jackett’s shoes during Jackett’s maternity leave.
Centre for Peace Advancement Communications Assistant Katie Fry sat down with Charron to learn more about what brought her to the Centre.
Fry: Before we dive into some harder questions, I thought it might be fun to get to know more about you. Let’s run through a few rapid fire facts: Do you prefer coffee or tea, and cats or dogs? Where is your dream travel destination?
Charron: I drink more coffee and love both cats and dogs. If I could travel anywhere I would go to New Zealand.
Fry: What is something you are proud of?
Charron: As someone who does not like being cold, I’m proud that I went backcountry camping this winter and slept outside in a shelter my partner and I built.
Fry: I often describe myself as cold-blooded, so I definitely agree that you should be proud of that. While we speak about new experiences and the warm indoors, what should visitors to the Centre or active participants in our community know about you?
Charron: Visitors and community members should know that I am always looking to learn something new. Each person interacting with the Centre carries their own knowledge, experience, and expertise about how we can transform our communities. Hearing about exciting projects, emerging research, or even just someone’s thought of the day is what inspires me to be creative and innovative in my own role.
Fry: Was there anything specific about the Centre or Coordinator position that made you want to work here?
Charron: It excites me to have the opportunity to be a part of this ecosystem and help catalyze transformation in my own community and beyond. The Coordinator position allows me to cultivate opportunities for engagement, facilitate meaningful collaboration, and be a part of a community of people who care deeply about using their unique talents for good.
The Centre demonstrates opportunities for peacebuilding that can grow out of intentional and inclusive collaboration among diverse, creative, and passionate people.
Fry: Every day of my co-op I learn something new or get blown away by the passion, kindness, and expertise of the people around us. Since you joined the Centre, has anything surprised you?
Charron: I continue to be surprised by the innovation coming out of the Centre community. Before taking on the Coordinator role, I knew there were incredible things happening at the Centre. Even still, I find myself in awe of the work being done by the Participants and Collaborators at the Centre.
Fry: I think it is safe to say that a lot goes on at the Centre! There’s the Grebel Gallery, Epp Peace Incubator, and a range of programs for students. Not to mention all of the amazing work done by our Core Collaborators.
Charron: Exactly. I have learned so much about the social-innovation ecosystem at the University of Waterloo and in the Region of Waterloo since starting here. The synergy created through purposeful partnerships and collaboration provides space for individuals and organizations to thrive. Getting to know the diversity of the space and the connection points among community members has been an incredible learning opportunity and has provided me with a fuller picture of how we at the Centre can help catalyze transformation.
Fry: As you settle into your role, what are you most looking forward to?
Charron: I am looking forward to being a part of the Centre community. This is a warm and welcoming group full of caring and dynamic individuals who are driven by a desire to live into their values and make a meaningful contribution to the world. This community inspires me to lean into problems I see around me, ask big questions, and have the courage to try something new.