Inaugural ‘KM in the AM’ breakfast meeting is a success

On Tuesday, Nov. 21, York’s Knowledge Mobilization (KM) Unit held its inaugural “KM in the AM” session, a breakfast round table designed to bring together academic and community stakeholders in York Region who have a common interest in a particular topic.

Held at the Aurora Public Library, the theme of the first KM in the AM was mental health. Faculty members and graduate students from York University met with representatives from a number of municipal government departments and community agencies. Several York researchers and York Region service providers made presentations which were followed by lively discussions and networking.

 Above: Participants at the first KM in the AM breakfast

The breakfast was co-hosted by the Human Services Planning Coalition of York Region, which has partnered with York University to support the KM initiative throughout the region. “The breakfast was an enormous success. We had an incredible response from the community, who saw the event as a valuable opportunity to meet researchers and colleagues they may not otherwise have access to. KM in the AM is a great way to strengthen the ties between York Region and York University,” said Simon Cheng, director of human services planning for York Region.

“By creating a space where researchers and service providers can meet and interact, the KM Unit hopes that the participants may discover common research interests and identify opportunities to exchange knowledge or work together,” said Andrea England, coordinator of York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit.

The energy at the breakfast was tremendous, said Michael Johnny, manager of Knowledge Mobilization, and the participants were very excited about the opportunity to network and make new contacts. “Whenever I come to these events I usually meet three or four people who I want to get to know better,” said Henny Westra, a professor in York’s Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health.

“This morning was truly a gift,” echoed Patricia Jamieson, care & treatment program facilitator with the York Region District School Board.

A number of collaborative opportunities arose out of the breakfast session. For example, one participant has agreed to make training presentations to the staff of a service agency in York Region. Another community organization has requested research results from a York faculty member.

“The KM Unit will work to support these and other partnerships as they emerge,” said Johnny.

Knowledge Mobilization breakfasts will be held on a variety of topics over the coming months. The next KM in the AM session will take place Jan. 30, and will explore the topic of immigration and settlement. Members of the York community who are interested in attending the next KM in the AM session should contact Andrea England, coordinator of Knowledge Mobilization, at ext. 88847 or e-mail

York University has received two tri-council grants to develop institutional services that connect University research in the social sciences and humanities with policy-makers across Canada to ensure that this research helps inform their decision-making. The KM Unit at York is partnered nationally with the University of Victoria and locally with York Region and the York Region District School Board. For more information about KM at York, e-mail Michael Johnny or Andrea England, in the Office of Research Services.