School of Social Work collaborates with community to run workshop series

TD engagement centre
TD engagement centre

A four-part community conversation series designed to engage the local community on topics of emotional well-being will continue on April 18 with “Moving Towards Resilience: An Interactive Workshop with Les DanceSours.”

The series, developed and facilitated by York University’s School of Social Work, Access Alliance, the Black Creek Community Collaborative and the York University TD Community Engagement Centre, launched at the Jane-Finch Community & Family Centre with its first instalment on Feb. 28.

Wilburn Hayden (School of Social Work), Farid Partovi Chaharlangi (Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre) and Butterfly Gopaul (Black Creek Community Health Centre) led the “Conversation Café: In Search of Community Emotional Well-Being” during the inaugural event.

“The conversation was more about getting a handle on the notion of community emotional well-being,” said Hayden. “We all agreed that the concept was important and timely, but the search for meaning as a concept and its relevance to real life tragedies was not easy. Hopefully, our notes will be useful points for others. Having this type of conversation was something that the group felt was rare and needed.”

Emotional well-being, the theme of the series, emerged from discussions with the Black Creek Community Collaborative (BCCC), a broad network of residents, and community organizations in Jane-Finch, during the fall of 2016.

Upcoming conversations include “Moving Towards Resilience: An Interactive Workshop with Les DanceSoeurs” for youth ages 13 to 29 on April 18, from 3:30 to 6pm, at C.W. Jefferys High School. This event runs in collaboration with Wendy McGuire (School of Social Work), Arielle Prescod (San Romanoway Revitalization Association), Allyson Adley (Art Gallery of York University) and Devi Kirkham (Across Boundaries). The workshop will explore art as a means of working through trauma and building resilience to support student success.

A third workshop in the series will be for front-line community agency staff. “Stories of Change: Narrative Practices for Critical Justice Work,” with Harjeet Badwell (School of Social Work), will run on April 20, from 2 to 4pm, at the York University TD Community Engagement Centre.

The series will wrap up on May 10 from 2 to 4pm with “My Mind and Me: An Introductory Mindfulness Workshop for Youth,” a workshop led by M.J. Rwigema (School of Social Work), at the Spot.

The series was developed by the Global-Local Community Engagement Centre of the School of Social Work and supported by Access Alliance, YUFA Community Projects, and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Global and Community Engagement. For more information, contact Wendy McGuire at