Community Engagement Network

A significant part of doing excellent community engagement involves better internal coordination and connection.

To us, community engagement is “the collaboration between UBC and local and regional communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity” (adapted from Carnegie Community Engagement Classification). 

The Community Engagement Network is for UBC staff who do community engagement work. We aim to build a network across campus to learn from each other, share information and resources, and create a sense of community among staff who do community engagement work.

Upcoming Sessions

Meet the CEN

“Meet the CEN” is a new series that shines a spotlight on the dynamic individuals who make up the heart of our Community Engagement Network. As we continue to foster collaboration, learning, and community-building within the realm of community engagement at UBC, it’s our pleasure to share the stories and insights of those who drive this essential work forward. 

  • Meet the CEN: Staff Spotlight with Kat Cureton
    In our second “Meet the CEN” interview, we introduce Kat Cureton, the Advisor at UBC Community Engagement and leader of the Community Engagement Network.
  • Meet the CEN: Staff Spotlight with Holly Kim 
    We’re thrilled to present a new series that shines a spotlight on the dynamic individuals who make up the heart of our Community Engagement Network (CEN). In our inaugural feature, we’re proud to introduce Holly Kim, the Operations and Program Manager at UBC Community Engagement.

Past Sessions

September 25th & 26th, 2023, 10:00 – 12:00pm

Community Engagement Network Meet Ups at UBCV and UBCO

Vancouver campus:

Come have a coffee (or tea) and meet your peers who lead and support community-university engagement at UBC! The “meet-up” will be a great opportunity to network, share what you do, find others who do similar work, and discuss goals for this academic year.

Okanagan campus:

For the past few years, the Community Engagement Network has built a sense of community among staff at UBC who work with external community partners. This year, with the arrival of Angela Han in a brand new role as Community Engagement Strategist in Public Affairs, we’re looking to grow involvement from UBCO and host some in-person sessions.  

The “meet up” is our launch party, and will be a great opportunity to network, share what you do, find others who do similar work and discuss the challenges and opportunities of community engagement work at UBCO.

We welcome any UBC staff, faculty and graduate students involved in community engagement work.

Host: Community Engagement
UBCV Location: Social Lounge, St. John’s College

UBCO Location: Institute for Community Engaged Research Office


May 3rd, 2023, 9:30 – 11:00am

Part 2: Exploring tensions and opportunities of community-university engagement work within colonial systems

Join us again, or for the first time, to engage in meaningful self-reflection and the dialogue on colonial systems at play within our community engagement work. Learn and share with colleagues about the supports you have found helpful for thinking about (de)colonialism in your work and where you’ve seen, supported or led thoughtful decolonial work at UBC. By the end of this virtual session we hope that you will feel more connected to your colleagues, and leave feeling inspired to continue this important work. 

  • Create space for more dialogue and reflection on this topic with a particular focus on learning and sharing what is working well.
  • Share insights from group discussions surrounding (de)colonialism in your work.
  • Continue breaking down silos between units and building interconnectedness, between staff at UBCO and UBCV.

Host: Community Engagement & UBC Equity & Inclusion Office
Location: Online with Zoom


April 5th & 6th, 2022, 9:00 – 11:30am

Exploring tensions and opportunities of community-university engagement work within colonial systems

This event is an opportunity to engage in meaningful self-reflection and discuss the colonial systems at play within our community engagement work. Our objectives are to foster increased awareness, build interconnectedness between units, and ultimately drive meaningful change. By the end of the event, we hope that you will feel more connected to your colleagues, and leave feeling inspired to continue this important work. 

  • Slow down, take time, and be intentional in our self-reflection on the colonial systems we are navigating in community engagement work.  
  • Share some wins and hear examples of the little steps Community Engagement Network members are taking to embed equity in community-university relations. 
  • Consider how we can continue to move forward, as a community of colleagues. 
  • Break down silos between units and build interconnectedness. 

Host: Community Engagement, UBC Equity & Inclusion Office, and the Institute for Community Engaged Research.
UBCV Location: Dodson Room (Room 302, Irving K. Barber Learning Commons, 1961 E Mall)

UBCO Location: Institute for Community Engaged Research (ART368 – 1147 Research Road)


Tuesday, December 6, 2022, 2:00 – 3:30pm

UBC Indigenous Financial Guidelines: Info Session & Discussion

Learn about the Indigenous Financial Guidelines, how they were developed, and how you can use them to further reciprocity and respect in relationships with Indigenous partners. Talk about the “how to” behind financial processes and how these guidelines could inform the UBC Community Engagement office’s exploratory work on guidelines for recognizing non-Indigenous partners.

  • Learn about how the Indigenous Financial Guidelines were developed and walk through practical examples of how to recognize partners, including how to get cash to partners.
  • Hear from UBC staff on how they’re managing the financial processes behind the Indigenous Financial Guidelines.
  • Inform the UBC Community Engagement office’s work on equitable partner recognition and consider the value of developing financial guidelines for non-Indigenous partners.  

Host: UBC Community Engagement & Indigenous Research Support Initiative
Location: Online with Zoom


Tuesday, November 8, 2022, 2:00 – 3:30pm

Equitable Compensation for Non-Indigenous Community Partners

Equitable compensation for external community partners is an important step in valuing community expertise, and so, critical to doing principled community-university engagement. Last year, the Indigenous Finance Guidelines were created to better support the gift giving and compensation components in reciprocal, respectful, relationship-based collaborations between Indigenous partners and UBC. But, how do you compensate non-Indigenous community partners?

  • For Community Engagement Office staff to understand the different approaches that are being used and what the current gaps are to inform an effort to support partner compensation at UBC. 
  • For CEN members to share and gain tangible tips and tools, resources, and existing practices. 

Host: UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


Monday, May 30, 2022, 11:00 – 12:00pm

Findings from the IBPOC Student Engagement Consultation Project

Supporting Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (IBPOC) leadership is one of the key recommendations highlighted in the Climate Emergency Task Force report. The UBC Sustainability Hub recently completed the IBPOC Student Engagement Consultation Project with the aim of better understanding IBPOC engagement needs on our campus and building internal capacity to support IBPOC students in their leadership efforts related to sustainability and climate action. The findings of this report also serve as an important resource for how community engagement work in general can be structured equitably for IBPOC community partners.

  • Learn about the UBC Sustainability Hub’s IBPOC Student Engagement Consultation Project process, findings, and recommendations.
  • Discuss key themes including recognition and equitable compensation.
  • Consider how the findings apply to your community engagement work.

Host: UBC Community Engagement & UBC Sustainability Hub
Location: Online with Zoom


Thursday, April 28, 2022, 2:00 – 3:30pm

How UBC staff are advancing the goals and actions of the Indigenous Strategic Plan

  • Gain an understanding of where units/departments in the Community Engagement Network are at in the ISP implementation process;
  • Share and learn, informally, about each other’s experiences with ISP implementation; and
  • Hear examples of what units/departments are doing, or planning to do, to advance the ISP goals and actions.

Host: UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


Thursday, March 10th, 2022, 1:00-2:30pm

BC Not-for-Profit Sector: Issues, Opportunities, & UBC’s Role

By the end of the session, participants are able to access and share Vantage Point not-for-profit resources (e.g., podcasts, toolkits, learning sessions), identify BC NFP sector current issues and opportunities, and articulate ideas for what UBC could do differently to support the sector.

Guest Speakers: Vantage Point | Maria Turnbull, Associate Executive Director and Cherie Payne, Director of Sector Development & Government Relations Location: Online with Zoom


Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022, 1:00 – 2:30pm

Embedding Equity in Community Engagement

In this interactive session, you will learn what the UBC Equity & Inclusion Office does and how the Inclusion Action Plan tools and resources can help you use equitable processes and approaches in your relationships with external community partners. Come prepared to share your stories of positive, equitable community-university partnerships – as well as examples where UBC undermined equity or caused harm. We can learn a lot from those examples, too!

Host: UBC Equity & Inclusion Office + UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


Monday, November 29th, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30pm

IBPOC Student Engagement: Promising Practices

This session will look at how UBC community engagement professionals are engaging diverse students in their programs, with discussion on what they see working and what they see as the biggest challenges. By the end of the session, participants will have an understanding of how UBC Sustainability Initiative is supporting the implementation of the Climate Emergency Task Force (CETF) recommendations on IBPOC engagement, and have opportunities to share their own experiences and recommend good practices for IBPOC student engagement. We will also explore interest in co-creating a Community of Practice on IBPOC focused Engaged Learning to enhance our work as engagement professionals.

Host: UBC Sustainability Initiative + UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


Friday, October 29th, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30pm

Introduction to Indigenous Strategic Plan Implementation Toolkit

This session introduced participants to the Indigenous Strategic Plan Implementation Toolkit. The Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives was present to answer questions about the ISP and the ISP Toolkit. Staff from Go Global shared their experience facilitating the ISP self-assessment tool and Intent to Action tool.

Host: Office of Indigenous Strategic Initiatives + Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


Monday, August 9th, 2021, 12:45 – 2:00pm

Reconnect & Help Set the Plan For 2021-22

This interactive session focused on (1) re-connecting with wonderful people, (2) getting feedback on the draft goals for this year, and (3) hearing ideas on how the CEN could be a valuable resource for you in 2021-22.

Host: UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


December 3, 2020

Fun, Joy + Play on Zoom with the Community Engagement Network

Let’s gather one last time this year to share in some fun, joy, and play over Zoom — the very platform that has fatigued and perhaps depleted us over the last several months. Pam Garcia, Deb Pickman, and Michael Denhamer will lead us through an hour’s virtual smorgasbord of writing, creating, drawing, movement, and music to experience possibilities for how we can bring fun, joy, and play into online engagement spaces.

Host: UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom
Registration Closed.


October 14, 2020

The CEN Gathers Amazingly Virtually Again: Emerging Engagement Practices Shift + Share

Do you have an example of something you’ve tried in the last few months? Or, are thinking of trying? We’re looking for a number of folks who are interested in being “sharers” for the session. Sharers will rotate throughout breakout room “virtual stations” to offer examples, stories, or critical conversations and questions of how you’ve been approaching your community engagement practices.

Host: UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


May 28, 2020

Gathering Amazingly Online, Part II

Gathering Amazingly Online was a hit, so let’s do it again! On May 28th, join the Community Engagement Network on Zoom for Gathering Amazingly Online, Part II (participation in Part I not required). Last time, we explored the question, “What is our purpose and responsibility as community engagement practitioners in these pandemic times?” We’ll keep this question central with a focus for Part II on giving and getting virtual peer support.

Host: UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


April 3, 2020

Gathering Amazingly Online in Pandemic Times

Using Liberating Structures facilitation methods over Zoom, we’ll have time to connect, experience the possibilities of taking these tools online, and explore what it can look like to walk the talk of community engagement in pandemic times. While we will use a full range of Zoom features, this is an experiential session as opposed to an instructional Zoom lesson.

Host: UBC Community Engagement
Location: Online with Zoom


CANCELLED: March 25, 2020

What do science outreach and community engagement look like at UBC?

What do Let’s Talk Science, Geering Up, Science 101, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and UBC Physics & Astronomy Outreach have in common (beyond science)? They all do a ton of outreach and community engagement work. Check out Science Rendezvous 2019.

Host: UBC STEM Outreach Collective

This session was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


November 21, 2019

Using Teaching, Learning, and Research as Tools for University-Community Knowledge Mobilization: UBC’s Presence in Vancouver’s Chinatown

Join us to learn how UBC’s presence in Chinatown helps facilitate reciprocal partnerships between community partners and the university.

Host: UBC Chinatown
Location: Chinatown House, 188 East Pender Street


September 24, 2019

Who is doing this work? What are we working on? How can we share and collaborate?

Meet UBC’s community engagement and event networks — together! Get to know one another, share dialogue, find collaborators, and map out public engagement events for the year.

Host: Event Professionals Network


July 5, 2019

Visit UBC Farm & End of Year Lunch Social

Come join us at UBC Farm for a tour, farm-fresh lunch and social to celebrate our last Community Engagement Network before the summer break.

Host: UBC Farm
Location: UBC Farm


February 7, 2019

Visit the UBC Learning Exchange: What are we learning from 20 years of preparing students to engage in the DTES?

Get off campus and visit UBC’s community presence in the DTES at the Learning Exchange.

Host: UBC Learning Exchange
Date and time: April 11th, 2019 | 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Location: UBC Learning Exchange, 612 Main St., Vancouver
Registration Closed.


What’s Community Engagement at UBC Botanical Garden?

Meet up with colleagues in a beautiful space to hear how the UBC Botanical Garden learns from and works with local and global communities.

Host: UBC Botanical Garden
Location: UBC Botanical Garden Reception Centre, 6804 SW Marine Drive
Registration Closed.


December 5, 2018

Framing Community Engagement: Learn about Community Engagement Principles with CCEL

This interactive session will help you reflect on and develop your own work with communities as the CCEL team shares how they frame their work, guiding principles and helpful tools.

Host: Centre for Community Engaged Learning
Location: Rm 2131 CIRS, 2260 West Mall
Registration Closed.


October 25, 2018

What is a Living Library? How can it be used and shared?

Join us for a presentation by UBC Health Mentors and staff, Q&A, and networking with colleagues

Host: Patient and Community Partnership for Education (UBC Health) with the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Location: Lillooet Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
Registration Closed.

Goals of the CEN

  • To create and sustain a sense of community among staff at UBC who lead and support community-university engagement.
  • To increase capacity and provide tools for reciprocal, community-led engagement. 

What to expect at a CEN session

Each session will be different, but you can expect:

  • Engaging, interactive sessions with lots of opportunities to meet others, learn from one another, and share what you do.
  • Most sessions are virtual and involve staff from the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses and various sites across B.C.
  • A follow-up email with links to resources shared in the session and a recording if (part of) the session was recorded.

Who can join the CEN?

Membership is open. Target audience is staff who do community engagement related work. This includes, but is not limited to, programmers, planners, relationship brokers, coordinators, advisors, etc. To us, community engagement is the collaboration between UBC and local and regional communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. We are particularly focused on collaborations with not-for-profits, charities, community groups, local government, schools, and community-based organizations. If you’re unsure if the CEN is for you, feel free to reach out to us!

For more information, contact Kat Cureton, kat.cureton@ubc.ca.

Join the Network

Join the CE network to receive announcements and registration reminders for upcoming sessions.