Community Engagement Network

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

The Community Engagement Network (CEN) is for staff and librarians at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan who do community engagement work.

Our purpose is to: 

(i) To create and sustain a sense of community among staff at UBC who lead and support community-university engagement.

(ii) To increase our collective capacity and provide tools for reciprocal, community-led engagement.

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). 

Stories of Partnership

Join us for a new series of sessions dedicated to highlighting collaborations between community partners and UBC that embody reciprocity.  

Join the Community Engagement Network

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive announcements and registration reminders for 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. 

Testimonials from our CEN sessions

My biggest learning was that the units that are doing really good things started exactly where I am now — wondering how to get started. That honestly helped me move past ‘uncertainty paralysis.’ Everyone basically said they felt this way at the beginning too — that made me feel normal instead of feeling like I was somehow failing because my unit isn’t further ahead. It gave me the confidence to take a deep breath and heed the advice to ‘start anywhere, start somewhere but start’. It was liberating and exciting.”

— Participant from our November 9 CEN session: How UBC staff are integrating Indigenous ways of knowing into their community engagement work

CEN Sessions

Click here to see archived sessions

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.

To learn more about the CEN, contact Kat Cureton at