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Experts wanted: York's Knowledge Mobilization Unit helps United Way York Region

Experts wanted: York's Knowledge Mobilization Unit helps United Way York Region

Two upcoming events hosted by the United Way York Region have a special connection to York University's Knowledge Mobilization Unit. 

The first is a community forum tomorrow, Nov. 9 to discuss food policy and the development of a food charter for York Region. The second event on Tuesday, Nov. 29, features a community dialogue on pressing social issues facing the region. Members of the York community are invited to both events.

Since September, a knowledge broker placed at the United Way York Region has been working in close partnership with the University's Knowledge Mobilization Unit to enhance opportunities for collaboration in research with respect to social determinants of health. The partnership is the result of a successful application to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research submitted in February 2011. (Knowledge brokers are project staff acting as intermediaries that connect researchers to potential research users.)

“This is a tremendous opportunity to maximize the impact of York research and build on a significant partnership for York in knowledge mobilization,” said Michael Johnny (right), manager of York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit.

The Nov. 9 forum, Food for Change: Building a Food Charter for York Region, hosted by the United Way York Region in collaboration with various partners, will bring together representatives from a number of community organizations to discuss food security and agriculture issues. Participants will also embark on a discussion about establishing a Food Charter for York Region. 

A food charter is a statement of values and principles to guide a community’s food policy, and is a key document for communities working towards developing a food system that is healthy, equitable and sustainable. The organizers of Food for Change are hoping that academic partners from York University will attend the event and engage in a dialogue to explore ways that research can inform and support this initiative in both the short and longer term.

On Nov. 29, the United Way York Region will host the East Gwillimbury Meeting House, part of a series of community dialogues on pressing social issues in York Region. During the meeting house, participants will explore the implications for social infrastructure development in communities that are facing major population growth. Over the next few months, meeting house dialogues will also be held in Newmarket, Vaughan, Markham and Richmond Hill.

“Working within Canada’s leading knowledge mobilization university, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit continues to work together with our partners to make York’s research and talent accessible and relevant to the community,” said Robert Haché, vice-president research & innovation. “This partnership will help facilitate initiatives to improve the quality of life for residents in York Region.”

For more information on knowledge mobilization services at York, or about this partnership, e-mail York's Knowledge Mobilization Unit at

Republished courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.