Remit and process
The Community Projects Committee (YUFA-CP) is a standing committee of the YUFA Executive. Its mandate is to facilitate YUFA’s work with community groups to promote engaged citizenship through access and equity programs, and to undertake community-based research. Priority is given to initiatives focused on improving access, opportunities, and outcomes for groups currently underrepresented in post-secondary education.
In light of the increasing popularity of community partnerships in university mission statements, YUFA-CP is distinct in its emphasis on a democratic model of engagement in both process and practice. That the YUFA-CP’s work is guided by a commitment social justice unionism and the shared development of knowledge is especially significant.
Our process includes regular monthly meetings where ongoing projects are reviewed and new initiatives considered. YUFA members who represent the different constituents of YUFA, and who have both a strong interest in community-based equity initiatives and the time and energy to actively participate in YUFA-CP work, are particularly encouraged to join.
To fulfil its mandate, the Committee builds on community networks and the feedback those networks provide. YUFA-CP has both an integrative and facilitator function: (i) to support and coordinate existing faculty-community projects and (ii) to contribute to the design and implementation of new projects. In this connection, partnerships have been forged with groups both internal and external to York, including: the Jane-Finch Caring Village, the Westview Partnership, the Toronto District School Board, the Black Creek Education and Training Working Group, the YUFA Queer Caucus, and the Centre for Community Engagement.
To date, one of the primary objectives of the YUFA-CP has been to collaborate with the Jane-Finch community on initiatives that enrich the educational experiences and outcomes of neighbourhood kids and young adults. Projects have ranged from funding scholarships and bursaries, to running summer programs, to providing ways for high school students to earn enhanced educational credits, to organizing workshops. Our most recent and ambitious project, the Transitional Year Program (TYP), was launched in September 2010.