RESEARCH AND SOCIAL INNOVATION
Madeleine Collective is collaborating with a Ryerson research centre called the Diversity Institute (www.ryerson.ca/diversity) to study the current climate of diversity from the youth perspective. We are interested in incorporating an intellectually and methodologically rigorous approach to understanding why students feel disconnected with the popular perception of diversity in their own city.
Upon submitting a story, students will be asked if they would like to be contacted to learn more about participating in the research survey component of the project. The survey examines the participant’s expectations and understanding of diversity, and whether FOREIGN ENCOUNTERS has altered their understanding of diversity.
The research portion of the project has two objectives: 1) To examine how diversity is viewed from the youth perspective, 2) To study the relationship between art and social innovation by measuring the impact of the creative arts on affecting social change through unconventional forms of communication and inspiration.
We hope to be able to bring the research results of the project into future involvement in conferences, colloquia, and journals in order to further extend the impact of the project.
OUTREACH AND COLLABORATION
FOREIGN ENCOUNTERS creates a cross-disciplinary dialogue with students across the University by allowing them to share their stories with each other. Utilizing web and digital tools such as social media, our website www.foreignencounters.ca enables students to contribute their stories and images online, creating a campuswide connection for people to share their experiences, stories, and ideas. Online presentation of the project allows for a continuous dialogue to happen post-completion, existing as a memorable meme in the public consciousness. The archived project will live online as a case study and a positive example of social innovation sparked by art and expanded into a larger community intervention.
In order to collect the stories and engage the students, we recognize the immediate successes of in-person interaction in various key locations around the Ryerson University and have been meeting up with various student groups and councils across all the faculties. Booths are set up in various locations around campus twice a week to chat with students directly about the project, take their photographs, and take their stories. The in-person campaign gives us the opportunity to get to know the students and learn about their personal experiences. We hope to continue our outreach on campus by turning the photographs and stories of Ryerson students into additional posters and promotional material that we can share around campus and online.
The goal of the outreach is to use the real-life stories of students to inspire conversation and encourage students to share their personal experiences by sharing these stories online through frequent updates on the website and social media, and around campus through the form of posters and postcards. We hope to build a network of student-contributed stories that represent the varied experiences that speak to the meaning of diversity.