kwic

Photo by Jenny Fisher

The Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC) had a lot to celebrate on January 15 as it hosted its annual general meeting at Sadleir House community facility.

The meeting included a review of the past year and a celebration the achievements made within it. This meeting was particularly exciting because as of March 21, KWIC is 25 years old.

Lots of thanks and appreciation were shown to all the volunteers for their hard work, even a few presents were handed out. The event started with a lesson in circle dancing and ended with a live jazz band called the Chester Babcock.

The volunteers of KWIC were very friendly and did their best to make sure the event was very inclusive. Many of the volunteers are Trent students and Trent alumni. The event showed that KWIC is obviously a group effort as many different volunteers made speeches as opposed to just one overall speech by the chair.

In the annual report, chair Phil Abbott, wrote “2014 brought new initiatives and partnerships… in 2015, we look forward to joining forces with more organizations and individuals as we collectively strive for social and environmental justice.” This year KWIC “explored a variety of world issues, such as innovative solutions and partnerships for tackling climate change”and explored “the power of social media in activism, using a variety of mediums.”

One of the events done last year was the ‘Changing Our World Climate Change Symposium’. This event invited Trent partners to “organize an international symposium that focused on innovative partnerships and solutions to climate change.” It was a “two-day event” that “hosted twenty-two speakers.”

This past fall KWIC has successfully launched ‘TEACH Outside the Box’ which is an “innovative program… designed for educators and rooted in the praxis of critical pedagogy.” In other words it is a 75-hour certificate program for teacher candidates and educators.

As mentioned on the KWIC official website, the program includes an exploration of “theories of anti-oppression from global and Indigenous perspective” and helps “develop tools to integrate critical education into active learning spaces.” There has been good news that “following a successful pilot program, enrolment more than doubled this September.”  TEACH is a partnership of KWIC and the Trent School of Education.

Julie Cosgrove, Executive Director of KWIC and volunteer for 11 years, was proud to say that KWIC has now made “25 years of Global Education.” She said that over the 25 years the “importance of the work hasn’t changed” of “local education on world issues” and that KWIC is about “creating opportunities for positive change” by “creating opportunities for youth and community to get informed.”

Cosgrove also wanted to bring special notice to ‘KWIC Seeds for Justice’. In the annual report it is explained that KWIC Seeds for justice is a “youth engagement program [that] brings youth together to act on their inspirations and work towards social and environmental justice.” It was announced during the meeting that new research will be launched in 2015 to “explore barriers and solutions to youth participation.”