Community partnership with Urban Ethnographic Field School receives award from Community-University Engagement Support Fund

Recipes from the Neighbourhood House: Celebrating Food Heritages of the Downtown Eastside, a community partnership project co-coordinated by UBC Sociology Professor Kerry Greer, has recently been announced as a recipient of the Community-University Engagement Support (CUES) Fund.

A total of $707,166 has been allocated to 30 projects for 2023-24, with awards of up to $25,000 each. Paid directly to community partners, CUES funding prioritizes reciprocal, inclusive engagement to ensure that all communities—especially those historically, persistently, or systemically marginalized—can benefit.

The Recipes from the Neighbourhood House project is a collaboration between the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House (DTESNH), a grassroots community organization promoting food justice in the DTES, and UBC’s Urban Ethnographic Field School (UEFS), a fieldwork course co-instructed by UBC Anthropology and Sociology. The project is co-led by Maria Gaudin, the Executive Director of the DTESNH, and Professor Greer.

UBC Sociology undergraduate student Téa Rawsthorne Eckmyn was a key part of the project. She wrote the foundational outline of the project, worked with the Department of Sociology to develop the project, and acted as a liason with the staff at the DTESNH, where she is also employed.

UEFS teaches community-based methodologies and context-specific social issues through intensive ethnographic research training and volunteer fieldwork placements with community partners. Since 2010, UEFS students have done volunteer and research placements at the DTESNH.

DTESNH and UEFS will work together on a Community Cookbook, a collaborative document that will showcases the rich diversity of food heritage and culinary creativity in the DTES, the strategies employed in the community’s fight for food justice, and the meaning and power that food carries in fostering community, well-being, and self-determination.

UEFS students will act as community-based researchers and support the collection and compilation of stories and recipes from DTESNH’s different food justice programs.

This partnership will continue UEFS’ proud history of collaborations that simultaneously support student learning, community advocacy, knowledge and cultural exchange, and social justice-oriented research.