Encounter•KW lets students engage with experts, practitioners, community outreach programs, and locals focused around the specific theme chosen for the current year. Through each experience, participants have the opportunity to take a more in-depth look into the complex issues that exist in our own backyard.
In this series of complimentary one-day experiences, students can engage in one, many, or all the program offerings. In doing so, participants will develop a constellation of experiences that sheds light on the social justice issue at hand.
Each Encounter•KW day includes a short preparatory workshop, a service-oriented day trip to a local community organization, and the opportunity to reflect collectively on the experience.
Students will have the opportunity to engage in community service while also learning directly from local leaders who are actively seeking solutions to social justice issues in our own community.
- Build the capacity to create relationships across differences (ie. social status, diverse backgrounds, programs, etc.)
- Develop relationships with leaders and staff members of local organizations through networking opportunities
- Develop team-work and collaboration skills
- Discover the historical and current context of each issue
- Identify key populations affected by each issue, and develop insight into the key community members and organizations involved in addressing the issue
- Identify and articulate the aspects of the issue that are still not being addressed
- Develop critical thinking and reflective thinking skills through practice
- Understand personal relationship with the issue and articulate pre-existing biases and assumptions
- Draw connections between the issue and personal areas of study
- Develop attainable goals for future action in relation to the issue
Any UWaterloo undergraduate student from any faculty is welcome and encouraged to participate. There is no one specific fit for this experience, and a diverse group of participants from a variety of experiences and backgrounds is welcomed as a way to enrich discussion.