Looking at Canadian Community Development: Beyond Solutions and Answers

Sponsored by University of Ottawa Press

Recorded on 06/22/2020
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 136

Community work doesn’t have clear-cut, one-size-fits-all solutions. Each community in need requires a unique approach, meaning successful community development requires action rooted in malleability, empathy, and most importantly, communication.

Sarah Todd of Carleton University wanted the chapters in her edited volume, Canadian Perspectives on Community Development, to be in conversation with each other. Many work to challenge existing theory, bumping shoulders to reveal disparity and innovative problem-solving. “There are other people working toward social justice who have a very different vision of what that social justice is … and that’s not a problem unless we stop having conversations with each other and asking new questions.”

In this final episode, Todd discusses how even though the end result of the text is stunningly cohesive, connection between theories more than anything else was what she and co-editor Sébastien Savard were aiming for when assembling the work. She looks ahead, explaining how the volume gives her hope for the future of community work in Canada. “I think the beauty about the theories in these collections is they don’t give the answers and solutions. What they do is they open up possibility, and I think, that’s where freedom lies, right? Freedom isn’t in the solutions and answers. It’s often in what we can imagine beyond those solutions and answers.”


About the guest:

Sarah Todd
Professor and Director of the School of Social Work
Carleton University


Enjoy the episode? Listen to the rest of the series: