Nov.17 – Characterizing Brain Injury in 2S/LGBTQIA+ Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence with Tori Stranges

Starting a Conversation with Tori Stranges

Head shot of Tori, smiling and wearing glasses. Background are leafy green trees.Thursday, Nov.17
12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
Arts 368 / Zoom 

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a public and personal health epidemic. Statistics Canada (2011) and the World Health Organization (2021) note that one in three identifying-women experience IPV in their lifetime. IPV is defined as physical, sexual, emotional, financial, psychological or identity-based abuse perpetrated by a former or current intimate partner. Of the physical instances of IPV, a recent review reported that up to 92% of women reported symptoms consistent with brain injury (BI) (Zieman, et al., 2017). All research in the field of IPV-caused BI have strictly focused on heterosexual women, ignoring the unique needs of 2S/LGBTQIA+ community members. Previous research highlights people who identify as part of the 2S/LGBTQIA+ community are at heightened risk of experiencing intimate partner violence. However, no attention has been given to the rate and ways that BI affects 2S/LGBTQIA+ survivors accessing health care.

Please email: for the link.

(Photo credit: Graham J. Farquar)


Tori Stranges (she/her) is a PhD Student in the faculty of Health and Social Development at the University of British Columbia- Okanagan Campus. Tori’s research interests lay at the intersection of brain injury resulting from intimate partner violence in the 2S/LGBTQIA+ community. Tori recently moved to the unceded, traditional territory of the Syilx Okanagan Nation where she continues to play an active role in her community advocating for social justice, connection and change. Tori is also a recipient of the 2022 ICER Graduate Research Award


Oct. 28 – Transit, Community and the Power of a Strike w. Kristin Pulles and Eric Solland

The next Starting a Conversation

Friday, Oct. 28
11:00 am to 12:00 noon
Arts 368 (ICER)

What can we achieve when unions and communities align to fight for climate justice?

Join Eric Solland (ATU Local 1722) and Kirstin Pulles (MA Student, Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity) to learn more about the recent transit strike in Kelowna. ATU Local 1722 won a key moment in their fight for fairness, but their work isn’t over. Local climate activists and the transit union intend to work together for a funded, fair, and publicly managed transit system for Canada’s fastest growing city.

Kirstin is all about climate justice – and that means good public transit. A current student in a Master’s in Community Engagement, Social Change and Equity, Kirstin will spend the next two years exploring the role of labour in our struggle for a sustainable future. She was also a founding member of Free Transit Ottawa, fighting for affordable and accessible public transit in Canada’s capital city.

Eric has lived in the Okanagan since 1993 and has worked in the Transportation Industry since 1984. The last 18 years have been with Kelowna Regional Transit, where he has held a position on the Union Executive for the past 12 years. He is interested in engaging with politicians and the public on creating “Better Transit”.

Starting a Conversation invites students, community members, staff and faculty to join an informal brown-bag discussion on a variety of topics, usually led by one or two speakers.

Questions: Email

Sept.7, Across the Pond: UBCO – Exeter Symposium on Co-producing Regional Food System Networks

Join us on Wednesday, Sept.7 from 8:30 am – 11:00 am (PDT) | 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm (BST)

Please register this event via this Qualtrics form.

This event will take place via Zoom, and with a limited number of in-person seats available.

What does it mean to re-imagine the food system?

The UBCO-Exeter symposium is an opportunity to share experiences and knowledges on the issues of regional food networks in British Columbia, Canada and Devon, UK. We’ll explore our similar and divergent experiences, existing challenges, actions for change and the role of networks in supporting pathways to co-create sustainable food systems.

Invited speakers from Land to Table, BC, Organic BC, along with Food Exeter and The Devon Food Partnership, UK, will highlight the tensions and opportunities for regional food systems in the face of climate change, COVID recovery, cost of living crises, legacies of land based injustices and more.

Rebecca Sandover (University of Exeter) and Mary Stockdale (University of British Columbia, Okanagan) will then lead a roundtable discussion between the speakers and audience members.


8:30 am (PDT) | 4:30 pm (BST):     Introduction and welcome

8:35 am (PDT) | 4:35 pm (BST):     Presentation by Dr. Sandover

8:50 am (PDT) | 4:50 pm (BST):     Presentation by Andy Johnson

9:05 am (PDT) | 5:05 pm (BST):     Presentation by Eva-Lena Lang,

9:15 am (PDT) | 5:15 pm (BST):     Presentation by Liz Blakeway

9:25 am (PDT) | 5:25 pm (BST):     Presentation by Dr. Mary Stockdale

9:35 am (PDT) | 5:35 pm (BST):     Bio break

9:45 am (PDT) | 5:45 pm (BST):     Panel discussion and question period

Symposium Speakers:

Rebecca Sandover
Lecturer, Human Geography, University of Exeter
Dr. Rebecca Sandover is Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Exeter.  She is a social scientist with research interests in Sustainable Food Networks, food policy partnerships and Public Participation in Climate Change policy making. Using a knowledge co-production approach, she has in recent years been investigating action toward the formation of sustainable food networks in the South West UK. Her research is particularly focused on building local food partnerships with local authorities, boosting access to sustainable local food, addressing food insecurity and issues of health and wellbeing. Recently, she has also been researching Public Participation in Climate Change policy making, exploring the setting up and running of the Devon Climate Emergency’s Climate Assembly.
Andy Johnson
Consultant, Exeter Organic Local Food Hub
Andy Johnson is a consultant and advisor who works with organic growers, farmers, buyers, manufacturers, policy makers & campaigners in the aim of changing the food system. He worked as Manager for Riverford Farm Veg box scheme before setting up his own organic eggs production business. He now applies his skills to help the organic market to grow both as a consultant and as an activist for the Exeter Organic Local Food Hub.’
Eva-Lena Lang
Organic BC, Executive Director
Eva-Lena Lang is the Executive Director of Organic BC. She grew up on an organic ranch and gained farming experience on agricultural operations in BC and Europe. To increase her capacity to support farmers and grow the regional food system she co-founded the North Okanagan Land to Table Network (L2T). This work led her to pursue a masters at the Institute for Community Engaged Research at UBCO, studying network development in food systems; applying her research to L2T.
Liz Blakeway
Land to Table, Network Director
Liz is the Network Director for Land to Table (L2T), a regional food system network based in the North Okanagan. She has grown with the organization over the past 4 years, working to create a thriving, just, resilient and re-localized food system that centers support for small scale farmers. Liz is passionate about catalyzing connections and collaboration, mobilizing network participants’ ideas, knowledge and energy to build systems that support community. She lives with her family and a growing number of animal on a small acreage/would-be-farm in the Shuswap. Liz loves to cook for her people and understands that having quality, clean, fresh local food is an absolute privilege.
Mary Stockdale
Adjunct Professor, Community, Culture & Global Studies (Geography), UBC Okanagan
Dr. Mary Stockdale is an adjunct professor and instructor for Community, Culture and Global Studies at UBCO, where she teaches and researches community resilience, sustainability and natural resource management. She has over 20 years of experience working in Southeast Asia (mainly Indonesia and the Philippines) on community-based management of non-timber forest products (NTFPs). In the Okanagan, she acts as a bridge between university and community for partnerships on topics such as regional food systems, sustainable transportation, transition town initiatives and climate change awareness.

March 29, Starting a Conversation with Liz Blakeway (Land to Table) – Fostering Lumby Community Food Connections In a time of COVID and Climate Disruption

Please join Liz Blakeway, Network Director for Land to Table, as she reflects on the challenges and opportunities of network and system building during both the pandemic and climate disruption.

Liz will talk about lessons learned from the past year’s work to create a food system network for the Village of Lumby and better understand the opportunities for food security and Village-owned ALR land use. Reflections will include:

  • What does it mean to engage the agricultural and civic community around community identified needs during a time of disruption?
  • How do we maintain momentum, to build on existing community food system goals while also fostering trust in community wisdom?
  • How does community engaged research lend itself to responsiveness and capacity building?
  • What role can community (L2T) organizations and university partnerships (ICER) play, to support local government food system aspirations and efforts?

Land to Table is a regional food system network, based in the North Okanagan, working to build a thriving, healthy, just and resilient regional food system that nourishes and connects people, sustains livelihoods, regenerates the environment and builds community. In collaboration with network partners, L2T builds the network (e.g. through communications, dialogue and events) and carries out projects that strengthen and support the local food system.

Land to Table was a recipient of a 2021 ICER Community Research Award.


Questions? Email:

March 10, Starting a Conversation with Bryony Onciul – An Introduction to Renewing Relations: Indigenous Heritage Rights and (Re)conciliation in Northwest Coast Canada

Join us for the next Starting a Conversation with Professor Bryony Onciul from 12:00 to 1:00 pm, Thursday, March 10, 2022.

This will be a hybrid event. Join us in person in Arts 368, or email: for the Zoom link.


Dr Bryony Onciul will present an overview of her new AHRC Fellowship project Renewing Relations (2022-23) and how it builds upon her previous research on climate change, heritage, colonial history, and Indigenous rights in Canada, the South Pacific, and UK.
Renewing Relations project focuses on the importance of (re)connections and (re)newing relations within and across groups, forms of heritage, places, practices, and wider kinship groups. It highlights the role of ecosystems and environment in maintaining and sustaining heritage and upholding Indigenous rights.
The project considers what the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA) means for Indigenous communities, heritage bodies, and environmental stewards in practice in BC. How it relates to the history of BC, and asks how it is shaping new approaches and relationships, and what barriers remain. The aim is to improve understandings of the relationships between heritage, environment, kinship, and decolonization.


Bryony Onciul is an Associate Professor in Museology and Heritage at the University of Exeter. She is the author of Museums, Heritage and Indigenous Voice: Decolonizing Engagement, and co-editor of Engaging Heritage, Engaging Communities. She co-designed and directed the Postgraduate Programme International Heritage Management and Consultancy at UoE. Bryony founded the UK Chapter of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS), and is a member of the international Executive Committee. Bryony is currently in Canada, a Visiting Professor at UBC, delivering her Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship Renewing Relations: Indigenous Heritage Rights and (Re)conciliation in Northwest Coast Canada.

Meet n’ Greet

Professor Onciul is a visiting scholar who would like the opportunity to meet students, staff and faculty with shared research interests and learn about their work. If you can’t make the talk, please join us in person in Arts 368,  11:30 to noon and 1:00 to 1:30 pm on March 10.

March 24, Starting a Conversation with Madelaine Lekei – Digitally Bound: Following the Threads of Digital Communities

March 24,

Noon to 1 pm



How do we bring community engaged methods to digital spaces? How can we approach community when participants are digitally and geographically dispersed? What does it look and feel like to work with vulnerability in a pandemic? In this conversation, I take these questions as starting points to share my experience of threading community engagement through digital ethnographic research. Situating access as a method, I will share reflections about how community engagement offers an opportunity for digital research methods to be designed in a manner that is responsive to participants and communities. I suggest that, as a method, participant-led access is a deeply collaborative and political act because it creates the conditions for diverse bodies and minds to be present, whole, and well within a given space and time. At the heart of this dreaming and reflecting is a desire for accessibility and disability justice to be modalities that disrupt systems and spaces that too often ignore, devalue, and erase nonnormative bodies and minds within research.


Madelaine is an interdisciplinary graduate student at UBC, Okanagan. Through ethnography, Madelaine studies the intersections of visual, material, and digital culture with an emphasis in sensory knowledges and community-engaged methods. Her current research addresses gaps in digital accessibility by seeking to understand how individuals and organizations are collaborating to encourage more equitable access for/with people with disabilities. While Madelaine is currently non-disabled, she navigates the world with complex trauma and multiple forms of chronic pain that influence her daily physical, mental, and emotional capacities. As a queer and feminist scholar, this embodied lived experience is central in her research, writing, and living. In her free time, you can often find Madelaine with her partner and their many multispecies collaborators including their cat Sage and dog Harry.

Mar. 17, Starting a Conversation with Adam Kunis – Navigating Uncharted Terrain: Key Strategies for Disaster Recovery

Join us for the next Starting a Conversation talk with MA candidate – Adam Kunis on Thursday, March 14, 2022, from 12 noon to 1pm.

The goal of this research is to understand how tourism destinations were affected by COVID-19. This research took place in Canada’s Thompson Okanagan, an important tourism region in British Columbia’s Interior. In this region, the natural environment lends itself well to outdoor recreation which provided a socially distanced safe alternative to other tourism activities.

The researchers partnered with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association to interview regional adventure tourism organizations to better understand how they were impacted by COVID-19, how they were dealing with the challenges from the pandemic, and the support needed from the government and community. This research highlights the importance of local markets for tourism destinations, value network relations, and the adventure sector’s unique approach to pandemic adaptation and innovation.


Adam Kunis is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia Okanagan in the Interdisciplinary Sustainability program. Passionate about adventure recreation and travel, he has visited adventure tourism destinations across the world giving him a unique insight and understanding of the industry. When COVID-19 disrupted the tourism industry, he was keen to understand the impact of the pandemic on adventure communities and assist adventure communities in their recovery.

Pls note this will be a hybrid event. Join us in person in Arts 368, or on-line via Zoom .

Feb. 17, Starting a Conversation with Madeline Donald – Corrugating Attentiveness: A Presearch Methodology

12:00 to 1:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting

The education of attention and perception takes time and repetition. Corrugation, as defined here, is a dance between attention, memory, and the passage of time: experience folds into ideas folding into experience. I will speak to my experience of corrugating relations in some of the riparian habitats of the Okanagan and Similkameen watershed, where for one year I intentionally cultivated an attentional practice. It is my belief that in order to conduct research in a given habitat/community/context a researcher has the obligation to come into relation with and in the bounds of that research space. This presentation is a representation of how I tried to do that.

Madeline Donald was born an uninvited guest on Coast Miwok territory and raised a traveler. She is a daughter, partner, friend, co-thinker/dreamer, and 3rd year PhD student presently living as an uninvited visitor in and with the Okanagan watershed in unceded Syilx homelands. Her current research is grounded in relational research methodologies and saturated by the riparian habitats of the Okanagan watershed. Living with narcolepsy, Madeline actively questions and counters temporally inaccessible expectations for academic labour.

Starting a Conversation is an informal discussion series open to everyone.

Nov. 24, Starting a Conversation with Bethany Presley – How do smaller Canadian cities address homelessness with limited funding and resources?

Please join us for the next Starting a Conversation discussion series!
These noon hour discussions are an informal opportunity for presenters and audiences to explore a variety of topics and works-in-process. Everyone is welcome!

To receive the Zoom link, please email:


Homelessness is growing in smaller cities across Canada. Planning to tackle homelessness is increasingly prevalent, but we know little about how the service sector in smaller Canadian cities strategize and addresses homelessness with limited funding and capacity. This lack of knowledge at both the academic and community level means agencies and stakeholders in smaller communities have limited resources in mitigating homelessness. Using a community-engaged research methodology, my research explores the optimal ways of ending and managing homelessness in smaller Canadian cities using Vernon, BC, as a case study. My research aims to investigate how Vernon’s social service sector has organized to address homelessness, to provide other smaller Canadian cities with a set of best practices in mitigating homelessness with limited funding and capacity. My research will fill the knowledge gap by examining the challenges and successes of developing homelessness policies in smaller Canadian cities with a population size of less than 50,000.


Bethany is in the second year of her MA in Community Engagement, Social Change, and Equity at UBCO. She also holds a BA in Communication Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University. Prior to her graduate studies, Bethany was an Academic Program Assistant at the University of Guelph where she worked alongside faculty and grad students in the School of Languages and Literatures.

Bethany relocated to the Okanagan in the fall of 2020 for her graduate studies at UBC. She connected with the Social Planning Council for the North Okanagan at the beginning of her studies, who became a key community partner in her research. Through this partnership, Bethany collaborated with the social service sector in Vernon to better understand how they have organized to address homelessness in the community.

Her goal is to destigmatize homelessness by bringing awareness to the perils and causes of this social issue and advocate for the policy changes needed to address the growing problem of homelessness in smaller Canadian cities.

Dec. 1 – Truths, Myths, and Kelowna’s Transportation Master Plan

Wednesday, December 1, 2021
7:00 pm

Climate Change, Urban Sprawl, Habitat Destruction, Sedentary Lifestyles …

These issues and many more are connected to our land use choices, and those choices are heavily influenced by the way we build and manage our transportation infrastructure. Kelowna is in the final stages of developing its transportation master plan, a plan that is a critical part of addressing these issues.

Join The Kelowna Sustainability Coalition and ICER to hear from three experts on how the proposed TMP intersects with the important values provided by our landscape and
environment here in Kelowna.

To register for this Zoom event email:

Dr. Gord Lovegrove Transportation Success Stories with Radical Results
Gord Lovegrove, Associate Professor of SMARTer Growth, UBC School of Engineering
SMARTer Growth Partnership
Dr. Andrea Craig Housing Impacts
Andrea Craig, Assistant Professor, Economics, Philosophy and Political Science, UBCO
Urban Economist
Kelowna’s Transportation Plan: Visions and Realities
Peter Truch, Senior Transportation Planning Engineer and Small Business Owner
Kelowna, BC

This will be a Zoom event, moderated by Dr. John Janmaat, and with a Q & A session.

Everyone is welcome to attend.