“I believe that Universities should not reflect the society we live in. They should reflect the society we WANT to live in.” This is how Dr. Vianne Timmons began her address to the community gathered at the University of Regina (U of R) on June 2, 2015 to celebrate the signing of a five year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the U of R and Astonished! Inc.
It was wonderful to share this significant occasion with U of R faculty, administrators, and staff; Astonished! Core Members, Board Members, staff, and the wider community.
The MOU, which will carry us to April 30, 2020 states that the U of R and Astonished! Inc. are committed to exploring a number of areas of common interest and benefit, and will use their best efforts to encourage contact and co-operation in these areas (MOU). This is our third MOU with the University of Regina.
Speaking on behalf of Astonished!, Ruth Blaser, former Board Chair said “We are delighted to be celebrating this partnership between Astonished! and the U of R. Any sturdy partnership creates mutual benefits as well as challenges. Here are some early benefits and differences we are beginning to witness:
Astonished! Core-Members have more opportunities to make choices about being involved in meaningful and inclusive activities related to education, employment and self discovery.
The A! TLC, Social Club and Jake Sawa Dance Project are contributing to improved physical and mental health of Astonished! Core Members and U of R Student Volunteers.
We are seeing increased self-determination and social skills and more confidence among and between Core Members and U of R Student Volunteers.
Currently there are two (2) Applied Research projects which are contributing to the body of knowledge related to social inclusion.We are seeing more capacity among University of Regina Student Volunteers and Faculty in working and interacting in meaningful ways, both personally and professionally, with Core Members.
This partnership between the University of Regina and Astonished! Inc. reflects the society we WANT to live in. To read more…..
Photo credit: Trevor Hopkin, U of R