Be Inspired! Take Action! The Atlantic Summer Institute Celebrates Community Leadership

The Atlantic Summer Institute on Healthy and Safe Communities (ASI) returns to Charlottetown this summer with a spotlight on community leadership. The theme this year is Inspiration to Action: Leadership for Active Communities and the program runs from August 22-24 at Holland College.

The ASI seeks to create positive social change in Atlantic Canada by encouraging a holistic approach to community development. Bringing together Francophone, Anglophone and Aboriginal communities, the ASI supports collaboration across sectors and regions, and between cultures and generations. This year’s programming aims to inspire and engage women and men to become champions for change in their communities.

Barbara Clow, President of the ASI Board of Directors, is excited by ASI’s 2012 program offerings. “This program will be the Atlantic Summer Institute’s strongest to date. Its focus on cross-generational leadership training is very exciting, and will empower women and men of all ages to make a difference in their communities, collaborating with each other to create a resilient, healthy, and safe Atlantic Canada.”

The event includes presentations, showcases, social activities, a children’s program and the choice of one of three workshop series. Workshops will be led by experienced facilitators from across the Atlantic Region and will explore how to influence conditions of people’s lives to increase their activity and engagement, and how to improve social and economic inclusion within communities. The three workshops offered this year are Gender and Community Leadership; Building and Using Evidence for Programs and Policies; and Strengthening Community Action.

A special emphasis this year is the Young Women and Community Leadership program, designed for women aged 18-25 who are involved or want to become involved in leadership in their communities. Participants in this exciting new program will develop leadership ideas and skills, creating plans for how they can make a difference in their communities. They will build a network of friends, mentors, and supporters who can help them turn their ideas into realities. This program is being delivered as part of the project Building Leadership Capacity Among Women and Girls in Atlantic Canada, funded by Status of Women Canada (SWC) Women’s Community Fund.

The ASI keynote address, taking place on August 21, 7pm at Holland College, is a community event not to be missed. Hosted by the City of Charlottetown as part of the Inspired City Initiative, the keynote will be delivered by the physically active and actively engaged Nathalie Boivin, Ph.D. Dr. Boivin will share her story of leadership in literacy, health, and school communities and her accomplishments as a triathlete.  There will be a reception hosted by the Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health following the keynote address. All are welcome to attend this free event.

Also of interest is the Atlantic Community Showcase on Wednesday, August 22, which profiles innovative community projects from around the Region. The Showcase is a great opportunity to meet active community leaders and discover projects and initiatives happening in our neighbourhoods and neighbouring Provinces.

The ASI provides its participants with valuable opportunities to learn, make connections, and increase engagement in their communities. The program is filling up quickly, so interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to register soon at http://asi-iea.blogspot.ca to ensure their place. The ASI welcomes individuals and organizations who work with creative, collaborative practices, as well as those who are looking to learn and be inspired to action!