CBU to Host Communities Building Hope Conference

On October 28-29, 2021, Cape Breton University will host the first CBU anti-poverty conference, featuring the launch of the inaugural lecture as a tribute to Margaret Dechman. The event, Communities Building Hope: Action Agenda to Reduce Poverty on Cape Breton Island, will have a keynote speech from public health physician and advocate, Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed. This conference will take place from 1:30pm to 7:00pm on Thursday, October 28, and from 8:00am to 4:30pm on Friday, October 29, and tickets for in-person or online attendance are available for $50 or $25 for students.

“Even though this is Cape Breton University’s first anti-poverty conference, our intent is that this will be an annual event for years to come,” says Dr. Jane Lewis, Executive Director for the Centre for Health, Wellness and Extended Learning. “Dr. Watson-Creed was a perfect fit to deliver the first Margaret Dechman Lecture given her experience as a former Deputy Medical Officer of Health for Nova Scotia, and her lecture will honour the excellent poverty research done by the late CBU faculty member.”

Dr. Watson-Creed will be joined by plenty of fantastic speakers, some of whom include Assistant Professor in Indigenous Studies and Political Science at CBU, Tuma Young; CBU Provost, Professor Emerita, and Special Advisor to the Vice President, Dr. Marie Battiste; Nova Scotia Senator, Dan Christmas; and President and Vice-Chancellor of Cape Breton University, David C. Dingwall.

“A pillar of our Strategic Plan is to champion the Island’s prosperity by bolstering the overall health of the Island,” says David Dingwall, CBU President and Vice-Chancellor. “Working with our community partners to help eradicate poverty is a crucial activity in that, and we are so pleased to establish this poverty conference to ensure this important work continues for years to come.”

“CBU is bringing together the expertise of researchers, nonprofits and community volunteers to make Cape Breton a more prosperous place to live and work,” says Debbie MacInnis, Chair for the Central Cape Breton County Community Health Board. “By reaching out to the local community, CBU is learning more about how they can help conquer the hardships of those in need.”

The Communities Building Hope Conference will bring together educators, grass-roots agencies working on poverty, community stakeholders and policy makers to begin what is hoped to be, a collaborative, problem-solving process.