Peggy Hope-Simpson Honoured for Community Development Work

The Acadia University Department of Community Development announced its 2nd annual Community Leadership Award this week, which goes to Peggy Hope Simpson of Wolfville. The Department recognized Peggy as an outstanding person who has demonstrated exceptional commitment, competence and success over decades to building community capacity at many levels. Dr. Alan Warner, a professor in Community Development noted that “Peggy has been an inspiration, mentor and role model for me and for so many people over many years in Kings County and beyond.”

Peggy has been a community activist, innovator and organizer in areas such as peace and security, education, agriculture, health care, social housing, and women issues for more than a half century. In 1959, Peggy was a founding member of the Voice of Women, which mushroomed to 10,000 members across the country within a year. Its work was to advocate for peace and common security in the face of injustice, the oppression of women and the insecurity of the Cold War. She was a prominent and long standing activist in the peace movement through to the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1990s. She worked with several others to spearhead a 1984 vote in which Wolfville became a nuclear weapons free zone. Among other roles, Peggy who is a trained nurse, worked many years for the VON (Victorian Order of Nurses), was a founding member of the Kings Environmental Group in the 1980s, a dedicated volunteer with the food committee of Ecology Action Centre, and an advocate for social housing for seniors. Peggy ran for the NDP for parliament in 1984, though she disagreed with NDP defense policy of the time, and went onto play an important role in shifting it to a common security framework in the late 1980s. Peggy’s positive contributions to our community and the world have been vast and diverse over so many years. An interesting reflection on her life and roles in the peace movement can be found here.


B-Well 2.0: Bringing Wellness, Encouraging Leadership and Learning

The Acadia Community Development council (ACDC) student executive hosted a professional development conference, open to all Acadia students, with preference to Community Development students, and was held on March 25-26th, 2017 at the K.C. Irving Environmental Centre. There were a total of 31 participants.  This biennial conference included incredible keynote speakers, professional hands-on workshops on topics including self-care, goal setting and zine making, as well as energizers led by students from the Festival and Events course.  The conference also included a delicious lunch at the Wolfville Farmers Market. The opening keynote speaker was the dynamicBuhle Dlamini, a motivational speaker who was raised in a rural village in South Africa, and beat the odds to become a top South African entrepreneur and global speaker.  Our closing keynote speakers were Dave and Adrien Greene, who spoke of overcoming adversity, building resiliency and engaging with the natural world while on an incredible 28 day extended winter wilderness snowshoe experience and the parallels that can be drawn from challenges faced while finding our way through life, post-graduation.  The main organizer of the conference was Leslie Ubels, who was the professional events coordinator on ACDC.  The main sponsours of the event were the ASU Wellness Fund, and the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Professional Studies. 

Participants in the World Café Dialogue on responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Community Development Students Facilitate Three Community-University World Cafés

University-community dialogue and relationship building are essential building blocks to establishing fruitful community development initiatives and community-service learning. Three dialogue sessions in world café format were organized this past Fall by students and faculty from the Group Facilitation course (CODE 3613) in partnership with Horizons Community Development Consultants as a part of their course curriculum. A world café is a series of semi-structured group discussions at tables that imitates a café setting where small groups (4 or 5 people) are all conversing together around the same set of questions. The three evening sessions brought together more than 100 community and university leaders, volunteers, professionals and activists, and addressed three topics

  • Truth & Reconciliation Commission Responses in the University and Communities
  • Community Economic Development Opportunities in the Annapolis Valley
  • Potential and Challenges for Social Entrepreneurship in the Region

The process resulted in rich dialogue and sharing of ideas. Thank you to all who put them together!


Community Development Co-op Degrees Approved

The Community Development Program has received approval for co-op to be added as degree options for all of the community development degrees. Ellie Valle (above left) is our first enrolled student and she will be doing her work term this fall under the mentorship of Cari Patterson (above right) with Horizons Community Development Associates!

Students can apply for co-op at the start of their second year and over the next three years they complete three co-op work terms in addition to their regular program, and one of these must be during an academic term. This degree option provides a great opportunity for students to gain career experience, apply their learning in work settings, and make some money in the process. Typically students take an extra term to graduate. They are responsible for finding work placements but receive assistance from the Acadia Co-Op office and Community Development faculty. The co-op staff have a professional development program for co-op students to help them search for placements, obtain them, and then succeed with their work terms. For more information, students should contact their academic advisor.