What is Public Engagement?
Public engagement consists of activities that enable individuals and organizations to understand an issue, which can lead to their own engagement in informed action to make a positive contribution.
Public engagement is an important part of our approach to achieve WUSC’s vision, and contributes to strengthening the messages we believe are important to share with Canadians. WUSC believes an engaged Canadian public is essential to maintaining and improving Canada’s commitments to global development. Through public engagement efforts, we aim to enhance Canadians’ understanding of global issues and forced migration, and increase their participation in Canada’s development efforts through strategic and targeted outreach activities to fellow Canadians.
The role of Local Committees in engaging the public
Local Committees are some of the most powerful ambassadors for global development in Canada. Being a member of a Local Committee also means being part of a larger family and becoming a WUSC Ambassador and a WUSC representative. We cannot repeat it enough:
Local Committees are the faces, voices and representatives of our organization on the ground. This is why the work you do is so important and valuable to WUSC!
WUSC's Guidelines to Public Engagement
Your role in WUSC Public Engagement comes with responsibilities towards your fellow Local Committee members, the people you interact with in the name of WUSC, and WUSC itself.
ALL Public Engagement (PE) activities must be related to at least one of WUSC's three campaigns:
Building Welcoming Communities
Fundraising & Financial integrity
Local Committees that are coordinating or participating in fundraising activities on behalf of WUSC are obligated to be transparent to donors (and to WUSC) regarding how their donations will be used. This includes the development of financial partnerships with stakeholders, such as those related to waivers for the Student Refugee Program.
Ethical Public Engagement
All WUSC Local Committee members who engage the public or communicate about WUSC's work must be respectful and mindful of the cultures, stories and realities of the communities and people WUSC’s programs work with. Local Committee members should act as allies of the populations we work with, and not as representatives or spokespersons of those communities. All communications, whether they are verbal, written, visual, in-person or online must be inclusive and empowering, and contribute to creating lasting positive change.
Non-partisan political engagement
Local Committee members who communicate or engage the public about WUSC or on behalf of WUSC must follow standards to ensure that messages inspire and empower individuals to contribute to lasting, positive change in an inclusive and non-partisan manner.
Local Committees should make sure that what they publish online is consistent with the principles of this Code. Local Committees and their members are not authorized to speak on behalf of WUSC, unless explicitly given permission; when a Local Committee member posts online, they must make it clear that they are speaking as an individual and not as a representative of WUSC. Content shared on the Local Committee online platforms must be related and relevant to WUSC's work.
Photo & Video protocol
WUSC Local Committees must have copyright owner’s permission to use the photo/video and whenever possible, obtain a model release/permission from any identifiable person in a photo.
The options for public engagement activities are endless! Here are some activities that Local Committees have hosted in the past:
Cultural / artistic gatherings
Halloween trick or treat events
Webinars / panel discussions / podcasts on themes from the three WUSC campaigns
Fundraising event (e.g. Ride for Refuge)
Hosting a class (e.g. yoga, art, dance)
Galas or dinner events
Collaborations with other clubs or organizations on your campus or in your community