Sarah Noon-Ward has worked as an activist and advocate with marginalized communities for over a decade.  Working with organizations like the North Shore Women’s Centre, North Shore Neighbourhood House, Yew Transition House, the Salvation Army, and the Sechelt Indian Band, Sarah has learned the value of advocacy and education as well as the potential for systemic change within institutions.  As a mature student completing her degree in her 30’s, Sarah brings her wealth of experience and perspective to fresh learning.  Her research explores the connections between social justice work, equity initiatives, policy and funding. 

Grad Project: Art and Social Change

Aboriginal healing initiatives that are grounded in traditional cultural arts-based practices, such as weaving in cedar, have been shown to have a profound affect on individual and community wellness. Art is a powerful medium for communicating the value of social change work.  Both the grassroots community / front line workers and the policy makers / funders benefit from effective communication pathways that allow policy makers / funders to understand the value of, and thus come to support, effective community based initiatives. In this project, Sarah endeavours to gain a better understanding of how art can be used as a medium for communicating social issues. She then applies this knowledge, considering how these tools might be leveraged to advocate for better communication pathways between grassroots community / front line workers and the policy makers / funders and asking how might the arts be used to communicate a better understanding of the value in traditional indigenous arts based practices?

Project Advisor: Kathy Coyne (Community Development and Outreach)

Tutorial Advisors: Maureen Bracewell (Anthropology), Monika Follett (Legal Studies), and Anthea Mallinson (Textiles/Costuming)

Resources: Walking With Our Sisters, The Witness Blanket, and The Witness Exhibition.